Updated: Jun 6, 2020
The Coronavirus pandemic has shifted how people work, shop, and socialize. With time there are a number of things that will return to normal, but employees hope remote work is something that sticks. The current pandemic has forced 88% of employers to push employees out of the office and back to their homes. This transition was largely moving in a remote direction, prior to the Coronavirus due to advancements in telecommunication technology utilizing tools such as Zoom. The current situation has left managers to completely remodel their strategies to ensure productivity levels continue to rise. Below are some tips for managers working with remote employees to help monitor their performance while continuing to achieving their company’s goals.
Engage with your employees on a daily basis through different types of telecommunications such as Zoom, Skype, Conference calls, Individual calls, and email. The fact that you are no longer in the workplace together with your employees, creates a barrier for your employees to have regular access to you for guidance or small talk. To ensure that employees reach optimal productivity levels you will need to be readily available during work hours for employees to come to you with issues or suggestions.
Set Goals and Expectations
The endless possibilities of distractions surrounding your employees at home will allow the potential for low productivity levels. You need to set specific and time-oriented goals for them to complete by a hard deadline, which gives them an opportunity to work at their own pace. This can help relieve the pressure of working in a turbulent environment and allow them to develop a work schedule that works for them. Expectations can be set to help support your goals an example of some expectations are but are not limited to:
Daily meetings with you or other co-workers
Set Specific and Timely Deadlines for each project or task
Establish work hour timeframes
Find Reliable Tools
To help you communicate effectively with your employees, having a proper method of communication is necessary. There are many tools available but the one that most employers enjoy using the most is video-conferencing and messaging work tools. Video-conferencing offers a chance for the employees to get face to face interaction with their employers and maybe address challenges that are more serious or things they don’t feel comfortable discussing over email or messaging. Some secure and reliable tools include:
Zoom.com (Ensure to use private locked meetings)
Microsoft Teams (Very secure and versatile)
Google Hangouts (Very accessible and universal)
Slack (Great but it costs a subscription and is not available on all platforms)
To help you collaborate through messaging and email, you need to ensure you are not bombarding your employees with constant updates or messages. Keeping your messages brief and informative can help your employees focus on what’s important and stay productive. Some great tools for collaborative work and messaging include, but are not limited to:
Build a Community
Help make sure that all your employees have access to or are communicating with each other and you. This communication doesn’t strictly have to be professional it can also be leisurely. Have remote birthday parties, company milestones, and community recognition. These things can help employees feel comfortable and help with their communication skills, therefore increasing productivity.
Trust your team
Often times companies are hesitant to allow for remote employees because there is uncertainty about whether or not the work will get completed at the same level as it would in the office. In order for you to combat this as a manager, you need to set up guidelines that all employees must follow, such as replying to emails within a 24-hour span. Another example would be to restrict employees from calling other employees after work hours to ensure employees aren’t being overworked. Trust is one of the single most important traits a manager must possess within their employees, remember they were hired for a reason. Following the guidelines talked about above can help you manage your employees remotely in the most efficient manner without being overbearing.