With 50% of the workforce working in some sort of telecommuting role and 80 to 90% of all employees saying they would like to work remotely at least part of the time, according to Global Workplace Analytics, offering remote opportunities is an attractive way to gain productive workers.
While this is the ultimate work scenario for many employees, it can be difficult for many managers to come to grips with. You may feel like you have no control over the situation or find that gaining a trust level with a remote team can be a bit of a challenge. Yet, it is the way of the future of the workplace, and managers need to adapt to make the situation work for everyone involved.
Engage your remote workers on a daily basis through some kind of communication. Use multiple channels to communicate. Then, plan a regularly scheduled meeting. This can be weekly, monthly, or annually, and could be combined with a training or coaching program. This constant interaction and engagement will help remote workers feel included in an important aspect of the organization
Trust Your Team
Trust that your team will get the work done and efficiently. Take them through training courses and providing them with the right resources they need and use tools to monitor work. There’s no way around it, you just have to trust your team.
Have Reliable Tools First
If remote employees can’t download files, struggle hearing on calls then you have already failed on the basics. First, invest in reliable tools to make collaboration possible. Then develop clear processes to use such tools.
Create A Communication Strategy
Managing a productive team remotely begins with a strategy for communication. First, arrange for the appropriate number of weekly formal “report-ins.” Second, set guidelines about daily needs. An understanding of what is urgent will further mitigate inefficiency, allowing ultimate productivity.
Use Technology To Build Community
Building a community is important in developing an engaged remote workforce. Use technology to create dedicated spaces for celebrating company milestones (e.g., months or years of service), as well as community recognition(best performer). Being intentional about creating community helps develop a corporate culture that inspires connection, which can result in increased productivity.