Tips to manage your remote workforce

Managing a remote workforce certainly has its challenges and requires a unique set of solutions.  

A mixed team, including a remote workforce, enables a business to lower costs and increase productivity. However, most managers have been trained to deal with the traditional set of challenges as opposed to the new way of the hybrid workspace with a remote workforce.

With many if not most employees opting to work from home, businesses have been left vacant of employees, and are facing a new set of challenges never seen before. Many companies have had to reassess their work environments and have opted to take on a hybrid approach with a combination of in-office and remote workforce. It has become a reality to the majority of CEO’s that remote teams could be a permanent solution.

Managing a remote team is not as simple as it may sound. A recent study found that more than 60% of employers found the “hybrid” workspace with a remote workforce as challenging and difficult to manage.

The difficulty that most employers find is that with remote working, employees and their managers are working separate from one another. There are many benefits associated with working remotely, but there are also unique challenges that must be addressed to effectively manage a remote workforce.

No face to face supervision

Research has indicated that employees tend to be more productive when working remotely, in fact studies have show that remote workers actually add an entire additional days work to the standard work week when productivity has been assessed. On the flip side, employees have less access to support from management. Without effective communication between employees and managers, there may be a feeling of being unsupported that may arise. However implementing effective communication strategies between both often resolves any issues.

Best practices: Create weekly check-ins. Create project goals and discuss progress and obstacles your employees might face.

No clear definition on expectations

The work environment is different when it comes to working remotely, employees face a difficult time understanding their responsibilities on the job outside the workspace. Generally employees have felt that they needed more guidance and directives Ito understand how to accomplish an objective swell as understanding when they are expected to respond to messages or attend virtual meetings.

Best practices: Set clear expectations regarding priorities, goals and performance. Set boundaries and realistic expectations around attending meetings and responding to work emails and messages.

Social Isolation

Tips to manage your team remotely – Working remotely can be quite lonely. For some employees this is often the only form of socialising they experience on a day to day basis. Social isolation impacts mental health and well-being and could lead to your employees feeling disconnected from your organisation. Prolonged isolation can lead to depression and anxiety which may result in employees wanting to leave the company. 

Best practices: Try to build remote group interactions to establish a sense of belonging. The aim is to create a sense of normality, be a pillar of support for your employees and always encourage open communication.