As a business owner in the modern world, there is a very high chance that some of your employees – or contractors – work remotely. According to research, almost half of the national workforce telecommutes, and 8 or 9 out of every ten workers would prefer to work some of the time remotely. The big question is, when so many of your employees are working away from the office, how are you going to manage them? Let’s take a look at some of your options.
Establish your expectations
Part of the issue with remote working is that essentially, you are leaving people up to their own devices. And given that everyone has different ideas on how to do things quickly and correctly, it’s vital that everyone lays out their expectations beforehand. Have those conversations, and even get something into writing if necessary.
Remote workers still need to be treated as they are ‘in the building.’ That means if they need access to you, it’s vital you are able to give it. Although many people crave to work remotely, it can be an incredibly distancing experience, and it’s down to you as the leader to fix it.
Make use of the cloud.
Part of the reason why remote working has become so popular is due to the cloud. When you can access Microsoft Cloud Services, Google Docs, and project management tools based in the cloud, it makes everyone’s life easier. Find the tools that work best for your business, and make the most out of them.
Create an environment of trust
There are still plenty of business owners out there that refuse to offer remote working opportunities because they are unsure whether the work will get done. Avoid this belief, and create an environment of trust. It’s vital to establish guidelines, of course, but you have to give remote workers an element of leeway, too.
Goals, not activity
It’s easy to make demands of your workers to prove when and how long they have been working for. However, the simple truth is that they should be accomplishing their goals, rather than spending time updating their activity or tracking their time. Avoid worrying about what is being done – and when – and focus instead on the quality of the work produced.
Communication is key
When you are establishing goals, ensure that a robust communication schedule is in place. Whether that is with weekly formal reports, daily updates, or monthly meetings is up to you and your business needs – but it’s critical that you have something in place. You should also establish a system in place so that everyone knows what to do in matters of urgency. Doing so will eliminate uncertainty, encourage productivity, and avoid minor problems turning into significant events.
Arrange in-person meetings
Finally, while remote workers enjoy the flexibility, it can be a lonely existence. It is essential that, whenever possible, you make an effort to meet people in person – especially if they are 100 percent remote. It can make a huge difference to meet in the physical realm, and it’s important to be able to establish deeper connections.
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