Working from home has become the norm amid the coronavirus pandemic but now companies are left wondering how to effectively manage remote employees.
When staff work from home, many companies experience declines in job performance and engagement and it is easy to understand why. Challenges such as lack of in-person supervision, distractions at home and social isolation can cause a dip in motivation.
There are ways to overcome this though. Here are ways to manage remote employees
Set clear expectations
It is important to set specific goals, instructions and deadlines. Without these, employees can easily work mindlessly and become distracted.
Communicate clearly what is expected and implement specific deadlines to be adhered to. Having regular virtual meetings to check in and monitor performance is also helpful.
Focus on the outcome
Some employees work better in the morning, others are more efficient in the afternoon. Once you have clearly defined goals and expected results, take a step back and allow your staff to develop a plan of execution. It may feel like you have less control now that everyone is working from home but micromanagement does not necessarily mean you are effectively managing remote employees. Trust them.
Implement remote social interactions
Hosting work related virtual meetings may keep staff connected and put them on the same page but encouraging remote social interactions could go a long way in boosting morale.
This could mean simply holding a nonwork related meeting in which employees can catch up, pizza parties or a recognition session in which you acknowledge their achievements.
Know your tools
What technology are you using to interact and manage remote employees? What works best for your staff? Email may work for communication but there are various other tools you can also utilize. It could be Zoom, Slack, Trello, WhatsApp… the list is endless. And how are you processing leave? Manually or with an online leave management system like LeavePro, which is far more efficient. These are all questions to ask yourself.
Working from home can come with a whole new set of anxieties and offering encouragement and support is an essential part of managing your remote employees.
Listen to their anxieties and concerns and empathize with their struggles. A simple question like “how are you finding it working remotely?” can put employees at ease and elicit important information that may not emerge otherwise.