Remote work has become a new normal, multiplying the number of remote employees years after the pandemic breakdown. Some have opted to work from home because they prefer not to commute to the office and use this time for family instead. Others, in turn, have jumped at an opportunity to work outside the office and try themselves as digital nomads, constantly on the road and exploring new locations while working.
The reasons are many, and the general work pattern may seem fruitful at first glance. In reality, however, plenty of roadblocks hamper workers’ productivity and managers’ ability to manage people.
As a business, you realize the importance of having good relationships with employees, especially those working from home. But, the human aspect is often skewed with this format, so knowing that no issues prevent your staff from developing and doing their best is crucial. Let’s learn some practices for managing remote workers clearly and efficiently.
Defining Remote Workers
A quick refresher: Remote workers (RWs) are people who work outside the office most or all the time. Usually, company policies don’t have stringent requirements for where people can work as long as they deliver the desired results, tune into calls, and be productive overall.
Remote Work is a Godsend, or Is It?
For many people, it is a godsend, hands down. The ability to work from home and regularly change work settings has been a game-changing factor for numerous people. Many report being inspired by various surroundings and completing tasks more quickly and effectively.
It’s also helped them find creative solutions to many problems, like learning how to use a sticker maker to level up their marketing efforts, stay ahead of the branding curve, and communicate with clients better.
For many, however, remote format is still a real challenge. Hybrid formats often help, making work formats less monotonous while maintaining a social aspect. With that being said, where do you stand as a brand owner? Your primary task is finding solutions to remote workers’ main troubles. These hiccups are as follows:
- Time-management issues: Many remote workers have fallen into the trap of erasing the boundary between work and life and blurring clearly defined work hours. Many can work longer or slack off, resulting in missed deadlines and poor efficiency.
- Burnout: Overworking is another issue that often strikes back at remote workers. Without quality breaks, employees can reach burnout twice as quickly as office workers. The absence of shifts in work-life settings, or worse yet, the blending of them, is among the severest troubles managers must tackle.
- Lack of communication: No face-to-face communication can lead to adverse outcomes at the workplace. Speaking via text messages can’t fully replace meaningful communication, so RWs often struggle to understand what’s required and how to complete the task step-by-step.
- Social isolation: A robust social component is among the most beneficial things in office work, which remote employees often don’t have. Being unable to have small talk and interact with coworkers (even if it’s related to the work processes) can often lead to stress, frustration, weak productivity, and even depression.
Tried and True Ways to Manage Remote Employees
Although the issues revolve around the online work format, each situation requires a more profound analysis of the work setting to address challenges effectively and ensure efficiency and satisfaction surge.
The following are common yet practical tips to help you troubleshoot and improve potential issues immediately.
It’s not uncommon for companies to micromanage their employees, especially when they’re working online. Requiring people to be constantly logged in is a no-go, as it makes the entire remote work concept incomplete and incredibly limited. There’s no need to monitor where people work nor to disallow them to shift spots. Let them work one day in a library and another in a coffee shop’s terrasse.
It’s way better to focus on the results and help workers find patterns that work best for them. For example, set deadlines for particular tasks. As long as employers deliver them on time, you can’t be more than okay with wherever they do their work.
Connect with People
Onboarding processes are still essential to ensure employees are integral to the team and know their way around the business. And as clear as those processes could be, it’s best to step in and connect with people on top of those protocols.
Don’t burden the HR reps by trying to learn more about remote workers if you have never met them personally – do it yourself. Write to them, ask them questions, and get to know them better. Doing so will help you get the gist of their personality and ways to assign them tasks and get the desired results most effectively.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to them and offer help. Remote work can sometimes require people to do more than they’re responsible for, entering others’ responsibility areas. Be there to help, either by synchronous or asynchronous communication pipelines.
Set up a Slack chat with people for immediate responses or run weekly Google Meet calls to learn their progress. You can also create a shared note so people can jot down things they’d like you to clarify or get assistance with. You can empower people to effectively complete tasks from the comfort of their homes without excessive supervision.
Provide Tech Solutions & Survey People
These days, you can’t do anything about the tech but adapt. Ensuring your team is equipped with all the necessary tools makes teamwork smooth, effective, and fast. The best way to achieve that ultimate productivity is to do a gap analysis and see what additions you should make to speed up work processes. It’d also help to ask employees what they find helpful to add.
You can learn a lot by asking the team. Feedback can help you understand where unnecessary energy is going, how to shift attention to more pressing issues, and improve satisfaction on both ends (employees and clients). Don’t hesitate to use various survey models to better study subjects. You can get a bigger picture of any subject matter by implementing qualitative and quantitative questionnaires.
The online work format has its upsides and downsides. As an entrepreneur managing the workforce, ensure everyone can work most effectively. Pay close attention to typical issues, get employee feedback, and invest in finding unique solutions pertinent to your business. These steps will set your team up for success and ultimate productivity.