The 2020 coronavirus pandemic made something abundantly clear. The future belongs to those businesses that can offer their employees the chance to work wherever they want or need to be. Are you a business owner or manager?
Then, chances are that you found yourself dealing with the “new normal” pretty soon after the first lockdowns in early 2020. Even though it’s been more than a year now, you might still find it hard to manage your remote employees in the best way.
If so, you are in the right place. Read on to discover seven foolproof ways that can enable you to achieve that — for everyone’s benefit.
How to Manage a Remote Team?
1. Turn Employee Engagement up a Notch
One of the biggest hurdles that come with working from home? The fact that it gets pretty easy to become bored and demotivated. After all, if you don’t work out of a traditional office anymore.
So, why should you be in that all-important “working mindset”, anyway? This might be what some of your employees are struggling with at the moment.
A great way to minimize these feelings is to engage your team even more than before. Consider organizing regular meetings as well as more informal gatherings, which can be in-person or online. Make it very clear to your employees that they are valued and that their feedback is essential to you.
Encourage them to talk to you whenever they have questions, doubts, or suggestions. This will make them feel more determined to have their voice heard and, as a result, will boost their engagement.
2. Provide Them With the Best Possible Tools for the Trade
Have you ever thought that some of your employees might not have any actual office equipment to work with? If you want them to be productive, motivated, and focused, they will need to be provided with the right tools to do so. Start by sending around a questionnaire to try and gauge what exactly the majority of them would need.
Whether it is a new laptop, an ergonomic chair, a more advanced keyboard, or a scanning machine, get shopping for it. You should be responsible for purchasing the items that can help your staff work to the best of their abilities.
3. Encourage Them to Communicate and Interact With Each Other
Employee engagement is essential, but so is communication, interaction, and knowledge-sharing among employees. For this reason, it’s a good idea to promote this type of behavior within your workforce. To begin with, why not get them all to use one of the many collaboration software tools that are as popular as they are effective?
Then, you could create smaller teams and appoint team leaders to oversee the work of each team and report back to you. This will foster values and skills like teamwork, cooperation, and interpersonal communication.
4. Try to Maintain Things as “Normal” as Possible”
Did you use to go out for drinks every Friday after work? Or, perhaps, your thing was to go off on a day trip somewhere once a year? Whether it was bar or beach, try to ensure that those little rituals are still maintained, albeit a bit differently.
You could replace those Friday drinks with a Zoom call in which everyone creates their favorite cocktail, to wind down and chat after a busy week. That day trip to the beach might now become a virtual escape room, that you can book online for as many team members as you like.
5. Embrace Video Conferencing Tools
Speaking of Zoom and virtual games and activities: managing remote employees effectively calls for great video conferencing tools. Whether it’s Zoom, Google, or Microsoft, make sure that you pick one video conferencing software platform and stick with it. It will make it easier for your employees to get familiar with the technology and learn how to use it.
Onboarding new remote employees are also done via video conferencing these days. Keen to learn more? Check out these Remote Onboarding Best Practices and Ebook.
6. Offer the Possibility of More 1-to-1 Meetings and Training
As we saw, team meetings, events, and collaborative activities are vital. But how about the relationship between you and each one of your employees? If you want to manage your remote staff in the best possible way, you’re going to have to take care of that, too.
Some employees, for example, might feel like they want or need to spend a bit more time talking to you individually. Make sure that you offer this possibility to whoever asks for it. This will be an invaluable opportunity to show that you care for and value them, and for them to discuss any problems or worries.
7. Remember the Mental Health Side of Things
An essential aspect to bear in mind when dealing with remote teams is their mental health. The coronavirus pandemic has put a huge strain on the physical and emotional well-being of many people worldwide. There is a strong chance that at least one of your employees was affected by it.
When speaking to them, make it clear that you take mental health very seriously and that it is a priority for you. Offer them support, in as many ways as you can. Adopt an open, friendly, and welcoming attitude, fund counseling sessions, and encourage them to practice meditation and mindfulness.
Managing Remote Employees, Made Easy for You
Learning how to manage remote employees in an effective way is vital, in our post-pandemic era.
To boost your remote team’s productivity, you can try following the seven tips in this article. We can assure you that you will soon see employee satisfaction rates soar, in parallel with the profitability of your business.
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