As a business owner, you want work to be completed as successfully and efficiently as possible, and sometimes that might mean changing the way work is done. Having employees work remotely can save money on office and technology costs, but it does take some time to manage them well.
In the past, business owners were used to checking on productivity based on how much time was spent at the desk. There are a few areas to keep an eye on.
Foster Clear Communication
A leadership role can be more challenging when everyone is working from home and likely has different schedules. However, it is often not that much different to manage a remote team compared to an onsite one. Good communication can be a challenge for any business leader, especially since the task of difficult conversations will fall to you. If you need to offer negative feedback or demote a worker, the conversation can be challenging.
Engaging with your employees in this type of conversation is nearly always uncomfortable. When you likely do not engage with each other in person that much, misunderstandings can arise. Navigating hard conversations online requires someone who has a high level of emotional intelligence.
Good communication can be developed in many places, including online courses and business development trainings. One option is to get your degree in a related field. If you are thinking about getting your degree, you can search for Going Merry scholarships for college to cover some of the costs.
Know the Challenges Employees are Facing
Many workers love the idea of working remotely, but it can come with its own set of challenges. They will not have as much interaction with each other, and interaction is often critical for a strong company culture. Not having this type of communication can affect teams negatively.
You can mitigate some of the effects and secure a successful remote work experience with collaboration and engagement tools to increase interaction.
Still, you may consider allowing each person to decide for themselves if they want to have their camera on to prevent video fatigue. It is also easy to get distracted while working remotely. If they are working in a public spot, such as a coffee spot, distractions may come in the form of other people in the area. If they are at home, household chores or kids may offer a different type of distraction.
Make Interactions Easy
If you want to foster development and monitor progress, you may want to set aside some time for online interaction as a group. Having regular team meetings can help you assess the situation to determine if workers are facing challenges with certain projects. Remote meetings can be conducted in much the same way as in person meetings.
Still, you may not meet as often when everyone is working remotely, so you may want to set clear expectations ahead of time and ensure your agenda is clear. If a large enough group of people is meeting, you may want everyone to put themselves on mute if they are not saying anything. Meeting regularly can help everyone stay accountable.
Follow Up with Remote Worker Often
There is no perfect approach for every business owner to take, because a lot depends on the business, industry, and the workers themselves. There is no ideal approach for how often you should be reaching out to remote employees. Keep in mind that productive calls are not just about checking on how much work has been completed.
Some calls might serve to keep employees engaged with their work and motivated to continue. You might want to schedule regular calls that are done weekly, daily, or even biweekly. You can use them to determine if each worker has questions, is doing well, or is facing any challenges.
You can also use the calls as a time to discuss professional development opportunities. Some may need more frequent calls, depending on their current job responsibilities. Try to adapt to individual schedules as much as you can.
Provide the Necessary Tools
Employees will struggle to get work done no matter where they are if they do not have the right tools. You may need to spend some time thinking about the tools you need to implement to make it easier to work from home.
While in the office, it might have been easy for employees to communicate by going to each other’s offices. But now, you may need to have them sign up for web conferencing software.
Much of the time, remote work can be done with a home internet connection and a computer, but you might want to consider other types of technology that can help with productivity. You may need to get the team access to certain apps or software, depending on the type of work they are doing.