Managing your team’s happiness and engagement levels can be a challenge even when they all sit within a few feet of your desk, so how easy can it be to do when they can be on different continents, working in different time zones and are never available for a face to face discussion? This is the task facing more and more employers and managers as the internet makes it easier and more popular for workers to operate from anywhere in the world.
Nearly 40% of Americans describe themselves as freelancers and increasing numbers of those will be remote workers who can often set their own hours and work from their own house or a shared workspace and may never set foot in their employer’s HQ. But they are still paid employees and still need to be managed in a way that ensures that they are happy and productive.
One of the most important steps towards this is ensuring that your team of remote workers are well aware of what you expect from them, what their role in the organisation is and who they need to contact for any issues they may have. This will help them feel engaged and a part of something, but you also need to try and create a social spirit within the team, even if they never meet in person, so ensure that they trust and respect each other, so factor in some meeting time for more informal discussions.
Another important area where remote workers can feel like they miss out is with professional development, with 76% of millenials identifying it as one of the most important things their company can offer. Make sure you work hard with your remote team to identify and supply opportunities for them to get a development plan together that they can work towards.
And finally, your remote workers are doing it that way because they expect and want the benefits of working remotely, so be flexible with their hours of work and measure their success against what they achieve rather than how many hours you can see them putting in. That will help them be happy and engaged and productive, making it a win-win for you and for them.
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