Remote working also called work from home can be a great experience for employees as well as company, but only if it’s done right. Working remotely is very rewarding but it requires a lot of dedication, discipline, and planning to pull this off. Covid-19 acted as a catalyst in the increasing number of remote employees. The pandemic changed the business world overnight. Everyone faces different challenges in work from home because of different circumstances and habits. During this work from home times, either an employee or the manager needs to figure out how to get used to this sudden change, how to stay persistent and get the best out of it. Every company is now facing the challenge of managing the employees as mostly everyone is now working from home. Here are some common tips to manage remote workers:
Establish better communication
Weekly discussion over email isn’t enough especially during the crisis when high productivity isn’t the only goal, it’s a necessity to sustain. Managers and team leaders should try to establish constant communication with the workforce. This can be done through many applications and tools available such as slack, zoom and Microsoft teams, etc. Improved communication will also avoid remote workers feeling isolated or being left out among teams and colleagues. A recent survey by job site indeed revealed that 30% of employees believe that remote working makes visibility less and leadership inaccessible to employees. Try to have a video conference if possible, video calls not only result in better understanding it also provides better scope of the engagement. Where interaction happens in real-time, it is easier to manage remote workers
Take individual meeting sessions
Since it’s remote work and you can’t take all those Friday meetings to discuss the progress of your teams. Video conferencing isn’t enough. To get the better insight you need to schedule one on one meeting with team leaders or employees. This will make them believe that their hard work and effort is being noticed. This gives them moral support and builds confidence by bridging the communication gap between leadership and workforce. The way to do this is to schedule your meetings not only with teams but with an individual employee as well. Let your employees know your doors are always open for them. You have to find creative ways to motivate and manage remote workers. To employees, this not only gives a sense of being valued but also improves productivity by identifying and resolving every individual employee’s unique challenges and problems.
Motivate and encourage
Research on emotional contagion reveals that employees ask for help from team leaders and managers in the crisis scenario. Sometimes due to the unavailability of time, managers or team leaders are not able to assist the employee, which negatively impacts their morale and confidence. Successful leadership not only listens and acknowledges to their employees’ stress and anxiety, but also provides emotional support by using certain phrases during a conversation like “Don’t worry we’ll make it”. This not only gives them strength but also makes them feel “valued” by their company. Leadership should make efforts to highlight the value of their employees. Recognition shouldn’t necessarily be a pay raise or a bonus but it could be in the form of public acknowledgment, developmental opportunities as well. In this new normal where managers have less visibility, they need to improve their monitoring skills. By meeting employees virtually you can ask what barriers they have overcome, you get a better insight into their effort, so you can thank and share accomplishments with employees.
Build a strategy
Train your employees on “how to work remotely” before its too late. Train your managers to learn how to manage remote workers. You can provide online learning courses, can arrange a live mentoring session by industry experts. Hold QA session of employees with executive leaders. Team leaders and managers can host virtual team building workshops to establish better coordination among the team members. Take feedbacks; conduct online surveys, one-on-one calls, messaging. Feedbacks not only gives you a better insight of your employees but will also uncover the areas with the scope of improvement.
Here is a list of tools that can help your organization in this new normal
- Video calling and screen sharing apps (Zoom, Google Meet, etc)
- Collaboration and messaging tools (Slack, Google Hangouts, Microsoft teams, etc)
- HR and performance management software (Zimyo, Zoho, etc)
- Automated Recruiting software (Zimyo, Zendesk, etc)
- Cloud-based HRMS to manage your remote workers