5 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Workers
Managing remote teams has required supervisors to develop new strategies of management. The limited visibility has left some managers fearing their employees are not as productive while working remotely. However, it is quite the opposite. In fact, in a study by Harvard Business Review, demonstrated their employee's productivity increased 4.4% after transitioning into a remote workforce.
Here are 5 essentials for managing your remote employees:
Supervisors will need to learn new ways to communicate virtually. Providing your team with many ways to communicate can prevent employees from feeling detached and help keep productivity from declining. To overcome multiple email threads, businesses are incorporating chat platforms such as Microsoft Teams and Slack to help centralize communication. Microsoft Teams allows more collaboration for remote employees to be able to make video calls/meetings, accessing files, and organizing communication for projects and departments.
Emotional support is another aspect of managing a remote workforce. During these unprecedented times, it is important to gauge your employee’s mental health. Working remotely can add another layer of emotional hardships such as feeling isolated and increased anxiety. A good manager is genuinely kind, a good listener, and provides encouragement and guidance without micromanaging.
Another tip for communication is conducting more phone and video calls vs chat or email communication to allow more connection and does not have employees interpreting incorrect emotional tones. For example, sending a direct message or email that says “Let’s talk” when you actually mean “These are good suggestions; let’s discuss how to work them into the draft” might bring up unnecessary anxiety for the recipient.
Encourage Employee Feedback
Providing opportunities for feedback is a great way for you to learn where your employees are struggling, or if a process can be more efficient. It’s important to be receptive to hearing feedback and trying out new ideas will contribute greatly to employee retention. If you use Microsoft 365, Microsoft Forms is a tool that easily allows your employees to submit their feedback anonymously. Microsoft Tutorials
Invite Team Collaboration
Tools for collaboration such as Microsoft Teams, Sharepoint, and more, can help your employees work productively. Sharepoint provides a clean interface can allow your employees to collaborate on projects at the same time and be able to see each other's changes or suggestions for documents in real time. Microsoft Teams allows employees to have their apps in an organized interface that encourages communication. Teams allows you to hold phone and video calls from anywhere. New features, such as meeting notes, captions, and more, can support your team's connection, no matter how far apart they are, and can make video conferencing easy.
Arrange Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are important whether your employees are working remotely or not. They provide a perspective from managers and supervisors on their job performance over a certain amount of time. Remote employees often fear they are being forgotten or worry that they are not doing what is expected of them since they cannot get reassurance as fast as they can in the office. Constructive criticism is important on any journey and are valuable aspects of performance reviews career-wise. Templates for performance reviews can be made in Microsoft Forms and stored in Sharepoint for easy access for all supervisors.
Develop Policies & Procedures
Remote work policies are important to have in place before your team transitions to working from home. They provide your employees with a clear set of instructions, so they know what to expect, and how to remain compliant. If your employees are using their personal devices to work from home, a BYOD (bring your own device) policy should be implemented too. When working from home, one of the most important things your business should do is ensure your business is protected with a VPN (virtual private network). Your IT department or Managed service provider can help you integrate this and teach your employees the importance of it as well as how to use it. Article Virtual Office Checklist
For more tips on how to manage your remote workforce, visit Virtual Office Resources or if you would like to inquire about setting up a secure remote work environment, call CTG Tech today.