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Top 15 Tips for Effectively Managing Remote Employees

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Introduction to the Topic

Remote work - Work from home

Work remotely or work from home has become more than a trend currently. For businesses all over the world, this is now a necessity and many organizations tend to initiate managing remote employees. As a result, thousands of team managers and leaders manage a fully remote team instantly.

Remote employees are employees who work outside the traditional workplace, which can be separated by space or time, and work by connecting the company electronically. To learn how to manage remote employees efficiently means to find a good balance.

You must be proactive, on the one hand, in creating a consistent, effective structure of how everyday tasks could and should be done. Technology supports teams, regardless of area, to remain linked. This has made companies happy and profitable and encouraged diverse recruitment policies.

Top 5 Challenges of Managing Remote Employees

The challenges of managing remote employees are still not familiar to most leaders and managers. Here are the top 5 challenges of remote employee management.

1. Lack of Trust with Remote Employees

Lack of trust with remote employees

The fact that workers are part of your team indicates that you trust them. If there are workers you don’t trust, then it can mean that it is necessary to improve the recruiting processes. It has a negative effect on teamwork and commitment to manage workers who work remotely as if what they desired was to gain company money for doing nothing.

2. Communication Problem with Remote Employees

Communication problem with remote employees

When managing remote employees, communication is a big challenge. It’s not always easy to maintain open communication as teams work remotely. Your workers must understand the business for which they work and what your mission is. To fulfill their duties well, to stay compliant, as well as provide amazing service, they need all the required details. They have to know when or who to talk to for help, exchange ideas, and provide feedback. As a manager, you understand that good and efficient communication is important to success, and that is particularly true when managing remote employees.

3. Tracking Employee Performance of Remote Employees

Tracking employee performance of remote employees

Tracking and analyzing their success is among the greatest challenges in managing remote employees. You want to know that members of your remote team are efficiently and effectively managing their time. When your team is not physically in the workplace, it can be difficult to track employee efficiency, particularly for jobs requiring employees to be engaged for a certain number of hours per day.

But the correct balance of checking in without being a resentful micromanager is also difficult to find. But another troubling case is when remote staff overcompensates by overworking for not being in the physical workplace, which may lead to burnout.

4. Employee Engagement with Remote Employees

Employee engagement with remote employees

The main company objective is the productivity of its employees. It’s difficult to keep workers engaged while they work remotely and, in a crisis, too. Internal communication is disrupted, and it becomes difficult to keep everyone on the same page.

It is tough to understand a schedule with remote working, and also with the exception of a systemic workflow. You have no authority to manage them while the teams are cross-functional. Not regularly updating them or not organizing meetings/sessions will, to a great extent, affect their morale.

5. Barriers with Language and Culture of Remote Employees

Language Barriers

For a global workforce, there are likely to be language and cultural barriers. Such barriers may contribute to a misunderstanding of team priorities and directions. You must make a point as a boss to consider the differences in culture.

To know about these distinctions, the perfect way is to simply ask. You build an environment of confidence and understanding within your team by including your team members in a conversation about their culture.

How does Performance Management help to Manage Remote Employees?

Working remotely may help improve employee morale and productivity through good performance management practices. Here are a few ways in which your employees could be supported when they work remotely.

1. Set goals, KPIs, and objectives

Set goals, KPIs, and objectives

That’s where performance management systems come in handy. Although spreadsheet-based or paper-based systems can work to a certain level when monitoring staff efficiency, remote goal setting and KPI measurements in an online system are handled much more efficiently.

For any employee, setting goals is a key component of performance management, and those who work remotely may often require clearer goals than those whose expectations and workloads could be handled in person. Goal-setting and consistent goals are directly related to increased participation, morale, and efficiency. Remote employees will benefit greatly from this additional structure without the structure of a day at the office.

2. Ask for updates on the status

Ask for updates on the status

Empowering status updates means there’s something for you and your remote employees to refer to. Ask workers to keep a log of their work regularly. That way, both sides are able to keep track of what is being done. You would at least be able to see progress even though you don’t look at the log daily.

These updates are also important for both of you to reference during one-on-one evaluations. As a team leader, it keeps you from overlooking achievements while keeping employees accountable as well.

3. Give Regular Feedback

Give regular feedback

When your employees work remotely, they can often feel in the dark regarding their performance, particularly if they don’t get the regular daily feedback they get in the office. Consistent feedback will help your employees work better and push them to work harder if they feel that they recognize their efforts. With one study indicating that 68 percent of employees who receive registered feedback feel more satisfied in their jobs, feedback could also help employees feel more motivated.

4. Project Management Software

Project management software

A collaborative platform for work management such as Wrike provides visibility into projects, deadlines, and assignments for your team. Team members may clearly understand what is on their own plates, but they can also zoom out to understand what work is going on in the team or the whole company.

Complete Guide of Managing Remote Employees

Clearly, the management of remote workers has a few challenges.

But it doesn’t mean you don’t have to work with remote teams,

Why? To all those challenges, here’s a complete guide to remote employee management.

1. Build your Team

Build your team

Teamwork is a big part of strong workplace culture. Employees who, without the ability to work together, feel siloed into their own work frequently end up feeling distrustful or stressed out at their jobs. Making the team through intentional engagement, off-topic dialogue (similar to what would occur naturally in the workplace), and providing opportunities for individuals to get to understand one another.

Be sure that your employees have an opportunity to learn more than just their own responsibilities. Celebrate successes and build a cohesive team where workers feel connected and valuable to one another.

2. Set early and clear expectations

Set early and clear expectations

There are expectations for any business: whether working virtually or remotely. Being clear with workers would keep them concentrated on working towards the same objectives.

You need to set clear expectations for:

  1. Scheduled meetings
  2. Timely meetings
  3. Availability
  4. Respond to email
  5. Key projects and deadlines
  6. Communication system
  7. Work hours

3. Be consistent

Be consistent

For any manager, consistency is an important quality, but if you are managing from a distance, it’s incredibly important. Another factor in developing a working environment that is healthy and inclusive is consistency in the instructions, responses, and assessments.

For distance employees, who rely on more than your physical presence to keep themselves motivated, disorganization may feel disorienting.

4. Use Remote Communication Tools

Use remote communication tools

Use remote communication tools is one of the best tips for effectively managing remote employees. Most remote teams use multiple communication tools to keep in touch easily, like video conferencing, email, and instant-messaging tools.

Have a look at the various kinds of tools used for remote communication:

(a) Instant messaging platforms

Helping you send coworkers messages and files. For fast replies and chats, they’re helpful. Examples: Google Hangouts, Slack

(b) Cloud storage and collaboration tools

Let your team share files easily and collaborate in real-time.
(Examples: Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive)

(c) Video conferencing tools

These tools enable you, via video call, to take team meetings and discussions—for example, Eyes on, Zoom, and Skype.

Stick to one instead of using two or three apps for messaging. Similarly, just use one app for video conferencing and one tool for cloud storage. This way, to increase all-round efficiency, team communication could be streamlined.

5. Time Tracking Solution

Time tracking solution

This is one of the best tips for effectively managing remote employees. When your team is working remotely, if you’re worried about productivity taking a nosedive, a time tracking app can increase accountability and offer you and your team real data you could use to work as effectively as possible.

6. Establish Accountability

Establish accountability

Without holding them accountable for their work, you can’t manage a team or organization.

In particular, this refers to managing remote staff. You get a clear picture of where your team stands by keeping track of the work and productivity of each team member and the greatest ways to increase team efficiency.

7. Balance Schedule Inconvenience

Balance schedule inconvenience

If you run a large company, you are likely to have remote workers from different time zones. It would prevent you from concurrently reaching all employees. To balance the inconvenience of the schedule, you could even schedule some video conferencing calls late at night and others during the day.

8. Concentrate on Outcomes, not Operation

Concentrate on outcomes, not operation

This is one of the best tips for effectively managing remote employees. Each aspect of the work carried out by a remote team cannot be managed.

For what it’s worth, you shouldn’t try to manage each aspect of the work of every team, but particularly when your team is distributed over various locations. Focus on the results and measure your team accordingly instead of focusing on activities or hours.

9. Provide Remote Social Interaction Opportunities

Provide remote social interaction opportunities

The most important step a manager should take is to plan ways that workers interact socially (i.e.) during their work remotely (informal discussions on non-work issues). This applies to all remote employees, but especially for those employees who have suddenly left office.

10. Embrace and Encourage Diversity

Embrace and encourage diversity

When managing remote teams, it is not surprising to face cultural obstacles. The multicultural team problem includes conflicts and misunderstandings, which divide the teams. The people of different cultures are very difficult to handle, dealing with cultural diversity to create a community.

A simple way of finding ways to get feedback from various people in the different regions, foster a way of celebrating differences, value your global team’s national holidays and respect every cultural difference.

11. Build a Trust Climate

Build a trust climate

In your hiring process as a manager, you probably do not do an outstanding job if you do not trust the employees who work for you. You have not been knowing the performance and the deadlines if you are worried about what a remote employee is performing continually. Be clear regarding guidelines, including a timeframe for responding to emails.

FAQ Sessions on Effectively Managing Remote Employees

  1. How would if my remote employee is working?

    1. Set measurable goals.
    2. Track productivity.
    3. Schedule check-ins.
    4. Talk to other staff.
    5. Try remote employee monitoring software.
    6. Try remote employee monitoring software.

  2. How is it possible to improve remote communication?

    Here are 6 ways to improve the remote communication skills of your team.

    1. Get your technology in order.
    2. Establish consistent objectives and availability.
    3. Make video calls a priority.
    4. Hold a daily team meeting.
    5. Consider your tone.
    6. Host weekly happy hours or celebrations.

  3. How do you build trust remotely?

    1. Evaluate yourself.
    2. Determine expectations and discuss them.
    3. Video conferencing and telephone communication.
    4. Understand the projects and progress.

Conclusion

Work from home

Remote work is wonderful. But you and the company you work for have to overcome some of the challenges of remote work in order for you to succeed. The talent leaders must be extra conscious and responsible when recruiting a remote workforce. You have to be careful in your relationship with your employees if you are disseminating your team into a remote workforce.

Above are the few challenges of managing remote employees. Understanding these unique challenges and tips for effectively managing remote employees will strengthen your team’s commitment, productivity, and cooperation.

Stay tuned on ReadWires to find out more exciting stuff. Don’t forget to check out our previous articles and Subscribe to our newsletter.

Matthew Schofield

Matthew Schofield has more than 10 year experience in e-commerce, Technical SEO and Digital Marketing Strategies. Apart from his professional area, he has an ideal knowledge and is interested in research and writes articles in science, technology and entertainment fields.

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