Managing Remote Staff

Managing Remote Staff

So many changes have taken place over the last year that has meant that a lot of people are now working from home.   A lot of businesses had little experience of what this would entail.

We have learned a lot and now we are better equipped to recruit, employ and manage staff that are working remotely more efficiently.

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This article looks at areas that should be considered when managing staff remotely.

Set expectations early and regularly

Provide guidelines, set boundaries and reviewing the basics are important for each project. Keep policies, staff changes, successes all up to date within your team.

Make sure the expectations of work hours and responding to any after-hours emails and texts have been set.  Ensuring work life balance is kept is key.  

Be organised and flexible

Work hours can be flexible. The joys of hiring remotely often means that the 9-5 job role doesn’t exist. If someone decides to do their hours in the morning or at night; it doesn’t matter. As long as the job is completed and they are fulfilling their role.

Track Progress

Provide a work schedule, have the staff member provide a list of tasks they expect to be able to complete. Use timing and tracking software or programs on computers if you think this is better. Just because you cant see someone working in a cubicle, doesn’t mean its not getting done. Trust the process.

Communication

Stay in touch with your staff. Advise of deadlines, resources, current challenges and expectations. Consider which form of communication works best for your teams culture. Emails, Video calls, texts or group chats? Frequency of communication may also change. Try and find a balance in constant communication and radio silence.

Listen

Always remember to listen.  “The most successful managers are good listeners, communicate trust and respect, inquire about workload and progress without micromanaging, and err on the side of over-communicating,” said Justin Hale a training designer and researcher at VitalSmarts, a leadership training company in Provo, Utah.

Be available

Many workers may feel disconnected and isolated in this new work arrangement. So build connections with employees. Have casual catch ups in the week – video calls over lunch. Best thing to happen over the weekend? Ask in the Monday meeting. What ever helps maintain normality and a normal workplace environment.  This all helps with you being more approachable.  Make time for your team.

Resist the urge to micro manage

Regular one on one checks ins should be enough. No need to be in constant communication. You get to stay on the pulse and ensure you can provide feedback without going over the top.

Celebrate success

Look for ways to celebrate milestones that would be celebrated in the office! Birthdays, length of employment, recognition for their work. Personalised videos, group chats and video calls. All this contributes to staff feeling appreciated – even if from afar.

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