Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, many workers were wishing for the option of working from home. Only a handful of companies had previously explored the benefits of employing a remote workforce, and these were often the companies that fared best during the pandemic. That was a time when so many were shut down due to an out-of-control pandemic for which there was no cure.
Jumping ahead to the current time, a growing number of businesses of all sizes are gladly employing a significant portion of their staff as remote workers. The only problem now is that all the business management training they had previously dealt with an on-site workforce. So, how does one go about managing a remote workforce since they are just that, remote?
It’s actually not as difficult as you might think. This quick guide to managing a remote workforce offers several tips that just might make it so much easier.
One of the things which owners and managers miss now that they are working with a remote workforce is the potential for daily interaction with their employees. Just the process of walking across the work floor gives them an opportunity to stop at a worker’s desk or station to say a quick hello and ask them how they are doing.
Employees like to know that they are appreciated and sometimes just those few words exchanged give them the needed encouragement to excel at their jobs. In fact, company culture is often at the top of the list when job applicants are considering one company over another. Those direct lines of communication are a vital part of what makes for a great company culture.
Providing remote support assistance is something else few business managers have had to previously provide. They didn’t, after all, have a remote workforce so there was no need to understand just how vital this can be to their business.
If your company is employing a significant number of remote workers, then secure remote assistance is an absolute must. Gaining remote desktop control will enable the IT team to quickly assess what is going on and how they can solve any issue that particular worker is up against through a secure remote support server.
While you don’t want to come across as a tyrant, it is imperative that you enforce strict deadlines. This is important for several reasons. Perhaps another department is waiting for that particular remote team member’s work, or it could be that customers are chomping at the bit waiting for an order they have placed with you.
One of the things you probably have in the back of your mind is that workers will be less productive if team leaders and department managers aren’t standing over their shoulders – not literally, of course. However, with remote access such as that mentioned above, you can gain secure access to their computers to see what they are working on and any changes that are taking place over time.
If you find discrepancies between what they are reporting for their daily hours and what you’ve actually observed them doing remotely, you can capture a log to authenticate their productivity. Without this ability, they might debate your findings and there would be no way to prove it either way. That remote access mentioned above is important on several levels with a remote workforce, isn’t it?
Another of those things that matter when dealing with employees would be those periodic staff meetings. Although you employ several people who work remotely, you can still organize staff meetings through video conferencing software like Zoom.
Even your staff members who work on site can join in on a video conference staff meeting. They would simply remain at their desk to do so instead of migrating to the conference room where meetings generally take place.
One group email invitation can be sent out so that each person can sign into the meeting. Video conferencing doesn’t work like video chats. Most often the meeting would be scheduled, and the invitation gives invited attendees a link to the meeting being hosted by the employer. Not only can these meetings be used to apprise workers of upcoming events or new product lines, but it also gives them a chance to begin recognizing the faces of other remote team members.
At the end of the day, remote workforces are the way of the future. Not only is it often more convenient working from home but employers will find that their expenses are reduced as well. Many have expressed their desire to pass some of those savings on to their valued employees when the year-end figures are released. Either way, remote workforces are trending, and with all the benefits to be had on both sides of the fence, it looks like they are here to stay.