6 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Remote Workers
AUG 19, 2016 18:36 PM
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6 Ways to Effectively Manage Your Remote Workers

By Drew Hendricks

Remote work becomes more popular with each passing year, with 37 percent of workers now saying they telecommute. Businesses now realize they can use a combination of salaried and contract workers to save money and access a wider talent pool. Even companies that rely solely on salaried workers can save money by allowing employees to work from home.

But managing teams that aren’t in the same space comes with its own challenges. Employers must find ways to ensure work is being done while still giving workers the freedom and respect they expect. Successful businesses have found ways to keep employees on task without spying on their teams.

Michael Solomon, Co-founder of 10x Management says it’s even more vital that fast-growing companies hire appropriate remote workers quickly. “We find that companies which are open and prepared to work with remote developers, designers and data scientists, are able to find the right tech talent for their tasks five to ten times faster than those requiring someone on site. That is especially helpful for companies that are not in tech centers like New York and San Francisco.”

Once you’ve got your team in place, here are a few ways to make sure your remote workers feel inspired, connected, and motivated each day.

Shift Thinking

Remote work has businesses shifting their thinking from traditional work styles. In today’s environment, employees are evaluated based on the work they produce each day rather than the fact that they simply occupy a desk for 40 hours a week. While employers may feel concerned if an employee isn’t responsive to phone calls or emails during regular work hours, it’s important to let go of the idea that someone is being paid to be available during a set period of time.

Find the Right Talent

The first step in creating a productive remote team is choosing the right people during the hiring process. A recruiting service can help businesses locate reliable, conscientious workers who also possess the specialized set of talents you need. Let your recruiter know any concerns you have about managing remote employees and you’ll likely find that the search focuses on people who possess the skillset necessary for self-motivation.

Monitor Work Output

There are apps available that can help you manage worker productivity, but it’s important to choose something that doesn’t lead to micromanagement. Focus on a collaboration tool that allows your employees to report the tasks they’ve completed and the accomplishments they’ve made rather than monitoring keystrokes and idle time. Not only will you be able to see the work being accomplished each day, but you’ll also find that employees feel motivated to work harder when they see what everyone else is posting.

Team Meetings

Ideally, your remote workers will be able to meet with everyone in person occasionally, even if it’s once a year at a company-wide conference. However, whether that happens or not, regular videoconference meetings with the entire staff can help remote workers feel as though they’re part of the team. Try to schedule opportunities for team members to meet with each other in person, as well, especially if you have an on-site employee traveling to an area where a remote worker lives.

Encourage Positive Work Habits

The most efficient remote workers are those who have good work habits. This isn’t something you can necessarily control, but you can offer assistance in the form of tips and workshops on how to be effective while working from home. Understand yourself what makes remote workers more productive and make sure each team member has all of the support necessary to be successful each day.

Evaluate Regularly

Whether they’re in the office or working from home, professionals need regular performance feedback. Without it, they can tend to feel that they’re operating in a vacuum. This is especially true for remote workers who don’t have face-to-face communication with the rest of the team each day. Set up a performance feedback process and make all of your supervisors accountable for following through each quarter. There are tools available that will help you write and manage performance evaluations, making it more likely managers will stay on top of their employee reviews.

With the right tools in place, leaders can easily manage remote workers. It’s also important to understand what makes remote workers productive and ensure your teams have the tools and support they need to be successful. As the workplace continues to expand beyond traditional concepts, businesses will find more inventive ways to make sure their teams are motivated and productive.

 

 

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