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This article was written by Rob Buffington from Gordian Staffing, an Innovia Co-op’s partner who empowers our members to find new efficiencies through innovative staffing solutions.
 
Nowadays, remote work has been slowly becoming the norm. According to FindStack, 16% of companies in the world are 100% remote this 2021 and 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will be the new norm. As time progresses, it’s no doubt that these percentages will continue to rise.  So, how does one business manage its remote staff successfully? If done properly, both the employer and its employees will benefit from the situation. Leading your remote team may take a learning curve in the beginning, but thankfully, as the situation adapts, we are able to adapt along with it. 
 

Challenges of Remote Work

Managing remote employees isn’t easy, you will need to find alternative ways to hold them accountable. However, one of the many reasons why employees enjoy remote work is it gives them a better work-life balance. This results in a boost in employee productivity and perhaps loyalty towards the company.

Here, we are going to take a look at the common challenges of enforcing a remote work system.

Not enough face time between coworkers and supervisors

Human beings are naturally social creatures and supervisors and the absence of face-to-face communication can cause stress in the relationship between their employees. This may also cause misunderstandings since the person’s tone or emotion sometimes isn’t conveyed properly through written text.

Lack of Communication

In a traditional workforce setting, employees would enter the office and greet their coworkers, and it’s easy to strike up a conversation with anyone. But, when it comes to working remotely, communication can be neglected at times, and this could lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. 

Failing to Differentiate Between Remote Work and Traditional Work

There are many elements as to what makes remote work different from traditional work. For example, time management may be much more important in remote work. Some employees may excel in a traditional workplace setting but will have difficulties in a remote setting. 

How to Manage Remote Workers

As stated, remote work is different from traditional work. Some employees may need more help than others, and it’s important that nobody gets left behind. Here are a few tips that will improve the management of the company’s remote work system.

Develop a Structure

It can be quite intimidating to not know exactly what to do. So, establishing guidelines and setting clear expectations will provide a foundation for the company’s remote setting. This will help keep the workflow organized and have efficient productivity. 

Prioritize Communication

In a traditional workplace, it’s easy to just walk into the office and inquire about something. In a remote setting, however, even though communication is at an instant, there will be an uncertainty of where exactly the supervisor or coworker is at the time. So, it’s important to set communication boundaries and remove any barriers.

Having a communication strategy is also useful–determine the number of meetings and consultations in the team. This is so that they’re able to prepare and avoid issues such as background noise.

Track your Workers’ Progress

It’s important to be able to track their progress to ensure that work is being done. But of course, just because you can’t see them in their cubicle, doesn’t mean they aren’t working. You will have to find alternative ways to monitor their progress, setting deadlines is one way to do it. Remember to give useful feedback as well so that there would be any improvements if needed.

Celebrate Success

Just because it’s in a remote setting doesn’t mean that there’s no room for celebrating milestones. Find creative ways to show appreciation and support towards your employees. This will also serve as motivation for them to increase their work productivity. Fred Allen once said, “Treat employees like partners, and they act like partners.” Remote work is just as effective as traditional work, you just need to play your cards right.

 

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