The U.S. workforce was comprised 25% of workers working remotely from home prior to the pandemic. It is a wise to consider the advice, tips and strategies and best methods of managers leading teams of remote workers before the pandemic happened.
It would make sense to set down company policies and training for remote-work employees, but when problems arise, and circumstances change this may not be feasible. On a positive note, with the advent of modern management knowledge and techniques there are known actions company managers and supervisors can do, minus little to no trouble to enhance the daily actions and output of employees working remotely. The time to make these management actions to improve and maintain remote-work employee daily productivity is today.
Widespread Task Productivity Issues
To begin, supervisors must know the issues that remote work makes particularly challenging and difficult. If these issues are not considered, top workers might start lagging in work performance and job commitment as remote work starts and then continues for the foreseeable future. This is particularly true if there is no planning or hands on preparation.
These factors being the case a great proportion of committed companies are comprised of workers that are ongoing blatant or subtle uncommitted workers. Now take it one more step and consider employees with laisse faire attitudes becoming remote workers and think about how it will negatively affect their daily work habits, output, and commitment to the company’s goals.
Negative issues built into remote work are as follows:
- No direct in person manager observation
- Reduction of sources of important company data, information, and news
- Working alone equals lack of socialization
- Negative impact of working at home and its inherent distractions
Steps Manager Can Follow to Improve Management of Remote Worker Teams
Despite the ongoing pitfalls and problems associated with remote work, there are steps manager can take that do not cost much to improve the change-over for employees working at home.
As much as remote work can be fraught with challenges, there are also relatively quick and inexpensive things that managers can do to ease the transition.
Supervisors and managers of employees remote working at home should follow these steps:
Hone on End Results, Not on Tasks
By honing on results, it will grow employee commitment and give them the power they need to do their best. By spelling out desired outcomes and then giving employees the leeway to determine an action plan to make them happen it will grow their inventiveness and commitment to the end results.
Spell Out the Reasons for the End Results
This connects the heretofore described steps. Spelling out the reason is paramount for cognitively tying employees to the company’s agreed end results. However with the current upheaval occurring in the pandemic, with new work places, new goals, new issues and large levels of difficulties and unusual new circumstances, making certain your entire team is full informed about the company’s desired end results and what each persons roll is in making a success happen is the foundation of building a successful remote work team.
Supply the Tools Needed for Success
In history there has never been a successful leader in war that sent their soldiers into battle minus the needed tools, training, and supplies. Remote workers need good desktop computers, big screen monitors, laptops and premium WiFi, headsets and high-quality web cameras. For your remote team workers to be successful they need to be equipped right.
Take Away Roadblocks
It is critical for you to know their will be roadblocks employees encounter work remote working. Things like being alone, kids at home home-schooling, neighbors coming over, family communicating with your staff more often because they are at work and not at home are all roadblocks that will have a negative impact on their productivity. Your job is to determine what those roadblocks are and help your employee figure out ways to prevent them from occurring or help them manage them when they do.
Promote connecting socially when working remotely
Communicate to your remote staff that you are requiring that they set up regularly scheduled fun events everyone can join. Those events can be video conferencing happy hours, pizza party or an after 4 p.m. Friday happy hour. These activities can be games or any number of fun things to do. These should not happen all the time, like weekly, but definitely need to happen at least once monthly.
Be Open to Offering Work Schedule Adaptability
Remote workers all have different lives. Keep this in mind when their work setting to work remotely is not ideal. They may have children or parents at home. Their internet connection might be at the local coffeehouse. As a remote team manager adapt with your employees and their unique situation and you will be rewarded with commitment on their part.
Particularly in the framework of the sudden change to remote work it is critical for managers to communicate to your employees that you recognize their worries and struggles and support them as they make the transition. Studies have shown that employees lean on their manager for direction on how to manage and deal with a big change or an overly difficult new set work setting. Be supportive and you will realize better results in the end.
Be a Mentor and Coach to Realize Success
Managing is a lost art form and that is because the best managers coach and mentor and give employees the freedom to figure things out, be successful an grow in the process.
The steps described here are straight forward but not a piece of cake. They mandate time on your part, direct focus and sticking with each of them. Your remote work team will appreciate your efforts, they will enjoy their jobs and be more effective because you took the time communicate with them and stick with them through these difficult times