Remote working is a preferred choice for many employees. The many benefits of remote and hybrid working add to why this style of working is more popular than ever.
However, there’s no doubt that managing remote employees does bring its own unique set of challenges.
These include feelings of isolation or disconnection, difficulties with supervision and accessing essential information, and, of course, the various distractions that working from home can provide.
However, despite those obstacles, there is no reason why your remote teams should not be able to operate as efficiently – or even more so – than office-based employees.
With effective management and accepted policies in place, you can effortlessly manage your remote teams and ensure they continue to hit their targets.
To help you achieve the highest levels of remote management proficiency, here are some top tips that are sure to benefit both you and your home-working staff members.
Institute Regular Check-Ins
Perhaps the biggest issue with remote work is the lack of in-person interaction and supervision.
To mitigate the negative impact, it’s a good idea to check-in regularly with all of the members of your remote teams; ideally, on a daily basis.
The way you do this is down to you – for example, you could send messages to each other using a platform such as WhatsApp, Asana, or Slack, or have a brief video conference to start each day with the help of Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
What’s important is that you have regular interactions to ensure everyone is on the same page and kept as engaged as possible.
Ensure Easy Communication
As well as having frequent check-ins, your remote teams need to be able to communicate effortlessly with one another and with you.
When you have employees working from home, it’s always best to err on the side of over-communication, rather than under-communication, particularly if you want to keep your productivity levels as high as possible.
After all, lack of communication often causes issues for businesses where all employees are present in the office, so imagine the difficulties that can arise when your teams are scattered around the country or even further afield.
This is where those online messaging platforms, including Slack and Asana, come in so handy, as they allow constant communication and clear target-setting.
Set Your Expectations – And Then Learn To Manage Them
As you transition to a remote model, it’s important to set clear expectations for all of your home-working staff, so that everyone understands what they need to know and when.
For example, your expectations could include ensuring their availability to respond to messages and calls during working hours, and making sure there are no background distractions when conference calls are being conducted.
While these expectations are important to ensure standards of professionalism don’t slip, you will also need to manage those expectations and continually evaluate whether or not they are being met and how they impact on your staff’s working lives.
Remember that remote working can throw up its own unique setbacks, some of which may occur unexpectedly.
If anything does go wrong, or if your employees develop an issue with some of the procedures you have decided to implement, then it’s important to adjust your expectations accordingly. As well as seeking input from your team as to which policies may be feasible and which are not.
Seek Professional IT Support
If you have been experiencing some hiccups with your remote working processes, then it’s always recommended that you call in an experienced IT support team to get you back on track.
For example, if your business is based in the capital, you can contact Totality Services, which provides IT support, security and services in London.
Their knowledgeable team can provide guidance and support with your remote working process.
It can help with everything from maintaining your IT infrastructure to conducting hardware audits, asset management and onboarding new staff.
Provide Support And Empathy
While working from home may seem like a pleasant experience, you must bear in mind that it may not be as simple as it sounds for many of your team members.
Some of them may have young children at home with them, elderly relatives, or perhaps even an ailing partner that they simultaneously have to care for.
In addition, some may have access to a dedicated working space, others may have to make room on a corner of the dining room table, and others may struggle with their equipment or lack thereof.
It’s important to be understanding of your employees’ individual domestic and professional challenges, and maintain an attitude of support and empathy at all times.
Be A Mentor, Not A Micromanager
When you are in charge of remote teams, it’s natural to want to over-compensate for your lack of face-to-face presence by attempting to micromanage everything your employees are doing.
However, this can quickly create a sour and controlling atmosphere that impacts your staff’s morale and perhaps even their productivity.
Instead of micromanaging, then, it’s better to take on more of a mentoring approach, offering your employees a constant source of advice, encouragement, and support.
This will help you to get the best out of your remote teams and will foster a positive atmosphere of camaraderie and trust that will bring many benefits to your business – not least, greater efficiency and employee loyalty.