Remote work has become more of a norm ever since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a welcome change to most people because, coincidentally, some prefer working remotely than working in the office, especially when the virus continues to spread.
However, this new working setup certainly has its pros and cons. Depending on the line of business you are in and the nature of your business operations, some jobs will be remote-ready and some won’t, e.g., construction workers may not have the flexibility to opt into remote work opportunities in their field. In comparison, most consultants may work remotely because most consultant roles are flexible. So that’s one challenge that remote work poses in the height of the pandemic.
That said, here are a few tips for managing your remote workforce effectively:
1. Build a Strong IT Support Infrastructure
You need to have an IT support system in place. Remote work involves a lot of online meetings and video conferencing sessions. So ideally, you want dedicated IT staff to ensure the smooth function of your systems.
As your organization gets larger and larger, it creates more opportunities for breakdowns to occur. Therefore, it is crucial to seek technical assistance from IT support Seattle or other similar services to deal with any issues during the day. It could be your team management software shuts down suddenly, or there is a technical glitch that needs an immediate solution. Your business loses time and money every time the system is down. And because of these instances, there has been an increasing demand for IT specialists.
Therefore, you need to invest in building a solid IT infrastructure if you haven’t already. This trend is not slowing down soon, considering we have already invested so much in technology. So do not be afraid to invest in your IT infrastructure to boost your processes.
2. Set Clear Expectations
If you are a manager or a team leader, you need to ensure that you set clear expectations for your team members or your employees. You want to try as best as you can to replicate a workplace environment even though you’ll be working remotely.
Your organization has a culture that is best known to you. Instill that culture or promote it in all the interactions that you’re going to have with your teams online, e.g., you can set a clear expectation that everyone should communicate respectfully at all times. Or you could say that everyone should be on time at team meetings and attendance is compulsory.
The point is, whatever reasonable expectations you have of your team, just lay them out.
3. Devise Communication Strategy
It is important. Create a way to communicate with each other in your organization. There is no one size fits all solution or combination here. So you may need to consult with other managers or sit down with your team members to devise a communication strategy that everyone is amenable to in your organization.
4. Schedule Regular Meetings
Communication is crucial and even more so for larger organizations. Make sure that you schedule meetings to keep the communication within the entire organization. Communication keeps the organization tied together.
With remote work, meetings have to be regular to keep in touch with every team member. You need to ensure that you give people the space to contribute to these virtual meetings or conferences. You can set the flavor of your sessions fairly easily. Some can be formal, some can be casual.
If you are creative, compensate for those team lunches that are no longer happening by lightening things up once in a while. You want to make it as accommodating as possible even though it’s remote.
5. Focus On Results
It’s not so much the time that your employees put in. But it’s more about whether they are doing the job and performing as expected. Are they meeting the deadlines? Are they producing a high quality of work?
Place greater emphasis on what the employees can produce rather than the hours spent to complete a task. Focus more on them completing the work with quality output. Indeed, the dynamic has changed drastically because of remote work.
Contemporary remote working has a lot to do with technology and communications. The world has seen a lot of inventions in communication technology that have enabled remote work. Now, greater emphasis needs to be put on developing effective communication strategies for your organization. Use the above points as a brief guide to remote workforce management.