In recent years, remote work has begun to spike in popularity. According to Small Biz Genius, more than 4.3 million people in the United States work from home, making up 3.2% of the workforce. What's more, 16% of companies only hire full-time remote employees and a Microsoft survey revealed that 73% of employees want flexible remote options.
Whether you're transitioning your team to remote work, a hybrid model, or, perhaps you have contractors who use remote work to make money online, managing remotely is very different from managing in the office.
Here are seven tips for effectively managing remote and hybrid employees to help ease the transition--or kick start the journey.
If you aren't making communication a priority, don't expect your remote work efforts to succeed. Communicating online is different from in-person. Your employees can't see your facial expressions, body language, hear your tone of voice, or ask questions to which they receive immediate responses.
Avoid being vague at all costs, and always be as transparent as possible. When communicating with your employees be sure to answer any questions that arise in a timely manner.
It's essential that you be willing and able to adapt your workflow in order to maintain a productive work-life balance. Sometimes the way we do things at the office will not always translate well for us in the work-from-home setting. Remember, transitioning from an office environment to remote work means your employees are forced to combine the two.
Now is the best time to consider making changes to your current processes. If specific workflows, goals, or methods weren't working well in the past, try to avoid bringing them into your remote workspace.
Plus, a workplace transition might also be a fantastic time to introduce new skills and concepts to your team. For example, consider training your employees on modern, in-demand practices like digital marketing, email marketing, and link building.
You could even introduce new tools to your workforce- switch to a new email marketing tool or add a new time tracker tool to the mix.
When working remotely, it can be easy to let good work go unnoticed or unacknowledged. One way to make sure your employees feel like they are a part of the team is by letting them know when their work has been successful and rewarding hard-working individuals with things such as time off for good performance or even a bonus if appropriate.
Allowing your employees to see their impact on the company's success will ensure that everyone feels appreciated no matter the physical location in which the work took place!
One way to easily do this is with employee recognition software like Nectar.
Nectar helps you keep team members motivated through features like rewards, social recognition, centralized awards, challenges, birthday, year of service celebrations, and even employee perks. What's more, you can connect Nectar to other highly-used apps you're likely integrating into your new remote work routines, such as Slack and Teams.
By using a few innovative business tools, you can make remote work sail smoother than you ever thought possible, making it comfortable for both you as a manager and your employees.
There are multiple ways to recognize your employees and make them feel like a part of the team. For example, if you own a law firm like Attorney Brian White, you could create an 'About Page' that introduces the different types of lawyers at your firm and what their specialties are. Whether your team is remote or hybrid, there are hundreds of ways to reward hard work if you are creative enough.
Any time you're impressed by someone on your team, let them know. Likewise, if you've decided to entrust new responsibilities to them, explain why you trust them and believe they're the best fit for the tasks.
One way to convey trust in your team is by using the appropriate time tracking tools. Some tools use practices like screenshots to ensure employees are responsible with their time. However, doing so has been looked down upon more and more over recent years because it signals to employees that they aren't trusted. As such, try to use tracking tools that promote productivity while protecting your employees' privacy.
Goals are beneficial to set in the office, but even more so in a remote work environment. Like your expectations, short-term and long-term goals should be established upfront and made clear. Having goals and reminding your team of them keeps everyone on the same page and encourages progress.
As mentioned earlier, the lines between work and home life can become blurred when working remotely. As a result, your employees' daily routines are likely becoming disrupted as they try to adjust to their new work environment.
To help them with the adjustment, consider allowing them to work flexible hours that accommodate themselves and the company. The most important thing is that the job gets done, so being flexible and understanding with hours generally doesn't affect the rest of the team.
According to Zomasleep, research has found that working remotely can cause an unhealthy overlap between free time and work and negatively impacting sleep. Thus, the freedom to work at any hour allows employees to prioritize their health and rest.
Work with your employees to find out what they need from their workspace and try not to give them too many tasks at once so they don't feel overwhelmed or frustrated by a lack of work-life balance.
Plus, be sure to communicate issues quickly and effectively to keep your team on board—even if it means coming up with creative solutions like video chat instead of emailing attachments back and forth all day long! Finally, motivate your remote staff by giving them autonomy over their own projects as well as recognition.