How to Best Manage Your Remote Workers!
Many employers are adopting a risk reduction strategy and encouraging employees to work from home. For companies that are largely made up of offsite workers, this approach generally won’t pose a challenge; however, many companies have never worked that way and, as a result, either have no formal policy or they’re frantically creating one.
Here are a few things to consider making the time away from the office productive and successful.
- First of all, assume the best in people. Great employees are great employees regardless of where they perform their work. Skills such as time management, personal drive and initiative and a good work ethic do not start when someone walks into the office. Research shows that remote workers are actually more productive than those who work in the office.
- Second, define and communicate expectations before the arrangement is made. Since this is an unprecedented and temporary time, don’t get too hung up on creating a policy. However, you will want some sort of work arrangement that includes key expectations that you both agree on. How will communication occur? How will work be transferred? What kind of privacy and security is needed? Does the employee have access to high speed internet? What hours should they be available? Will you have regular, virtual meetings or phone calls?
- Third, stay in touch with employees who are working from home. All employees need to have regular communication; a lack of communication leads to higher anxiety and stress. It is especially important to be intentional about communicating with remote workers. Remote workers lose the social aspect of work when they are out of the office. Be proactive about reaching out to them to make sure they feel connected to the rest of the team. Make sure the communication is a two-way street as they need to have a place to voice their concerns as well.
Leading and managing folks is tough, regardless of whether they are in the same room or not. Managing a remote team is not harder, it’s just different. It’s important that leadership is able to pivot their style to keep people engaged, healthy, and productive.
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