Currently, there are many companies that have changed the way they work and offer their employees the option of working remotely. This system has changed the world of work and is here to stay. Its application requires a certain amount of trust, especially in the employer-employee relationship.
However, trusting that someone is doing their job from home is one of the indispensable requirements for telecommuting to work properly. It is essential to know that they are working. Therefore, we share with you the following 10 tips to help managers work with remote employees (4).
- Organize flexible schedules to maintain order, consistency and meet objectives.
- Listening to employee feedback will improve communication and pave the way for building connections.
- Replace relentless calling employees with text messages and emails.
Top Tips for Managing Remote Workers: The Ultimate List
Below, we have prepared a list of the best tips for managing remote workers effectively. They will help you avoid bad situations and overcome challenges (3).
10. Celebrate success
It is important for managers to look for opportunities to celebrate the same work achievements that would be celebrated in the office. Even if certain aspects, such as high fives, need to be changed, it is important to motivate employees, thereby building trust.
One example might be to use videos that celebrate employee contributions. These would appear on the company’s website, replacing simple emails. They are also more personal and show that if you are creative, you don’t have to lose the connection.
9. Resist the temptation to micromanage
You shouldn’t have the feeling of controlling what your remote employees are doing at all times. Regular one-on-one checks help managers avoid micromanaging, and at the same time, you monitor employees and ensure that feedback goes both ways.
It is critical to keep in mind that if you communicate clearly, and meet objectives and deadlines, employees will be more productive and perform their jobs efficiently.
8. Provide a way to collaborate
Providing a shared document that tracks work activities is a way for managers to keep track of what their teams are doing. It’s good exercise, even when working from the office.
It allows you to respond to colleagues’ messages quickly, avoiding interrupting them. In addition, it will help managers refine the expectations and responsibilities of employees.
7. Create connections and be available to your team
It is crucial to create connections with employees, as many may feel isolated or disoriented in this new work reality.
Sharing positive feedback, and opening a fun chat channel or other ideas can help maintain a sense of normalcy and solidarity, reminding them that they are not working alone.
6. Always remember to listen
Listening communicates trust and respect, and the most successful managers should have this quality at the forefront of their minds. Surveys are an often underutilized tool, because many times employee feedback is solicited but not acted upon.
Therefore, it is important to simply listen, so we know what employees think and can give them feedback with a solution.
5. Emphasize communication
It is critical for managers to communicate with their remote employees, because it keeps them informed about deadlines, available resources, work-related challenges, and manager expectations, including work schedules.
Also, evaluate which communication tool best suits the team (email, text messaging, phone calls, video chats, an internet channel, etc.) and avoid constantly calling employees, using text messages and email. The frequency of communication may differ between employees.
4. Track employee progress
You should have employees give you a work schedule, along with the tasks they are expected to perform within a given time frame. This will lower their fears and give them the structure they need to fulfil their role.
It is important to remember that, just because you can’t see them working personally doesn’t mean they are not doing their job. Trust the process.
3. Adapt the duration of your meetings
What used to work in the office may not work remotely. Therefore, you must adapt to this new modality.
Instead of holding long meetings, you can organize small virtual meetings, and apply this thinking to action planning, scheduling and team resources (2).
2. Be organized and flexible
When working with remote teams, it’s critical to allow for flexible schedules to maintain consistency. Although having a concrete plan is a must, you must be open to adjusting strategies as needed. It doesn’t matter if your employees choose to work mornings or evenings, as long as the work is completed and of high quality.
1. Set expectations early and often
Providing guidelines, setting boundaries and reviewing the basics are among the most important steps to take at the start of the project. You will be asked questions, be accessible and provide clarity on priorities, milestones, performance objectives and more. You should describe the availability of each team member and make sure you can communicate with them when necessary (5).
And just as in the office, managers must keep workers updated on policy and personnel changes, company successes, and tips for working at home. Also, they should shape behaviour around employee work hours, such as setting expectations about responding to any after-hours work emails and texts.
This helps employees maintain a healthy work/life balance and prevents burnout, which, without the physical separation between home and office, can be more common when working from home.
Remote work is, undoubtedly, here to stay. Many people want to be able to balance work and personal life, and they have been pushing new companies to renew themselves and accept remote work as another alternative. Therefore, as time goes by, more and more jobs are offering this convenient way of working. Looking to the future, telecommuting is a growing trend that has changed the standard way of working (1).
Don’t forget that, despite not being in the office, there are aspects that must still be implemented remotely. You have to find the right balance between synchronous and asynchronous to achieve your company’s objectives without jeopardizing the relationship with your team. With the information and tips provided, you have all the tools to be a great professional and successfully manage remote workers. There will always be new positions that choose this modality because it is something that evolves over time. Take advantage of it, and? make the most of telecommuting!
1. Esperanza Macarena Sierra Benítez. El trabajo a distancia y el teletrabajo. Volume 1. First edition. Spain. Research Gate. 2019.
2. LUIS HERNANDO REYES SATIZÁBAL. TELEWORKING: THE BENEFITS OF A MODERN FORM OF WORK ORGANIZATION. [Internet] 2014 [Cited October 9, 2022].
3. Peña Hernández R, Labrada Arreola LY. Analysis of human talent management: Teleworking [Internet]. Volume 1. First edition. UTEL INTERACTIVITY; January 2022 [Cited October 9, 2022].
4. Aquije Niño de Guzmán. HOME OFFICE AS A STRATEGY FOR MOTIVATION AND ORGANIZATIONAL EFFICIENCY [Internet] 2018. Palermo, Argentina. [Cited October 9, 2022].
5. VALENTINA RUIZ POLO, ISABELLA RODRÍGUEZ ACEVEDO, LAURA MARCELA QUINTERO VANEGAS. REMOTE LEADERSHIP TO MANAGE WORK TEAMS IN TIMES OF PANDEMIC. [Internet] 2022. Colombia. [Cited October 9, 2022].