10 Tips For Successfully Managing Remote Workers

Managing remote employees can be difficult as it’s different from your relationships with your in-house team. However, you can be successful with the right approach. Remote work has become a common thing in the workplace recently; the benefits include better work-life balance, productivity, cost savings, and overall bottom-line advantages. The rapid adoption of this work model means that your organization’s human resources department must prepare to address issues and find ways to make everyone function efficiently. Here are some tips to help manage your remote workers to increase productivity.

Develop a communication strategy

Communication barriers can widen in remote settings where face-to-face interactions are less frequent. It would help if you and your employees develop a clear communication strategy to ensure every member is focused on the right tasks and goals. One strategy to support effective communication is to provide policies and information regarding different communication channels. For example, you can specify when a group should use a video call or Slack message, depending on how urgent the situation is. Consider giving details on timing and responsiveness so you can understand how soon to expect an email response during business hours.

Foster socialisation

Beyond meetings and effective communication strategies, workers should be able to socialize independently. Set up casual forums like routine conferences for virtual workers. Facilitate connections and relationship building within your organization by creating avenues for teams to discuss their favorite television series, sports teams, and other fun things. These activities can help relieve the social isolation of remote teams and create meaningful conversations that can yield useful business ideas.

Prioritise onboarding

Providing new remote workers with the requisite knowledge and skills to succeed is vital. Onboarding is an important aspect of managing remote workforces; while poor processes can lead to expensive turnover, a successful onboarding process can foster employee retention, job satisfaction, and productivity. You can cultivate long-term success by focusing on this task during the crucial first weeks instead of actual work assignments.

Encourage flexibility and autonomy

Remote work is sometimes stressful. Therefore, businesses may want to encourage flexibility and autonomy to enable virtual teams to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Provide remote workers the freedom to operate in any way that suits them best and avoid the tendency to micromanage them. This strategy can boost job satisfaction and productivity.

Value transparency and openness

As explained before, feeling frustrated and isolated is easy for remote team members. But the good news is that improving transparency and openness can make a difference, such as building trust and fostering a sense of belongingness. Consider asking team members to share their ideas and concerns with others. This, too, can help create a culture of accountability and shared responsibility.

Empower them with remote work technology

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Remote workers can do many tasks with mobile phones, tablets, and headsets. However, there are other essential tools you may have to consider equipping them with to improve productivity. Providing access to digital communication tools, small printers, company laptops, and digital video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Team can impact their efficiency. It helps to remember that your organization may find that some tasks are better done in the offices for security or efficiency reasons. Be prepared to accept the limitations of remote work for individuals within a larger division.

Revamp security

Remote working offers several benefits, like flexibility. However, it comes with inherent cybersecurity risks. Unlike regular offices with robust security protocols, remote work settings often lack cutting-edge security infrastructure. For instance, home networks are less secure, making them common targets for cybercriminals, malware infections, data breaches, and unauthorized access. Revamping your organization’s remote work security measures can help protect corporate data and other assets. One way to prioritize cybersecurity is to leverage secure access service edge solutions, also known as SASE architecture. Combining network and security allows SASE to accelerate performance for end users by enabling direct-to-cloud connections as opposed to backhauling traffic through central data centers for inspection.  Unified security services promote a seamless user experience for employees interacting with the application. With several people working from home from different parts of the world, SASE solutions are important for enhancing productivity and cloud security for organizations.

Be inclusive

Business culture evolves organically in face-to-face workplaces since employers interact with others daily. However, neglecting company culture in remote work settings is easy. It would help if you make efforts to embrace diversity and equity in remote workplaces to foster inclusion. You may want to take and consider employee feedback to help you promote inclusion, so feel free to consider this. Beyond building representative remote workforces and creating a formalized inclusion policy, you may want to set up a special committee to address culture and safety issues relating to your business.

Focus on outcomes and avoid micromanaging

Try to focus on outcomes and avoid micromanaging. One thing that makes remote working appealing is autonomy. However, underestimating the productivity level of workers is easy when you are not sitting next to them in the office. Unfortunately, this can quickly develop into a micromanaging habit where you or the organization overloads remote teams with disruptive communications and requests on progress. Micromanaging remote workers can be tough, as it makes workers feel like their bosses don’t trust them to do the right thing. Therefore, instead of micromanaging a remote team’s responsibility, attach importance to the goals. As long as an employee completes their work on time, their work style may not matter.

Set clear expectations

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Another important aspect of remote work management is setting concise expectations for all team members involved. Learn how to communicate any information relevant to each worker’s role, such as when to check in and provide project updates. 

Having a structured plan works wonders when it comes to remote working. It ensures that you and your team are always on the same page. You can get the most out of remote teams by offering opportunities that motivate them to work effectively, so keep this in mind.

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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