With remote work arrangements most likely to stay and even increase post-pandemic, it’s more critical than ever to have a plan for managing a distributed workforce. However, managing remote workers can be more challenging than managing on-site workers because it might be harder to maintain employee productivity without face-to-face interactions.
But this doesn’t mean managing your New Jersey business's remote workers is impossible. Here are seven management best practices that will ensure your team stays productive and efficient, no matter where they are working.
1. Set clear expectations
Be clear about your expectations regarding deadlines, work hours, and communication. If your team understands their responsibilities, they’re more likely to achieve or exceed their goals.
But while you need to be clear on what your team needs to do, you should also avoid micromanaging them. Doing so can frustrate you and your employees, which can ultimately hurt productivity. Instead, trust that your team will get the job done and give them the freedom to work flexibly.
2. Establish regular check-ins
If you need to monitor employee progress, set up regular check-ins rather than ask for updates constantly. This will give your team the space they need to work without feeling like they are being watched all the time.
Whether you check in with your team daily, weekly, or monthly, keeping up with them regularly will help you ensure that everyone is on track and meeting their goals. You can conduct check-ins via video conference, phone call, or even email, depending on your schedule or the importance and urgency of a task or project.
3. Create a system of accountability
Having a system of accountability means that there are consequences, such as a verbal or written warning, for not meeting expectations. This enables employees to take ownership and responsibility for their work, which is critical in setups that require employees to work with a certain level of autonomy. Whatever system you decide to put in place, make sure that your team understands the repercussions of not achieving targets.
Also, be consistent with your accountability system. If you apply it on a case-by-case basis, it will give your team the wrong impression that they can get away with not meeting expectations.
4. Leverage technology for collaboration
There are several powerful tools that can help remote teams collaborate effectively. For example, Google Meet and Zoom are both great for video conferencing, while Slack is perfect for real-time messaging.
There's also VoIP for making and receiving calls on any internet-connected device, and video conferencing for more effective meetings. Maximizing these tools allows your team to stay connected, productive, and efficient.
5. Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Do not expect your employees to be available 24/7, but give them the flexibility to work during hours that are best for them. Encourage them to take breaks when they need to and to not work late into the night just because they can. If your team members practice work-life balance, they can be more productive and less stressed overall.
6. Make time for face-to-face interaction
Even if your team works remotely, it’s important that you have face-to-face interactions with them. This could mean meeting up for coffee or lunch once a week or going on an annual company retreat. Physical interactions can foster trust, which is critical when doing collaborative work.
7. Build personal connections
By taking the time to learn about your team’s interests, families, and hobbies, you’ll find that connecting with them and talking to them about work can be easier. This will also make them feel more valued as employees and help strengthen team morale.
Managing remote workers has its fair share of challenges, but following these seven tips can keep your team connected and productive regardless of location. If you’re looking to transition to a remote workforce or if you already have one in place, be sure to keep these tips in mind. And if you need a hand in keeping your remote work setup productive and secure, our business technology experts at Online Computers are just a call away. Drop us a line today.