Keys To Effectively Managing A Remote Workforce

Description: Remote working may soon become the new normal. If so, you need to ensure that your team members can work effectively, even in tiring circumstances. Read a comprehensive article on this topic; we’ve put together some great ideas!

In response to COVID-19, many universities and companies like Razor Shark have requested their employees to work from home. While there is a fraction of the world population working from home even before the lockdown, remote working policies have left employees and managers to work separately for the first time. Hence, it is always important to establish some remote work policies and training in advance so that your team does not idle away or play games.

However, this level of preparation may not always be feasible, especially in times of crisis. Fortunately, specific research-based steps improve the efficiency, engagement, and productivity of remote employees.

How Can You Promote Remote Working Management?

When it comes to managing a remote workforce, there are many opportunities. Some of them include:

1. Scheduling Daily Check-ins

While it may seem like overkill, scheduling daily check-ins is the first step towards remote workforce management, especially if the manager and team are new to this. Successful managers also make frequent use of video conferencing to establish face-to-face interaction that is now lacking.

2. Over-Communication

Apart from daily check-ins, over-communication is also essential, especially for the team’s responsibilities, duties, tasks, and the desired results. In a typical workplace, there is already a lack of communication. However, when you are working remotely with your team, communication is critical to focus on different new goals and tasks.

3. Taking Advantage Of Technology

By now, most of us have already started taking the digital path. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, and Zoom – which most of us are already using every day – provide us with simple platforms for important meetings and discussions. While it may feel uncomfortable at first, it is one of the best ways to support engagement strategies.

4. Establish Rules Of Engagement

Remote working becomes much more efficient when you, as a leader, set expectations for the ideal timing, modes, and frequency of communication for your teams. For instance, you may be using the video conferencing tool for daily meetings and discussions; however, you use instant messaging tools when something is urgent. Additionally, establishing engagement also includes times of the day the managers reach each team member, and vice versa.

5. Managing Expectations

Managing expectation is an integral part of building your remote workforce management skills. Although it is crucial, it has become much more imperative in this current environment. Many organizations and teams may have had to pivot; this means that the same employees are now focused on new tasks, which will impact motivation and ability. Hence, it will affect the outcomes and performances. Ensure that you set clear expectations. Additionally, also request feedback to ensure the work is heading in the right direction.

6. Focus On The Results, Not The Activity

This is one of the best tips for increasing engagement and also empowering the employees. Set clear and defined goals and allow the employees to get them done any way they like. In turn, this will enhance ownership and creativity in the employees.

7. Define The Purpose Of The Outcome

This point ties in all the previously-mentioned tips; to make your employees emotionally understand and connect to the mission, you need to define the ‘why.’ However, the work from home situation is new – with vast amounts of complexity and uncertainty, with new initiatives, etc., it is a new battlefield. Therefore, you should ensure that everyone knows the overall purpose of the team’s goals and individual roles if you want to achieve the highest success.

8. Provide Resources

One of the most important tips for growing remote workforce is to provide resources to your team members. Possibly, some members of your team do not have a personal computer or laptop to work on; others may not have proper internet connectivity. While it may mean that you have to shift the already strained budget towards these critical tools, you will definitely set the team up for success.

9. Remove Obstacles

When suddenly you are remote working, there will be new unforeseen obstacles that you will face: children engaged in home-schooling, distractions from multiple directions, physical and emotional isolation, etc. Well, your employees will also go through these obstacles. Additionally, there are new obstacles faced by the organization in the wake of the lockdown. Hence, you must protect your team from it. It is one of the many burdens of being a leader; if you manage to do so, your team members will focus on the work and provide you with immediate results. Do your best to remove as many obstacles as you can.

Final Thoughts

Working from home is an entirely new experience for everyone. It is important to encourage social interactions every once in a while and have non-work-related activities and conversations; you may even organize a pizza party or happy hours! Show flexibility and empathy to your team, and the results will follow.

What do you think of all this? Share your ideas below!

Author’s Bio Thomas is a perpetual expat who eventually settled down in Miami after living in 6 other countries. When not surfing at the beach or enjoying his Book of Anubis game, he can be usually found in his home office, writing about the perks of working remotely and what remote work is all about.

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