As things currently stand, remote working is apparent to be around for some time as with each passing day, the recorded cases of Covid-19 linger on. Although many have found themselves working from home lately, telecommuting is far from a new thing as some had long been doing so prior to the pandemic. Nonetheless, remote working could be here to stay even after the pandemic is long gone.
In fact, research has found that 82% of business leaders will plan to allow employees to telecommute for a period of time while employees slowly return to the workplace whilst 47% have plans to turn to telecommute permanently. Either way, as a leader, remote working has emerged as an exigency that must be looked into for this new norm to be fully functional.
To do that, one needs to first understand the challenges posed by telecommuting—one of them being the lack of presence of coworkers and supervisors. As most are social creatures before coming into the pandemic, an abrupt cut-off in face-to-face communications has made tracking productivity and moods difficult in employees. Not to mention some felt more isolated than ever which could hamper team building and relationships.
Furthermore, with the autonomy and flexibility provided, some could easily get distracted from the tasks on hand as they might procrastinate with surfing on the latest news, or unable to focus due to home’s environment. With these downsides in mind, here are five ways to effectively manage remote working employees.
The need for communication is more important than ever for obvious reasons. As a leader, you must create an open communication channel to avoid the chances of employees feeling totally remote and oblivious. You need to determine which communication channels are preferred by the team when it comes to email, messaging, chatting, and video conferencing.
Getting the team to meet up at certain times is crucial to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Two-way communications between managers and employees must be prioritised to ensure the latter is well-provided with information and perspectives. For instance, you can utilise online productivity tools such as Microsoft Teams or ClickUp to ensure every team member stays on track with their tasks.
As you monitor your employees’ strengths, weaknesses and needs, it is important to nurture and motivate them. Acknowledging employees are likely to lead to further improvement as they are recognised more for their efforts during periods of isolation.
As recognition for efforts and contributions were done physically in the office before, working in a remote environment calls for more monitoring on the leader’s behalf to track the outputs and efforts of employees. Recognition not only motivates the recipient but also influences others to work harder which fosters a great working spirit altogether virtually.
Role differentiation can become an issue at such times, which lead to employees being unsure of where and what to focus on. As a leader, you must make sure employees are clear on what they should strive to accomplish. Emphasising objectives over processes will create greater clarity and engagement for employees. During your regular conferencing, lay out a concise plan on what you want to achieve and let your employees know what they need to accomplish within a time frame. The sooner your objectives are made known, the better it will be for you and your employees.
As employees are facing unprecedented stress and intense isolation, the last thing they need is trust issues from their leader. To ease up the predicament, you need to place your trust and confidence in your employees to do the right thing. Although you are losing visibility to keep track of the whole progress, micromanaging is not the answer here as it will only further dent the spirit of the already stressed employees.
As the pandemic lingers, stress is not unreasonable. As a leader, direct conversations and indirect observations could give you a hint of challenges and concerns faced by your employees. Acknowledging these problems and lending an ear will go a long way as many of your employees could use some encouragement and support. You need to uplift your team with encouragement and provide affirmation, especially in these unprecedented times.
While the future of remote working is still up to anyone’s guess, you need to do what is best and most needed at the moment to boost productivity and maintain a good working culture. In that vein, are you looking to pay your remote employees who reside in different parts of the world? With TranSwap, you can make payments to more than 180 countries with just a few clicks, and at the lowest rate possible. Want to learn more? Go to our website at transwap.com or send your questions here.
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