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Remote Management Tips for Firms With a Widespread Workforce

December 4th, 2018

remote management, workforce, firms, outsourcing

With the internet aiding every aspect of your firm’s management, there is no reason to confine your employees to just one physical office space. Many companies today have expanded their workforce all over the globe. They even consider outsourcing certain business processes. It gives them a lot of freedom to focus on higher value tasks while simultaneously engaging a skilled workforce. Thanks to the digital space, firms can hire talent from any geographic area without having to transfer them. But despite its perks, remote management has many challenges. Firms must learn to manage their expanded workforce and keep them engaged. This is essential to maintaining a productive work culture that spans across boundaries You can’t unite all of your employees to have a quick conference or pass on important updates. So here are some tips that will help you manage your remote personnel in a better and more hassle-free way.

Constant communication

Communication is key whether your employees are remote or within an office space. It is one of the most important ways to create a positive and productive work culture. But your expanded workforce deserves a little extra attention and communication mainly because they are usually away from all the live work and updates. They seldom or never are a part of team meetings.

An official phone-call once a day will not suffice; it is vital to stay in touch with them all through the day and offer them periodic updates. Social media plays an important role in bridging this gap. Get them on chat and talk to them every now and then. Keeping in mind the firm’s security, many firms also have in place an internal chat portal that has end-to-end encryption. This way, there is no security breach.

Occasionally, video chats with your employees are very helpful as they will create a good rapport with your distant employees. There are platforms that enable you to chat with multiple people simultaneously. You can put them to use to give your communication a human touch. Additionally, these portals will also let your distant employees be a part of team meetings. If you have a set of new recruits who are from across the world, you can induct them all at the same time using video conferencing methods.

Inter-personnel communication

A workplace is usually a community. Co-workers turn into friends and, eventually, a big family. There is no reason for your distant employees to not be a part of this family. Firms usually create a group for all their employees on social media or their own portals to stay connected. This way they can share non-work related things and build a bond.

All work and no play doesn’t just make Jack a dull boy, it also makes your employees lose interest. Engaging them in group activities will make your firm a great place to work in. Here too, your expanded workforce can take part in web-based multiplayer games, create book clubs and take some time off work together. It is not enough for you to stay in touch with your employees, you also need to create a space for them to get to know each other.

Take feedback

When your employees are away from your workplace, you usually don’t have a very clear idea about their work environment. So the best thing for managers to do would be to ask remote employees for feedback. Ask them if there is anything that can be done from your side for them to engage better with work. It is also essential to look out for signs to understand if something has gone wrong. If they don’t answer calls or if there are unresponsive to messages, ask them if everything is alright and what can be done to help them out.

Set clear targets and goals

People work in different ways and at a different pace. It is ideal to first develop an understanding of your employees’ work pattern before setting goals. Since one’s definition of quickly varies from the other’s, the best practice would be to set clear deadlines instead of ambiguous terms.

At the start of every new assignment, you can have a discussion regarding what you expect from them and what their goals are. When they understand what you expect of them, they will be able to work better and give you the desired results. To make them more accountable, you can create a log sheet where they can notify when they start working on their tasks and when they finish it. The advent of artificial intelligence has given rise to many platforms for employees to record their work. This not only helps to take note of the work in progress without physically watching them work but also helps the employees set goals and surpass them.

Appreciate when due

It is important for managers to take note of the work done by employees and give due credit. You can send group emails or even honour them during team meets. But in the case of remote employees, while their work makes things smooth, they don’t receive the appreciation or reward they deserve. The ‘out of sight, out of mind’ philosophy will only dissuade them from performing better the next time they are given a task. From a simple appreciation mail to getting a reward delivered to their place of work or home will only encourage them to work better. You can also have your HR department set a reward system in place. That way, they get the official recognition their work deserves.

Don’t micromanage

As a manager, you might want certain things done in a certain way. In your office space, you can supervise the way your employees work and give them your comments periodically. But for your employees who are working remotely, having a manager virtually breathe down their necks can be very stressful. You’ve hired or outsourced them because of their qualification and skills. So it is advisable to trust your remote team and wait for the results rather than micromanaging every step of their task. Setting an expectation and communicating the requirements clearly will also prevent you from interfering with their work pattern.

For firms to operate with remote workforces is becoming the norm today. Employees are hired or freelancers are looped in for specific projects from many geographic regions due to their expertise. With these tips, you can utilize their expertise to your benefit and make working for your company a fruitful and pleasant experience.

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