Managing employees, whether remote or office-based, can be very challenging. The challenges can multiply when you manage employees scattered around the world. However, hiring remote workers for your business has many benefits that outweigh the problems you might encounter.
Outsourcing is different from having a remote team. When you outsource specific processes in your business, you hire a contractor or a third-party to perform the tasks entrusted upon them. The contractor will be in charge of managing his team to deliver your agreed tasks.
When you have a remote workforce, on the other hand, your team members are across the world. You are not merely giving tasks and deliverables to a team managed by another company. You have a team, though not with you physically, that has the same goals and vision. A remote team goes beyond simply exchanging tasks. The members help each other grow and work toward the same goal.
Practice Collaborative Leadership.
Collaborative leadership has replaced top-down leadership practiced by more traditional companies. In a top-down company, the top executives make a decision that is passed down to the employees. In a collaborative setup, managers from different sectors of the company come together to make these decisions. This management setup encourages managers to work together to address company issues together as a team. This united front also encourages employees to work the same way, fostering teamwork.
By letting your stakeholders participate in the decision-making process, each one is accountable for their decisions and actions. Everyone shares the responsibility for the outcome of the resolution, whatever that might be. It also allows for an exchange of ideas and perspectives, which is not possible with top-down management.
Choose An Effective Remote Work Platform.
There are many available remote work platforms and environments on the Internet. Some are paid, while others are for free. Choose a platform that suits your business operations and requirements. Slack and Asana are just some of the popular platforms used by remote team members to collaborate and work seamlessly.
However, you must establish some security policies primarily if your work deals with sensitive information. If an employee has to use public Wi-Fi, for example, require them to use a VPN to secure their connection and the data that they share over the Internet.
Have A Regular Check-in.
Schedule a regular check-in with your team members, preferably via Zoom or Google Meet. It will make a difference if your remote workers see you regularly and you see them, too. It sets a somewhat more personal tone and gives a face to the name you see in your email inbox. You can set the check-in as the time to discuss your targets and schedule for the day, as well as to discuss any accomplishments the day before.
You can also use the time to get the pulse of your remote workers. You can provide feedback on their current work, and they can air out their concerns, which you can address immediately during the video call.
Manage Your Expectations.
You might be working with a team with members from different time zones, so there will be times when some of your members will be out of the loop. Avoid being a helicopter boss. To do this, set the scope of their work and their deliverables along with the deadlines. Create realistic expectations on what your working dynamics will be.
By setting realistic expectations, you will also need to be flexible. Trust your remote team members with the freedom on how they will get the tasks done. Focus on the results and not on how many hours they did the work.
Build A Healthy Working Relationship.
Even if you are cities or oceans apart with your remote team, you can still build healthy and nurturing working relationships with them. Empathize with your team members. You can ask them about their family life, hobbies, or if you have shared interests.
Show them that you are supportive of them, professionally and personally. Check on them one by one at least every other week. Are they stuck on something at work? Do they need help with anything? When you show your employees that you care for their well-being, earning their loyalty is just one of the things that you will get in return. You will have contented, happy, and more productive employees. You’d be surprised by how your company or business will benefit when you establish a strong relationship with your team.