The world has embraced remote work. We are not talking about the ones who already preferred telecommuting. The coronavirus pandemic has forced all sorts of businesses and companies to function from home.
Whether you worked for an IT company or a staffing agency, with the lockdown and social distancing restrictions today, you have no choice but to work from home. While for some employees, remote working is an ultimate scenario, for others, managing time and performing optimally is quite challenging. Especially for the managers, who are managing a team new to telecommuting!
Despite the challenges, remote work opportunities is a great way to get hold of productive workers. Involving everyone, developing a trust level, and adapting to these changes will be challenging. If your employees know what is expected of them, they will be more focused. Being appreciative and making them feel that you have their back will also help. Here are some effective tips.
Robust communication is one of the key things to effectively manage a team of remote employees. There are multiple channels available to communicate. Thanks to technology! Scheduling a video conference occasionally is also a good strategy.
You can plan it on a weekly or monthly basis and combine it with a coaching or training program. This constant engagement will make the remote workers feel included. It is not feasible to check in personally every few minutes. Besides, this kind of supervision is quite intrusive.
Therefore, the best solution is to engage the employees in an open-minded and transparent manner.
Tasks Should Have Well-Defined Deadlines
Having a structured timeline of tasks to be completed is very important. In an official environment, it’s easy to ask a resource directly to manage a task for you. But in a remote working environment, the KPIs, tasks, and goals should be clearly defined.
Moreover, the deadlines for each task should be very clear. This will allow the employees to know what is expected of them. This will also help them create and follow a routine to complete their tasks on time. Therefore, take a keen look at the structure, processes, and deadlines you have defined for your remote resources.
Make sure they are not a haphazard set of activities. Your team should fully understand the scope of their activities. Active collaboration is the key!
Scheduling Coaching Sessions
In a remote working environment, this becomes incumbent. And for this, we would highly recommend video-based coaching. With virtual employees, looking at each other while talking is more effective. There are many apps and platforms to facilitate you in this regard. For instance, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and others.
Silence can become loud and dangerous if there is never any interaction. Your remote workers may end up wondering what and how they are doing. Therefore, share work strategies, new ideas, and useful insights in coaching sessions and take a moment to appreciate their efforts.
Get Hold of Reliable Tools
Ensure that your remote employees are working on reliable tools. If your employees are struggling to download files, access your work-specific platforms, and hear on a conference call, know that you are failing to even address the basics.
Make sure you invest in high-performance and reliable tools for team collaboration. And after you have done so, devise clear processes to use these tools and platforms.
Filtering for Values, Goals, Outcomes, & Roles
Have you heard of on-target over-communication? It becomes relevant when it comes to remote workers. Telecommuters are usually frozen out of the quintessential human interaction in the office. Therefore, excessive communication becomes critical.
Guide them to get aligned with the values and mission of your team and organization at large. This will keep them engaged, motivated, and more productive.
Focus on Goals and Not Activity
When you are embracing a team of telecommuters, managing expectations, and staying focused on the goals is pivotal. Focus more on their accomplishments. If your team is meeting their goals, then it is exactly what’s required.
Remember, it is not about the activity. It is about accomplishment.
Summary Report at the End of Day
Make it a mandatory practice for the remote workers to send out a brief summary of what they have accomplished in the day. Amid multiple tasks, you and your team members may lose track of their accomplishments during the day.
Therefore, a daily summary, listing all the potent tasks and KPIs should be obligatory.in addition, encourage your teammates to identify improvement opportunities, any current or potential issues, and suggestions to overcome them.
You are free to devise any format of these daily reports. However, regular team meetings are a great way to go about it. It avoids misunderstandings, keeps everyone on track, and validates everyone’s efforts.
Lastly, work on establishing close bonds and be readily available to help and support your employees. All these tips are relevant whether you work for engineering staffing agencies, IT houses, construction companies, or any other. Being an empathizing and supportive leader will help you and your team go a long way!