How to Manage Remote Work
Managing remote workers can be challenging. Managing new employees cause further challenges since they didn’t have the opportunity to build relationships with colleagues or learn company processes or culture. However, here are some tips on managing remote working.
Establish daily check-ins. Make these calls regular and structured. The calls should focus on being able to consult with leadership, discuss work progress, answer any questions or concerns, etc.
Communication is key. Establish multiple technology options to replicate the face-to-face culture. These could include email, video conferencing, messaging, etc. Email is a faster communication and correspondence method. It takes far less time than sending a letter through the mail. It’s also more accessible because it eliminates time and global barriers. And, it is inexpensive. However, instant messaging is also a great tool for employee engagement and quick conversations, especially for remote working. Video conferencing is beneficial for team meetings where people can see each other and receive visual cues. It can reduce feelings of isolation. Also, it expands the geographical reach of people, especially across states or globally.
Establish “Rules of Engagement,” or expectations. It is important to define the frequency, means, and time of communication for employees. For example, begin the day with a team meeting to do a check-in. Use video conferencing as the means for check-in. Use instant messaging to get quick responses.
For new remote workers, an added element needed is mentors. Using mentors helps to bridge the gap with introductions to colleagues, company processes, and other information that new workers need to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. They can also provide guidance and feedback that can help build an employee’s confidence in company expectations.
Another form of communication that is essential to implement is opportunities for remote social interaction. This can take many different forms. Offer time at the beginning of team meetings. Have virtual lunches or after-work social hour.
Putting structures in place to track work progress is critical when managing remote workers. There are a variety of tools to manage work. Managing the work helps to keep progress moving along and employees are less likely to feel like they are being micromanaged.
Lastly, it is important to publically celebrate employee success. Develop an employee recognition system to announce when people meet or exceed goals, or do a great job. Employees feel valued when they are recognized for their contributions to the business.