5 Helpful Tips for Managing Remote Employees
There’s no doubt the workforce is changing today, with more companies allowing employees to work remotely or from out of the office. In fact, today, more than 23 percent of employees do at least some of their work remotely. Despite the benefits of allowing employees to work remotely (boosted productivity, greater employee happiness), managing them can be more challenging than managing employees in-office. However, there are some helpful tips you can keep in mind to ensure that your team is engaged, cohesive and productive.
Use Video Technology
Video conferencing technology like Skype and FaceTime has made it easier for remote teams to have meetings. Studies have shown that only 7 percent of human communication is verbal (the rest is nonverbal cues like gestures, glances and so on), so video meetings can help ensure everyone is on the same page. Try having weekly video meetings in order to make sure that everyone is communicating well and that the team stays connected.
Have In-Person Meetups
Even though remote workers aren’t required to be physically in the office, it helps bond teams together and make people feel like they’re a part of a company if they get to meet in person every so often. If your employees are scattered across the world, try having a meet up once or twice a year. If people all work in the same city or region, try having everyone meet once a month. In-person meetings strengthen the bond between team members, and they can help boost morale.
Send Company Swag
Remote employees can feel disconnected from the organization they work for. To build a sense of loyalty, send them company swag, like letterhead, pens, T-shirts and so on. Swag can help make them feel like they are part of the group, and it can also help them feel more professional.
Don’t Always Talk Work
Most likely, if you’re communicating with a remote employee, you’re talking about work-related topics. However, talking about things other than work can help build a good rapport between managers and employees. When communicating with your remote employees, ask them about how they’re doing and make a little small talk. Having a good relationship with your employee that extends beyond simply discussing work tasks will help build trust and loyalty and will make work a more pleasant experience for everyone involved.
Let Them Know They’re Valued
Every so often, make a gesture so that your remote employees know that they’ve done a good job. Send a small gift card or flowers if they’ve finished a big project, or send out a company-wide email acknowledging a job well done.
Managing remote employees can be challenging, and it requires different skills than managing employees in the office. However, with a little time and effort, the arrangement can work well for both employees and their employers.