The External Essentials – How to Manage a Remote Workforce
Are you looking to transition your business into one that relies solely on a remote workforce? Perhaps you are a business owner who is keen on exploring the myriad of possibilities and benefits that come with allowing staff to work from home. Regardless of what position you find yourself in, we can all agree that remote working is the way of the future. Of course, with every new venture comes a number of challenges. In today’s article, we have a look at how business owners can go about effectively managing a remote workforce, so read on to find out more.
1. Set Some Ground Rules
When it comes to managing a remote workforce, it is important that business owners and managers set some firm ground rules and expectations. Since everyone has their own individual way of working, it is incredibly vital that you prepare your remote workforce for what is expected of them. Some of these ground rules may include making it mandatory for staff to utilise employee time clock apps for remote working, working via project management software and strict instructions on deadlines and the importance of working efficiently and effectively, regardless of where a staff member may be situated.
2. Keep Regular Engagement
It is important that business owners keep engagement on the forefront. This means making contact or establishing communication with team members on at least a weekly basis and checking in on their progress. You can utilise multiple channels to communicate, whether this is via email, instant messaging or scheduled phone calls. This will allow you to keep track of progress and allows employees to stay in the loop even if they may be working remotely.
3. Schedule Video Conferences
Video conferencing is a tool that helps manage a remote workforce extremely well. Business owners should always make it a priority to have face-to-face contact with employees via video conferencing meetings at least once a week. Some incredibly popular platforms for virtual face-to-face discussions include Zoom that allows for multiple employees to communicate with one another at once. Silence is often dangerous when managing a remote workforce, so ensuring that visual interaction is a part of your management strategy is key.
4. Balance Schedule Inconvenience
One of the beauties of managing a remote workforce is that you can work with people all over the globe. One of the challenges, however, with doing business with people all around the world is that sometimes, time zones may clash. Afternoon in one country may be midnight in another, making it difficult for team members to liaise. This is why it is so incredibly important that business owners and managers learn to balance schedule inconvenience. This may mean that you have to schedule a meeting for 11pm your time, so that your team member across the globe doesn’t have to wake up at 3am. Showing that you are willing to make a sacrifice for the convenience of your team members is a great way to ensure that they will return the favour sometime in the future. It’s all about finding that healthy balance!
5. Encourage Physical Meetups
Physical meetups may not be a possibility for every business, especially if your remote workers are in other countries. However, if most of your remote workers are local, we always recommend scheduling in-person meetups every once in a while to ensure that no one feels left out or isolated. It can be incredibly difficult working remotely for some who are more acclimated to working in social environments, so ensuring that a fine balance is met to accommodate everyone’s needs is important.
Managing a remote team doesn’t have to be a stressful or confusing affair. By taking these tips on board, you’ll find that managing your remote workforce can be an incredibly fun and rewarding experience.
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