Fast Company predicts that remote workers will be the “wave of the future” with half of the employees and the workforce working remotely by the year 2020.
This includes employees taking work home, part-time workers and independent contractors who are paid by 1099.
Are you thinking about making your team remote or hiring remote workers?There are many advantages.
Some benefits include lower overhead costs, reduced taxes, fewer computers, peripherals and systems to purchase. This saves big on your company’s infrastructure!
But there are also disadvantages. if you don’t know about managing remote employees.
However, putting good procedures and policies in place will help you boost productivity. Follow this advice when managing remote employees and you’ll maximize your ROI and save your company money.
Without further adieu, here are 10 killer tips for managing remote employees.
1. Check In Every Day At Managing Remote Employees
Checking in with employees once a day is a good practice–and it lets employees know you haven’t forgotten about them.
Touch base with your team to make sure you’re all on the same page. That can save time having to redo work to miscommunications.
Send a brief e-mail or connect by phone or via instant message. Ask how things are going or if they have any questions. This will also let them know you are approachable and available.
2. Schedule Weekly Team Meetings
Another good way of managing remote employees is to schedule team meetings. Put structure into the schedule by setting the meeting on the same day.
This is a good idea for team brainstorming or for answering questions that may arise on projects. They can’t just stop by your office like an in-house staff, so setting up weekly meetings is a good practice to address issues.
It will help to clear up any misunderstandings that could lead to having to redo tasks and slow down production.
3. Video Conferencing Is A Great Tool for Managing Remote Employees
Video conferencing works as an effective tool for team meetings. You get to see your team face-to-face. And it builds rapport.
Choose from a number of video conferencing tools available. Hop on Skype, Google Hangouts or another video conferencing app. There are many.
While managing remote employees isn’t always easy, video conferencing provides an excellent way to communicate.
4. Pay Attention to Time Zones
One of the difficulties of managing remote employees is working with people in different time zones.
Working with a West Coast team when you’re on the East Coast can make schedules challenging. Even more so when you have team members in another country.
The difference in time zones from New York to the U.K. is a five hour time difference. This can make it seem almost impossible to connect with your entire team at once.
A good idea is to have a few meetings. You can schedule meetings with West Coast employees at one time and your U.K. team separately. This makes it easier to coordinate meetings. It makes it easier for everyone.
5. Speed up Production With the Right Global Apps
Are your content management system, organizational portal and company apps safe from hackers? Are they working at full capacity?
If you don’t know, you might want to hire a company a global applications testing company such as Global App Testing.
Global testing ensures your apps are in proper working order. Quality control is essential to any successful enterprise. And with the rapid evolution in technology, unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can go wrong.
Global apps testing will protect your company from bugs in your system, ransomware, malware, phishing scams, slow systems and more. It’s well worth looking into.
6. Use An Automatic Time Tracking Tool
Did you know there is a time tracking tool in Microsoft Outlook? It’s called Microsoft Journal. It tracks how much time you spend on projects during the day. It’s useful for project tracking and time management.
Many people don’t know about this feature that’s often disabled in Outlook. Here’s how to enable it to work with your team.
In the left navigation pane, go to “add or remove” buttons. Select Journal. Enable tracking of Office documents and you will receive a record of every time you work on Excel, Word or PowerPoint.
This is a smart way to see which employees are sticking to project tasks and which are less productive.
You can link to people in your address book and employees can use the “share” feature to send progress reports to show you they are accountable.
7. Make Employees Feel Valued
A good way to increase employee motivation is to let them know their job matters. Spend some time telling them how valuable their contributions are.
This will give them extra momentum. It is also a good practice to help increase employee productivity. A few kind words of praise goes a long way.
8. Get to Know Your Employees
Getting to know about your employee’s lives can help you build rapport with your team. It’s also a great way to build trust.
If they just moved or have kids, ask how things are going. If they think you are concerned about who they are as people, they are more likely to appreciate you and work harder.
9. Share Project Briefs With Your Employees
Using project briefs gives your remote employees the big picture of the project. This way they understand the overall goals.
One of the worst things to do is to share your briefs with just the managers. This makes employees feel out of the loop.
Sending your employees copies of project briefs will provide them with the opportunity to comprehend details of the project.
This also helps avoid misunderstanding specific details that a manager forgot to communicate and the job has to be done all over again.
10. Focus On Production, not Time of Day
Don’t get overly concerned with the time of day employees are working on projects. Some people are more productive working in the evenings and others mornings.
As long as they are producing what’s required of them, the time they complete the work shouldn’t matter. They will appreciate your flexibility.
Remote Employee Management Wrap Up
Now you have some killer tips for managing your remote employees! Remember to check in frequently, schedule regular meetings, use time tracking software, be flexible, share important documents and take the time to build rapport.
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