While working remotely has become increasingly popular over the past several years, we’re at a place in time now where our workforce needs to be working from home. To ensure you’re setting your employees up for success as they transition away from their turn-key office-space, we encourage you to consider the following tips for managing a remote workforce:
- Set Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations for your workforce is imperative to ensure everyone is on the same page. Employees should know what the business hours are going to be, acceptable timeframes for responding back to emails, and any other protocols you expect your employees to follow while working remotely.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate!
We all know that effective and timely communication can help eliminate feelings of confusion and uncertainty, especially when managing a remote workforce. With that in mind, setting specific daily and/or weekly meetings to communicate with your workforce is imperative! Employees should know when they can expect to hear from you and on which platform. This is also a time for employees to ask you questions, so ensure you build out enough time to answer their questions, comments, and concerns.
- Don’t be shy, video chat instead
Most of us don’t like seeing ourselves on camera and will avoid it at all costs. However, it’s important to consider the level of connectivity people feel when they are face-to-face vs. simply on a phone call. You can help your employees feel more connected to the company and their colleagues by establishing a ‘video-first’ policy when meetings are scheduled.
- Implement employee engagement initiatives
While your employees may experience positive effects from working remotely, it is likely that they may experience disadvantages as well; one of which is the feeling of isolation. To combat the potential of these negative emotions from forming, employee engagement initiatives are strongly suggested. Think: virtual coffee or lunch hangouts, starting a book-club, show-and-tell a fun fact or meaningful item with co-workers, timed stretching breaks, celebrating important milestones as a group etc.
- Lead with a human-first, employee-second mentality
At the end of the day, we are all humans first, and it’s important to prioritize this in all communications and interactions with your remote workforce. You can do this by taking time out of each meeting/email and genuinely check in with your team to see what’s happening in their personal life, if there are any goals you can help them achieve, challenges they are faced with and so on. The goal is to show them that you are just as supportive and invested in their wellbeing as you are their success as an employee – especially during these challenging times!
At iWorkGlobal, we’re experts at helping companies manage distributed workforces. Whether your workers are independent contractors or payrolled workers, we can help. Check out our services here: https://www.iworkglobal.com/what-we-do/
Looking for more insight on remote work management, here are our top 7 strategies for managing a remote workforce.