Remote workers have become a trend in tech. Distribution of work reduces the cost of jobs, especially when a company lacks a spacious physical office. However, there may be some problems in managing their work. Lack of communication is the most wide-spread of them.
If you want your business to thrive you should know how to manage distributed teammates well. Today I’ll tell you the best ways of managing remote workers.
A well-known fact: every team must have a goal. Employees won’t work at their full capacity, not being motivated. It’s not about the financial side of the business. Team members should feel their significance, being a part of a company. It’s hard to be motivated, working halfway around the world.
Read more: Team Building That Doesn’t Suck
You can encourage communication by asking remote workers for pieces of advice or telling them about your business prospects. Start Hack Days on the last Thursday every month. During this event, your team works on everything that interests them. At the end of these days, employees present the results of their work. It’s a solid option to find some new business ideas and help the workers feel their importance.
Provide High-Quality Communication
Communication is the key to success both for the office and remote workers. Therefore, we recommend holding regular online meetings. These can be short daily calls via Skype or Google+ hangout daily, as well as longer weekly meetings for long-term goals. Daily huddles suit well for teaming up and agreeing on goals for the remainder of the day. You should assign meetings smartly. Don’t turn into Big Brother.
If your team knows that you are ready for online tete-a-tete conversation, they will trust you more. Let your remote workers feel that you appreciate them because you have time to communicate with them directly.
It’s also important to choose the most convenient way of communication. It can be a messenger like Slack, Telegram, etc. Matt Doyle from Excel Builders advises using one chat. It helps everyone to be in touch.
Every manager should know when an employee can get in touch if there’s an urgent need. For example, you can live in the US while your worker – in Europe, so there may be problems due to the difference in time zones. What should you do to ensure managing remote employees efficiently? You can make up a schedule where remote employees will daily mark the period during which they can communicate.
Set Up and Use Project Management Software
Small teams can process all workflows through mails, but it’s inefficient. Use project management systems as they help to organize all documents and projects via a single system.
Some of the best project management software tools include:
If your team members receive a clear task and fixed deadline, there will be no misunderstandings during the work. Even the most responsible workers can miss or forget something. A project management software reduces these risks, setting clear objectives and deadlines. You and your employees will always be aware of what’s happening.
Ensure Smooth Onboarding for New Hires
Create a system that will help new employees to find out information about projects quickly. Your documentation should contain detailed project data, job requirements, instructions, and more. The quicker fresh workers merge into the corporate environment, the more time you save. You can also create some tutorials that will introduce your business and daily processes for new workers.
Cloud services do a great job merging new employees. Google Docs or Sheets can provide newcomers with everything they need to start work. Coders usually use Github. It’s convenient for them as it stores both code lines and tasks. BambooHR is a nice software that stores data about all workers, insurances, holidays, etc.
Check the Work but Don’t Be Annoying
If your employees see that you are interested in the progress of the work, they will mobilize and finish it on time or even faster. However, there should be a sense of balance.
Don’t be too bothersome and strict managing remote employees. It would be better to give them some freedom which they so need. Constant surveillance and monitoring of each step cause stress that reduces their effectiveness.
You shouldn’t confuse communication and control. If you have remote accountants, you can give them tasks during the day due to the specifics of their work. If your copywriter has a few days to complete a task, don’t bother him till the deadline without no reasons.
Don’t be afraid that your remote employees won’t do their work. This fear often ruins the working process.
Keep Track of Working Hours
If you pay remote workers for the time they spent on a project, you need to track time. It may be hard for a manager to understand what distributed employees are working on right now and how long they have been working. Some people are sufficiently motivated and do not need time tracking. However, other workers need a certain level of discipline while working at home. In this case, you need some time-tracking apps for managing remote employees. They can show the manager whether an employee is working or chatting on Facebook Messenger.
Some time-tracking apps:
- Time Doctor
The Bottom Line on Managing Remote Employees
The experience of many successful companies has dispelled the myth that remote work is ineffective. Remote work can suit well some employees. Moreover, it can be even better than a traditional office option. You won’t face any problem if you develop an effective remote employee management system.
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