Do you have a cousin that stays abroad living far from you and to whom you have not spoken for years? It is not that you do not like him/her but the reason is that you have lost complete touch with him/her. A month became six months, then a year, and then you have no clue what he/she has been up to. But it is your cousin, you can still manage to patch up with him/her any fine day by making a phone call.
However, the same scenario does not apply to remote workers. With the advancement of technology and the ever-growing need for the digital workplace, many team members are working remotely from varied geographical locations of the world. Remote work has become much of an expectation and a matter of trend today. Many of the employees are leaving their full-time current jobs to work remotely.
Let’s delve into the below topics:
- Challenges Faced by Remote Employees
- Ways and Means to Manage Remote Employees
- Strategies and Tools to Manage Remote Employees
Challenges Faced by Remote Employees
There are a host of challenges that come while doing remote work and are as below mentioned:
Employees who work remotely often feel shunned and disengaged. Even high performing employees may experience declines in job performance and engagement when they begin working remotely. The feeling of left -out encompasses them, they are left out of company celebrations and other company meetings and events. They feel that their remote managers are out of touch when it comes to fulfilling their needs and hence, they are less supportive and helpful. Prolonged isolation results in anxiety and depression and atrophy. Hence, it becomes imperative for a manager to manage them effectively. Otherwise, it will not only lose employee morale resulting in a demotivated workplace with employees leaving their jobs but also can dent the manager’s as well as the employee’s career. Hence, employee satisfaction is a key to an organization no matter whether the employee is working remotely or not. For more help on the same, please refer to HeartMath LLC as well as Talkspace that will help employees to get through any stress and anxiety and provide some useful tips for improving their overall performance.
Communication-related challenges are much obvious in remote workers. With no face to face interaction between employees and their managers or between co-workers, it leads to increasing misunderstandings. With no verbal cues, it is difficult to sense the underlying intent in messages. It can result in the growth of ill-feeling and malice. Remote workers often fret over their coworkers saying bad things behind their backs, make changes to the project without tossing around important discussions with them, lobbying against them. These all lead to stress, affect employee retention, impact productivity, cost overrun, pushing important deadlines, etc. For more deets into the same, employees must look at Dailygreatness for improving productivity at the workplace.
Ways and Means to Manage Remote Employees:
- Get to know your remote workers by establishing a personal connection
A manager needs to learn about the strengths and weaknesses of each remote worker on an individual basis. Some people like public recognition, some are happy with bonuses while others are happy with promotion, etc. Some like to contribute in morning hours while some are more effective at noon, etc. Try to commiserate with them and give them an ample amount of time to complete a task. Check with them politely rather than being dominating to look into something on exigency and requesting them to leave their other commitments that are of low priority. For more books on the same, employees must read them at Soundview Executive Book Summaries.
- Team Collaboration
Team collaboration, communication, employee engagements, making goombah at the workplace are key to the success of any organization. Virtual team meetings, All-Hands meeting as well as brainstorming sessions or Knowledge transfer sessions and online training and a regular informal communication or an informal catch up generates a positive and conducive environment. Communication among team members before taking any important decision helps to save cost and effort. For more details on this, employees must refer to Simple Truths that will help to reinforce Leadership, Attitudinal, and Teamwork related core values into them.
- Communicate Effectively
Communication is a key tenet in remote working. Make sure to check effectively the previous day’s work status, current day’s tasks, and any hiccups. Even go on to reward those employees who are effective communicators and encourage them to learn new languages. Break the barriers that block effective and open-ended communication between employees and managers or within co-workers. To learn new languages, employees can use Rocket Languages.
- Being Motivating
Monthly Recognition and reward systems must be in place. Even daily communication with a lot of positive reinforcement boosts employee’s productivity and morale. Sending regular feedback and a further check on improvement areas, regularly monitoring the needs, help, or reaching out to them for seeking out their suggestions makes a big difference in the productivity of remote workers. For more details, a ready reference for employees is available at Justmind.de.
- Well Defined processes and protocols
Business policies must be well defined, protocols, metrics, and playbooks must be in place to measure the performance of a remote employee on their deliverables fairly and transparently. Make sure that the remote employees understand their deliverables properly and accordingly gauge their performance with industry-standard benchmarks. For more to know about business and HR policies, please visit Zenefits.
- Values for them to Abide By
Must enforce the company ethos and values for the remote workers to abide by. This will inculcate a sense of discipline among them even if they are working remotely. For reinforcing key Core Values in them, let’s ask them to dive into Simple Truths.
Strategies and Tools for Managing Remote Employees
- Use Phone calls and video calls
As a manager, always encourage your team members to put on the camera and mic and to come for a video chat as being able to see each other is identical to being in the same room. It is easy to communicate something over the phone or video conferencing rather than typing in email or messages.
- Be responsive and available
It is vital to keep your status in Communicator as ‘Available’ and be prompt in responding to queries and concerns of employees.
- Regular check-ins
Every morning or evening, a daily stand up meeting will help to sync everyone on the same page about the progress and daily happenings on assigned tasks.
- Leverage Tools
Chat and collaboration tools like Google Hangouts, Slack, etc. and project management systems like Jira, Asana, Wrike, etc. must be leveraged. Automated onboarding software, Employee self-service tools must also be used.
Remote Work Policy needs to be established that will put up the compliance and guidelines for workers who are working remotely. Always allow Remote employees to lead some initiatives and provide them the channel to give feedback to the organization so that their concerns and ideas can be heard for the development of the organization’s quality. Also, do send them the necessary cards, letters via email. For more insights on business strategies, please go through Tony Robbins.
- Encourage remote socializing
Fun messaging channels must be established that include jokes, memes, new songs, videos, or any other topics that the team would like to share that brings fun to the workplace.
- Make a personal visit to meet them
If a remote employee is living somewhere around the vicinity of your home then make an essay to meet them in person. This strengthens the bond between co-workers and between an employee and their manager.
Remote Employees are certainly an asset for the company and their incredible performance, creativity, innovation, productivity can spiral your business. But if your organization does not support remote working best practices then they will take their skills and expertise to somewhere else. With remote working more in common, your organization’s hanging fire attitude for the adoption of best practices for remote working can certainly ring up a heavy loss for your organization.