6 Tips For Managing Your Remote Workforce
Cloud computing and modern modes of communication have broken down the walls of the office, making it a more flexible, virtual, and expansive space. With almost 50% of the workforce working remotely, and employers becoming more liberal with work-from-home policies, the very culture of the workplace is changing.
Employers are able to get the best candidates on board without being limited by geography, and employees are becoming more productive even as they enjoy a better work-life balance. However, the remote work culture has also demanded that employers seriously reconsider some of their existing processes to better suit a remote workforce.
Here are a few tips to remember while managing your remote employees:
Just like you would with your local, office-based employees, put down daily working hours, turnaround time on expected jobs, reporting standards and more, on paper. Remember that you will not be seeing them every day at the workplace, so it is important to communicate your expectations clearly and well in advance. If you expect them to travel to the office once a month or once a quarter, make sure you communicate this, as well, at the very beginning.
Keep in Touch
To establish a culture of transparency, keep in touch with your remote employees through multiple channels of communication. Create a communication strategy; consider phone calls, emails, and weekly catch-up video calls. Remember to also engage with them casually, through instant messaging and other social platforms – outside of working hours – just as you would with employees you see at the office, so they don’t feel alienated or intimidated by reaching out to you in case of issues.
Build an Online Community
To make your remote employees feel more part of your organisation, use an online social platform to create a group or community where employees from different locations can come together, share challenges, learn from each other and collaborate on projects. You can use this platform to wish employees on their birthdays, appreciate them on jobs well done and take other morale-boosting steps. This will help foster a sense of belonging to the organisation, and even build a level of organisation loyalty.
Don’t Miss Out on Training
Every employee expects to learn and grow during their period of employment, even if they are working remotely. Whenever you are organising a training programme for your office-based employees, if it is relevant to your remote employees, inform them in advance and help them join in via video conferencing. Encourage them to take up webinars and other online or local offline training sessions, and pay for it once they receive their certifications.
Measuring the performance of your remote employees is not only important for year-end appraisals and promotions; it is also a key step to ensure accountability on their part. Remember, you cannot directly monitor a remote employee’s behaviour on a day-to-day basis, but you can still manage them by measuring their performance. Share the overall business goals of your organisation and clearly define each employee’s role towards achieving that goal. Set actionable, measurable goals and review progress on a periodic basis.
Use Time-tracking Methods
Another way to ensure employee accountability is by tracking their working hours. Tracking hours is also important, in many countries, to stay compliant with labour laws. In an office setup, it is easy for the employee to punch in and punch out, but how can a remote employee do the same?
With an advanced time and attendance application – which makes use of the employee’s smartphone GPS – it becomes easy to track where they are and when. Users can remotely punch in and punch out using the application, and you will receive SMS or email notifications if there are discrepancies in their activity.
To learn more about Synel’s mobile app and/or for assistance in choosing the right time and attendance solution for your workplace, get in touch with us today!