Thanks to the internet, smartphones and wireless networks, a growing number of employees are working remotely. While the remote workforce still only comprises a small portion of the population and most jobs require a physical presence, working remotely is here to stay. Here are some tips for managing it effectively for your small business.
Micromanaging workers are a bad idea when they work in the same office as you, but can be even worse when done with remote workers. Trust is a crucial component of working remotely, and one of the best ways to cement it is to provide an employee with a task to complete and then let them complete it in their own way without trying to manage every detail. Left unto themselves your workers will often amaze you with the creative solutions they’ll come up with, but micromanagement will stifle the process while reducing morale. As their manager, the only thing you should care about is results.
Communicate Frequently And Concisely
Frequent communication is extremely important when collaborating with remote workers. If your communication system is unreliable or infrequent employees will become frustrated and confused, lowering the quality of their work. Communication should occur regularly and must always be concise; as a manager your instructions must be clearly understood. If not then it is your fault when things go wrong. Make good use of email, text messages and Google Docs for various projects. Managers and employees should be able to reach each other quickly, and responses to questions or concerns should come within 24 hours, preferably less.
Recognize and Promote Employees That Do Well
It is essential to recognize and promote remote workers that perform well. Doing so can range from basic things such as a thank you letter to complements in conference meetings. Employees must feel that their accomplishments and efforts are being recognized. Those that consistently perform at a high level should be the first to receive raises and promotions to more lucrative positions. Show employees that you recognize the good work that they do and they will provide you with more.
Develop A Unique Culture
Building a strong culture around your remote team is crucial. This culture should consist of distinct values and methods of operation which are distinct from other groups, even those within the same company. Instilling this culture has been shown to produce high levels of engagement. The team should also get together one or two times a year at physical meetings where they can get to know each other in person which will help build their social capital.
Finding employees who can work remotely and effectively is no easy task. There are some employees (most perhaps) that need constant supervision and the physical presence of a manager. Those who are best suited to remote work are employees who are self-disciplined, autonomous and resourceful. Put the right people in your remote workforce and you will be thrilled with the work they produce, and by following the tips here, your profits will rise accordingly.
TRAX Payroll can give a helping hand to you when it comes to remote workforce management. Need an easy to record work that your remote employees have done? Try our TRAX Timecard!