How to Manage Your Employees Remotely
A decade ago, working from home was a rare commodity. It was uncommon to know anyone who didn’t have a commute to work and needed to be in the office to access the right tools or work as a team. Now, working from home is almost as common as driving to work. A 2021 Gallup poll found that 45 percent of employees work either completely or partially from home.
Recent world events and recent technological upgrades have ushered in a new era of job flexibility. As an employer, your ability to meet this trend and adapt your work culture is critical. A balanced work life and home life can improve employee retention, boost morale and productivity, and help your employees feel appreciated and valued by your company.
Here’s how to a team remotely so your company can reap the benefits of offering work from home.
How to manage a team remotely
There are a few easy concrete steps that you and others in leadership can implement clearly and quickly. Other changes will need to be established over the course of time and should be adapted to your unique company needs. Both types of changes will be explored here.
1. Use the right tools
Learning to remotely manage a team of employees requires you to be on the search for tools and platforms that make this new system not only possible but efficient. For example, stopping by someone’s office used to be the surest way to get a quick response. While your workers may be using email, a communication system with a live chat feature may be more useful for teams working on projects.
To address other workspace concerns over the internet, you’ll want to be using tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, Google Hangouts or Zoom for live video-conferencing. Depending on the type of business you run, you may opt for a more secure or encrypted program to protect private information.
When choosing one (or more) platforms to incorporate into your work routine and communication, it’s important to consider the following factors.
- Ease of use
- Employee trainability
- Compatibility with other software in your company’s field
- Features such as recorded meetings, shared calendars, etc
- Security features
- Employee resources such as whether they have access to multiple screens, Wi-Fi, printers, etc
When your employees are given the opportunity to work from home, you’ll want to make the transition smooth for yourself and for those you work with. If you find tech and communication difficulties taking up a large portion of your time or energy, it’s a sure sign the tools you’re using aren’t cutting it.
2. Establish healthy expectations
Working from home has some serious perks. Employees enjoy no commute time (saves gas money and time), the comfort of working from home (comfortable setting and ease of preparing meals) and fewer interruptions during deep-brain work (no spontaneous pop-ins to their cubicle).
While working from home offers tremendous benefits for individuals and employers, there are some important caveats to this unique system. One of the most important: balancing other responsibilities in the home environment. Due to the nature of working from home, it’s important for employers to set and communicate clear expectations.
Answer these questions as a company when you’re figuring out how to manage a team remotely.
- What hours/days do we expect our employees to be available?
- Will employees be reimbursed for hours spent working outside of expected hours?
- What are the expectations regarding workers who also have childcare duties during the work day?
- How will employees be held accountable for completing work?
- How will teams meet to discuss projects and company decisions?
- Will employees be expected to be visibly available during work hours?
When you’re figuring out how to supervise employees, you’ll want to make sure you answer all these important questions and have the answers shared and readily available to your workers.
3. Build a work culture
As our economic system has faced a rapid and drastic shift to remote work, many people have reflected on the pros and cons of the opportunity to work from home. While many laud the comfort and ease of working from home, many feel disconnected from their jobs.
Engaging in company culture can feel like an impossible task when employees are on their computers all day and hardly know their coworkers. While the beginning stages surely provide challenges, fostering opportunities for staff to interact with each other, participate in company discussions and build a mission can help employees feel valued.
Building a work culture will look unique to each business. Creative solutions will be necessary, and the guidance of an EAP can help you discover them.
4. Invest in your best assets
Your employees are the best resources that your company has. Whether you see them in the office once a week or a few times a year, it’s essential that you keep them at the forefront of your mind and business decisions. The way you interact with your employees, the expectations you set and the compensation they receive are the keys to building a team that will last and that will work hard.
How to supervise employees with Mazzitti & Sullivan
If you have already shifted to supervising a team remotely or are in the midst of the transition, you’re likely to run into some stumbling blocks. Most companies face unexpected challenges as they redesign a system that has been long established.
If you’re struggling to manage employees remotely, you’ll want the expertise of Mazzitti & Sullivan. Mazzitti & Sullivan has helped countless organizations navigate these new waters and can provide access to resources and tools you need to engage your employees, boost productivity and build employee satisfaction.
Invest in your best asset and contact Mazzitti & Sullivan today.
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