The Covid-19 pandemic has not only taught us the social distancing. But it also made us adjust to the fact that remote working is the new normal and here to stay. Almost all businesses have shifted online and are incorporating work from home practices in their strategies.
But there’s one thing that many forget in the process. That it is crucial that you go in-depth of the situation and then come up with the best practices to manage your remote employees. As part of remote working, there are certain things that you cannot overlook when it comes to running a business.
Applify is working remotely with all its employees since the pandemic started. I can say it proudly that with help of our employees and management, our company is growing very well. So, based on our experience, today I would like to share 12 best practices that can help your business to run successfully while working remotely.
How to Effectively Manage Remote Employees?
1. Understand the Current Situation
The first step for building a strategy is having a clear picture of the actual situation. In order to run a successful business with your remote employees will need you to do just that. Having a clear understanding and a clear plan will give you an upper hand in structuring a perfect working system for your remote employees.
Another thing about working remotely is that you will be preparing yourself for such a crisis and it will allow you to prepare backup plans for even the future. So you’re well prepared if similar situations arise. This in return will only make things go uphill in the long run.
2. Move Your Training Sessions Online
We understand the value of training and employee training sessions that take place in the office environment. And sometimes even without any sessions, your employees are always learning when they are in the office setup. And due to the covid-19 pandemic, the norms have been completely shuffled. But this does not have to stop even when you shift online.
Make sure that your remote employees don’t stop learning even while they work from home. Make room for online training programs and focus on upskilling employees. Not only will it help your employees level up but also help in growing your business in the long run.
3. Be transparent With Your Team
One of the most important aspects of working remotely is that it gives way to more transparency if you are willing to opt for it. As the matter of fact, any business can never be successful if the management is not transparent with the workforce. And for the teams working remotely, it is ten times more crucial.
So open the doors and be more clear and transparent with your team. Let them know what the organisational goals and objectives are. These can be short or long-term depending upon your main focus at the time. This will give your remote employees a vision and they will feel like a part of growth.
4. Make Your Expectations Clear
Many organisations falter just because there is confusion among the employees about their roles and responsibilities. Other times the employees are unable to beat the deadlines or achieve any major milestones. Setting clear expectations early on is a great starting point for a remote business.
Take time to sit with your remote employees and let them know what they are expected to do. Give them clear deadlines and priorities so that they can manage their time accordingly. This will let them work with a goal and a certain sense of direction that would be otherwise missing.
5. Try to be Organised
One of the most important things that get ignored when businesses move online is – being organised. Oftentimes managements do not pay attention to this crucial part and things end up getting messy and confusing. Don’t be that company that fails to stay organised while working remotely.
Integrate remote team management tools that will help you stay organised while running your business online. This will streamline your way of working. Let your remote employees stay organised and do not miss their work progress. Because it is more important than you think!
6. Constantly Track the Progress of Your Remote Employees
Tracking employee progress is a time-tested practice for business growth. And now that your employees are working remotely, it becomes a necessity. By regularly tracking their progress you get to know how productive your employees are being and what is lacking. Based on that you can implement practices accordingly.
You can also check out our post about 6 powerful techniques to stay productive.
Make your team create their own work schedule, along with tasks they have to get done and the deadlines they’re supposed to accomplish. Not only will this calm your fears but also give your team the structure they need to fulfil their role. Just because you can’t see them working in front of you, doesn’t mean work isn’t getting done. Let them do things on their own. That’s true progress.
7. Treat Communication as the Most Important Goal
Communication is yet another aspect that many companies ignore. But now in the age of working remotely, without proper communication, it will be difficult for businesses to operate. It can be really hazardous for your business outcomes and progress. So never overlook this aspect and stay connected with your remote team.
There are several communication tools that help you maintain a strong connection with your remote teams. They are easy to use and have an interactive social feed where employees can connect and communicate. Integrating such tools in your work strategy keeps everyone in the loop and makes work-life much more manageable and organised.
8. Maintain Connections and Be Available for Your Team
Now we understand that when you are in an office environment, friendships and bonding are easy to create. You are working in others’ presence and the connections are sure to be built. But that in no way means that once you move to work remotely, your office connections have to fall apart. And not just with the old employees. There will be new arrivals in your team, and sometimes they will feel isolated.
Consider connection-building as one of the integral parts of your product development processes. It’s important to build and maintain connections with your remote employees. You can do this easily and without much effort. Small gestures like opening a fun chat channel will do the trick.
9. Delegate Instead of Micromanaging
Oftentimes organisational heads want things in a specific way. For this, they try to do everything themselves, and hence micromanaging takes place. This gives out the impression to employees that you don’t trust them. Also, this way you are not only taking too much pressure but also not giving employees a chance to prove themselves.
As a team leader, you should definitely be involved in every project but taking it completely in your hands will eventually wear you out. Let your team members take responsibility and carry out the duties for which they have been hired. Micromanagement not only makes up for a great toxic trait of any management but also takes a toll on the mind.
Try delegating tasks whenever you can. This way your team members will feel trusted and will try to put their heart and soul into the tasks you hand them.
10. Focus on Employee Well Being and Regular Check-Ins
First and foremost, make sure your planned check-in meetings take place. We understand that work-life can get hectic especially if you are leading a team. The busy schedules and calls can’t be cancelled.
But if you are planning something for your employees, put it at the same priority level and take out some time for it. For employees to share their concerns with you, it is important that you provide them with a safe environment.
Let them speak freely about the issues they feel uncomfortable with or ask them questions about what needs to be changed. Taking time out for the employees should be one of the main responsibilities of any organisation. A well-supported workforce will yield you a strong foundation and an everlasting bond.
11. Know the Value of Work-Life Balance
Working remotely has erased all lines between work and personal life. This leads to burnout which greatly affects employee productivity. Fostering employee well-being is no rocket science. It’s a simple approach where employees are valued and praised for their accomplishments rather than punished for their faults. Treating people like emotional beings is a great way to start.
You can begin by letting them know that they should draw a healthy boundary between work and their personal life. Your remote employees will love their job when they know they can be autonomous i.e. they should have control over their work and routines. By prioritising their work-life balance, you are giving them yet another reason to love their job.
12. Always Appreciate the Good Work
You can be the top organisation in the world but if you can’t recognise and appreciate your team, you are no good. Remember, these are the people who are working to make your dream come true. The least you can do is show some gratitude. Consider positivity and happiness as twins and also note that small things have a big impact.
Try to show your team regularly how their efforts are helping the organisation grow. Everyone likes to be appreciated. You don’t really have to go out of your way. Gestures as simple as saying “thank you” will make your employees’ day.
COVID 19 outbreak has forced a completely different approach to sustainability. Schools and offices have shifted to telecommunications. And while these changes might have been hard to imagine two years ago, they are now something for us to embrace for the future.
So it is best that you adapt to this new norm and follow the above practices in order to leverage the complete potential of your remote employees. Do not let this new norm stop your business to break barriers and reach milestones.
We would love to hear from you, what are the new strategies that you implemented in your work-from-home routines? Let us know in the comments below.