Remote Staff Control Explained: Top Practices
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to take drastic measures to curb the spread of the virus, as well as keep their employees safe. This included having their on-site staff work remotely for long hours to meet essential deadlines. Because of this, most businesses had to change their management styles and find out what it takes to supervise remote staff.
However, it’s essential to note that it requires a mental shift to manage remote employees—especially if you are used to managing in-house staff. This shift requires the HR department to advise managers on how to manage and support their remote staff, and maintain productivity at the same time. In this post, we shall discuss the top practices for managing remote staff. Read on for more information.
Set Clear and Realistic Expectations Early and Regularly
When managing remote staff, there will always be questions. Therefore, your remote staff shouldn’t have a problem accessing you in case they need clarifications. Besides, you need remote employee management software to be clear on the priorities, performance goals, and milestones that you set. Besides, managers need to keep their remote staff updates on any staffing and policy changes.
When managing remote staff, it’s also important to let your employees know when you expect them to work. Thus, you should set expectations around responding to any texts and emails sent after hours. This helps remote staff to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Besides, it helps to prevent employee burnout, which is a common thing for remote employees.
Watch Out for Any Signs of Distress Among Your Remote Staff
Various methods can help you to get insights into the concerns and challenges of your remote staff. Always capitalize on these methods to let your remote employees know that you care for them. Besides, you must assure them of your support. In addition, managers should engage in regular conversations with their employees. However, it’s important to know how to approach sensitive topics related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which include employee job security, other work models, as well as challenges of remote working.
Give Your Remote Workers the Right Tools
One of the important aspects of managing remote staff is providing the necessary tools they need. Thus, you need to identify what resources you need to provide for your staff to be productive. For instance, if you have regular virtual meetings, ensure that your remote staff has good cameras for that.
The dedicated .NET developers staffing company, Allshore says that it’s important that you provide collaborative tools, which should allow your staff to share and collaborate documents. Furthermore, it’s important to make sure that your employees know how to utilize these resources for maximum productivity. At times, this might call for training—and you should invest in this, especially if you are transitioning to permanent remote employees.
Create A Virtual Office
An online office will make things easier for your remote workers. Today, there are different platforms like Slack, Zoom, and Skype that can help you to create a virtual office. Please note that you need a system that facilitates the storage and sharing of documents, so that your remote staff can work together, regardless of their location, or the time that they choose to work.
Furthermore, don’t forget to include your remote workers in your social events. Employees work better and trust each other if they know each other better. And, this happens through casual socializing, as it helps to reduce tension between your staff. Thus, you can schedule video lunches and coffees, and encourage all your remote staff to be present during virtual meetings.
Follow Up with Your Remote Staff Regularly
Your one-on-one calls with your remote staff shouldn’t be all about monitoring their productivity—take advantage of these calls to motivate your remote staff. Generally, your regular one-on-one calls with your remote workers should help you:
- Check whether your employees are doing well
- Work with your remote staff to identify and remove any bottlenecks
- Deliberate plans for the professional development of your remote employees
- Answer any questions that your remote staff might have
Overall, routine interaction with your staff might be needed—depending on the scope of their job. However, some employees will need daily interaction, while others weekly. Also, you should adapt to the needs and schedules of your staff, and always be reasonable.
Focus On Goals, Not What Your Employees Do
When managing a remote workforce, always manage expectations, and focus on what you want the employees to achieve. Not worry about what they do every other minute. Rather, focus on what they should accomplish. If your remote staff is meeting your daily goals, that’s great. If not, you should focus on what’s making them meet these goals. At the end of the day, it’s all about achievement, not activity.
Have A Clear Communication Strategy
Communication is an important pillar of a productive remote team. So, when managing a remote workforce, put a clear communication strategy in place. Start by organizing the required number of formal report-ins every week. Then, you need to set daily guidelines about what you need. Some employees work better when you provide them with daily guidelines, while others need weekly guidelines. Thus, allowing your employees to understand urgent tasks will help to eliminate inefficiency and increase productivity.
Today’s work environment is ever-changing, and many companies are now embracing remote working. However, while remote working benefits both the company and employees, there’s a big challenge of reduced productivity—especially when employers don’t take care of their remote staff. These best practices will help you create a good work environment for your remote staff.