Managing remote workers
Working remotely isn’t just for sales teams, lorry drivers or engineers working in obscure locations, technology allows most workers to be able to work from home or other locations. This brings up tricky situations for managers and can usually be the source of why certain remote working doesn’t work. There are concerns about lack of face to face contact, regular interaction and watch out for employees feeling isolated.
Communication is key! Getting the most out of remote workers requires communication from both sides to be effective and efficient.
• Communication strategy- how do you communicate to your staff? What mediums do you use? Email, intranet, video conference technology, social events? How do your staff know what is going on in the business? Company communication updates plays an invaluable role, providing staff information on what is happening within the business, projects won, new recruits etc.
• Encourage managers to regularly communicate and meet. Proactively reach out. Managers should build rapport with every person in their team and get to know them. Don’t cancel meetings with employees unless it is urgent.
• If you allow homeworking, do you have a policy? Is it clear regarding communication and responsibilities?
• Trust your team to do what they were employed to do. This gives a sense of empowerment and belonging.
• Listen and understand what your employees are saying and respond accordingly.
• Review how things are working, can anything be improved?
• Set targets and objectives. This makes managing remote workers easier if you have a framework you can manage the performance against. Focus on quality and output.
• A well-established on-boarding system will help with setting expectations with employees and giving an understanding of the company’s processes and procedures.
The benefits of having remote workers can be;
• Increased productivity- less time commuting can be spent on working
• Improved morale- employees can feel happier that they have the “work-life balance” they are looking for.
• Reduced sick leave- not spreading sickness in the workplace, managing appointments more effectively.
• Reduced costs- some businesses have seen significant reduction in costs of office space.
Ensuring employees feel part of the company whist working remotely doesn’t need to be a challenge. We would love to hear how you manage remote workers! If you would like to chat about any employee issues please do get in touch confidentially on 0161 478 3800 or email on [email protected]