Remote workers are becoming more and more common nowadays, especially considering how much efficiency you get, while at the same time being cost-effective.
According to a study by Deloitte, “Value is being achieved through the impact of innovation, ease of relationship management, and improved strategic flexibility, not just cost savings.” Furthermore, outsourcing is projected to grow in all functions that were surveyed, particularly in IT, Finance and HR. Hiring a remote team can work wonders for your business, but how do you manage a remote team? Here we will give you 10 ways to effectively manage your remote workers.
1. Set clear expectations from the very beginning
As the manager, you
2. Promote communication
The people working for you remotely are no different than the ones you work with side by side. Just because they’re in another city or country doesn’t mean that they’re Robinson Crusoe on a deserted island. You need to make them feel like they're an integral part of your team just like any other employee. Try to hold frequent and recurring team meetings while taking into account everybody’s schedules, differences in time zones, etc.
3. Encourage and spark interactions between employees
Continuing the topic of communication, you need remote employees to not only interact with you but with each other as well. Do you know those “cooler talk” conversations at the office? Take that idea and apply it to all of your remote employees. This can be accomplished by creating a public channel where people can freely post ideas, news, events, or anything else. This can be accomplished by using technologies like Slack, Skype, and Cisco Spark. Even though your remote team members may be dispersed all over the world, try to create as much of an intimate atmosphere as possible.
4. Unite employees around a common goal
You may have team members in New York, Tokyo, the Philippines, Australia, etc. Due to the distance, it may feel that each office location is a separate company, even though it’s not. When you have meetings with your team members, try to constantly remind them of what the overall goal is and what the company is trying to achieve. Make sure that it’s like a puzzle, each location is working on their specific piece of the puzzle and, in the end, we all come together to put the entire puzzle together.
5. Visit on a regular schedule
This may not always be possible considering the distance, but if you can at least visit, in person, from the get-go this can be priceless. This gives people a sense of comfort. It builds trust and stability. It will also be a rewarding experience for you to see what it’s like to work from such a distance. Perhaps after this
6. Provide feedback
If your employees are doing a great job, let them know! Compliment your employees as often as possible. Not only does this increase employee morale, but it also shows your employees that they are appreciated. This can be a simple thank you message or acknowledging somebody during a team meeting. Small things can make a big difference.
7. Recruit the right people
Working remotely requires a particular temperament and
8. Never cancel a one-on-one
Your remote employees miss out on the things that go on in your office and one-on-one’s can make up for this. If you have to, reschedule, but do not cancel. Canceling these meetings can cause resentment. If you are a big believer in the benefit of one-on-one meetings, you’re in great company. The former CEO of Intel, Andy Grove, who grew Intel by 4,500% in market capitalization
9. Use animated GIFs and emojis to convey emotions
Since most communication is non-verbal, it’s hard to convey what you mean exactly with words alone. After all, when you are communicating via chat, it’s hard to express emotions with words and punctuation alone. Or, your words may come across in a totally different context than what you originally intended. Not to worry, animated GIFs and emojis are to the rescue. You can use sites like giphy.com to find cool GIFs and attach them to your message. Your next “good job” message will be a lot more powerful.
10. Don’t forget about the goals and aspirations of your remote team
Since you don’t see your remote team as much as your in-house team, it’s easy to forget about their career goals. Discussing their career paths with them will avoid confusion and frustration. If you follow the advice of the previous step, to have one-on-one calls with your employees, this will allow for plenty of time to discuss this with them. Don’t fall into the trap of treating your remote employees as robot workers who help you get things done. They want to see career growth just like anyone else.