“All great changes are preceded by chaos.”– Deepak Chopra.
Perhaps, this is the reason that keeps us going in this pandemic.
Covid-19 has obligated most organizations to practice large-scale remote work. With almost half of their workforce engaged in remote work, organizations are coming up with various proposals to maintain productivity and engagement. It is necessary to implement a structure suited for respective organizations to manage their remote employees successfully.
It is true that remote work (Work from home) is not a novel concept and most organizations have provisions for it. But it is now imperative to adapt to this culture even if all this present situation is behind us.
Some corporations have already adapted to it. For the people who are still struggling to find their modus operandi, we have some suggestions.
But first, let us look at the benefits of remote work to understand its need and develop better ways to manage it.
What are the benefits associated with remote working?
Remote working or working from home or a flexible workplace is an arrangement in which employees do not commute to a central workplace but offer their services from their preferred place.
The remote work lifestyle has soared during the Covid-19 pandemic. Unlike previous days, even start-ups also have started allowing their employees to work remotely. It has proved beneficial for both employees and organizations alike.
These are some of the benefits associated with remote employment:
- Economic for companies and employees
- Less utilization of resources
- Reduced expenditure of commutation
- Reduced carbon footprint
- Better work-life balance
- No geographic obstacles- access to a broader pool of employees
- Better utilization of technology
- Increased productivity
Ways to successfully manage remote workers
Now that we have established the importance of remote working let us explore some ways to keep your remote workers’ productivity.
1. Equip The Ship
Equipping employees with appropriate and up-to-date technology will boost their productivity and help them revitalize this monotonous isolation.
Network/Internet connectivity can be a significant concern for your employees working remotely. There should be connectivity provisions for such workers.
To ease communication between employees, you should give access to messaging applications and video conferencing software.
Apart from this, we need to understand that not all the employees will be comfortable or adept with this virtual environment. So be respectful and coach employees who are struggling to use the latest technology.
2. Regular updates, don’t wait
When it comes to maintaining self-discipline while working remotely, not many can succeed.
You must be willing to enforce/administer regular updates from employees. At the same time, you must trust your employees and relinquish your desire to micromanage. Tactful discipline is the only way you can take.
It can be hard to administer employees’ performance when they are not physically present, but you need to place your confidence in the system you have created.
Regular updates from the employees should be sufficient to monitor performance.
3. Acknowledge Innovation
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” -Steve Jobs.
An organization runs on innovation and creativity. When you appreciate your employees by acknowledging their innovation, you create a positive environment for them. This will not only boost their morale but will help them deliver consistent results.
By acknowledging their creative skills, you will make them feel an integral part of the organization. They get reassured of their competence, and they will tend to stick around as they feel involved.
Once they see that the company values them and that their efforts are recognized, they will be more considerate towards the organizations.
4. Appreciate your employees
Apart from recognizing their professional proficiency, appreciating your employees for who they are can help them grow.
As per a report by Glassdoor, organizations have successfully retained their employees just by a simple token of appreciation.
You do not need tangible results to appreciate your employees. You can praise them for their constant efforts.
Little appreciation will inspire them to continue their endeavors.
5. Output Oriented
Your employees might be juggling between professional and familial commitments working remotely. Thus, you need to be heedful of their schedule and the output they produce.
Constantly surveilling and prioritizing the process instead of the output will make an employee insecure. You should be able to provide your employees an environment with a sense of freedom.
So be output-oriented and try not to be too critical of the process.
6. Promote social interactions
Social interaction or non-work-related activities are a must to build healthy work relationships.
Healthy work relationships promote a happier, more positive work environment, resulting in enhanced productivity.
It would be best if you also tried to keep these social interactions on video conferencing media. This is because most of the human interaction is non-verbal.
Nonverbal communication helps to increase engagement and establish meaningful relationships.
Your employees are more likely to respond to criticism positively in such surroundings.
7. Employee centric
It will be thoughtful to accommodate your employees’ requests and schedule meetings at a mutually convenient time.
The flexibility in communication will present them with a chance to manage their work effectively.
It is also essential that you recognize signs of distress in the employees and possible procrastination and humbly alert them.
Constructive feedback from peers or supervisors can help pave the way for a pleasant workplace.
Create a feedback loop that deals with any problem so that the spirit of teamwork is not lost. You should understand that the feedback does not imply your vs. your employee’s opinion.
Also, be prepared to receive feedback, positive or negative.
Devise a strategy to obtain and give feedback to your employees in a fruitful way.
Remote Work is a necessity that we need to adapt to emerge as a successful organization.
You need to understand the employees’ needs and keep them engaged and stimulated. You can set clear goals, train your employees, explore the new technologies and get your staff familiar with them or create a feedback loop. Create a system that is best suited for your organization.
We hope that these recommendations help you manage your remote employees better and contribute towards the growth of your company.