Since 2020, many things have shifted globally, especially in the workforce.
With remote work reigning supreme in various industries, companies have had to determine how to move forward in this new climate.
Whether your brand has decided to work entirely out of their homes or in a hybrid work setting, there are quite a few factors to consider.
While managing a remote workforce isn’t easy, you can do a few things to make the process easier to adapt to these new skills, nuances, and techniques.
With the mini-revolution COVID caused, it’s important to put your employees at the forefront while managing expectations for remote work moving forward.
Here are six tips on managing a remote workforce in this new day and age.
- Be creative to keep your entire team engaged
- Give your remote team all the tools they need for success
- Build trust with your remote team
- Measure productivity and activity, don’t micro-manage
- Make it a point to get people together in person on occasion
- Let people get work done on a schedule that works for them
- To sum it up
When working in an office, it’s easier to notice when employees feel engaged or motivated.
However, remote work takes additional creativity to keep engagement alive.
This gamification increases engagement, promotes healthy competition between employees and pushes them toward common goals.
Plus, it also helps in reaching certain individual performance targets or KPIs.
Not to mention that in 71% of companies that have implemented sales gamification technology, sales performance has increased anywhere from 11% to 50%.
Gamification is not the only way to keep your remote team engaged. Online meetings are a great way to keep your remote employees engaged and motivated so, make sure you organize regular 1-1s and team meetings. However, maintaining a busy schedule full of daily meetings and check-ins might be challenging. Here’s a smart and effective way to schedule meetings and have a full overview of your team’s availability.
For many, the shift to remote work has required figuring out home office spaces or dedicated work areas.
Since this now falls on the employees, employers are starting to allocate funds for home office supplies and upgrades.
However, keep in mind that these tools aren’t always physical. For example, employees should be up to date with the latest remote work software and technology that the company is using.
Corporate spending across a remote workforce could be tricky, but providing your employees with the autonomy to use a spending card as needed helps streamline their processes.
With this card, staff can get what they need when they need it (within reason, of course) so that there’s never a bottleneck while they wait for access to the tools they need.
In addition, it ensures they’re able to do their best work, meaning they’ll be more likely to stay engaged as a result.
Building trust with each team member boils down to understanding them as a person, not just as a part of a whole.
And there is no better way to figure this out than regular communication.
Try to get to know them on a personal level. Organize virtual coffee breaks and meet them in a more approachable manner.
Also, try to determine how each team member prefers to communicate. Some might prefer chats, others – emails or video calls.
Though we’ve already touched on providing the right tools for your employees, another way to build trust is by ensuring the remote tech stack is right for the remote employee.
Measure productivity and activity, don’t micro-manage
Did you know working from home increases productivity by 13%, improves work satisfaction, and reduces attrition rates by 50%?
Measuring productivity for your remote workforce is a great way to see results, but make sure you don’t turn into a micromanager.
Be mindful that your measurements are for employees and the business, not just yourself.
To keep your staff away from the temptation of wasting time, arm them with the necessary tools to keep them productive.
It makes it so much easier to keep tabs on what your remote developers are doing, as well, in a way that doesn’t make them feel as though you’re hovering.
Something any remote worker may miss is the occasional in-person event or chat.
Even stopping by someone’s desk to let them know they appreciate their help or hard work is a welcome daily distraction.
So, make it a point to schedule in-person events so your remote employees can connect and meet face-to-face.
Whether this is a work trip meant to focus solely on an upcoming project, or even a teambuilding activity, get-togethers can be crucial for relationships and morale.
Think first of what you want this experience to accomplish, then decide where would be the best meeting place for it.
It can be a popular travel destination or somewhere meaningful to your company.
One way to guide employees on a remote schedule is by allowing them to set a schedule that best works for them.
Of course, this may need adjustment, but focusing more on overall productivity or reaching specific goals is a way to succeed and showcase trust and loyalty.
In addition, allowing some flexibility with scheduling gives your employees a chance to work at the best time for their productivity or daily itinerary.
Perhaps they’re more likely to get things done after hours when the kids have gone to sleep or early in the morning before most Slack messages and online meetings come in.
Either way, giving your employees some freedom can benefit their work output. And a bonus of this flexibility is that companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t.
There may be many variables involved with making your workforce remote, but so long as you arm your employees with the right tools, trust them to get the work done, and inject some fun and community into the process, it gets easier.
Like with any business, it’s necessary to build a solid foundation and go from there.
Katy Flatt works as a freelance marketing consultant for Stampli and other agencies, streamlining workflows and coordinating personnel while doing a little writing on the side. When she isn’t digitally organizing, she can be found cuddling with her rescue and foster dogs.