Remote work has become increasingly common in recent years. With the spread of the coronavirus, the number of individuals working from home has grown exponentially. Still, but because this increase was so sudden, many employers did not have time to lay the groundwork for managing what can be a fully remote workforce. Now that remote work is looking like a long-term reality rather than a few weeks to muddle through, it’s important to set some guidelines and expectations.
6 Ways To Set Your Remote Team (and Yourself) Up For Success
1. Is your team ready to go remote?
Many employees currently working remotely never intended to leave the office and may not be properly equipped. Before you look to measure productivity, ensure your team members are set up to be productive. Survey your remote workers to find out what they have at home and what they may need. If you have experienced remote workers, ask them to share their best practices and success strategies.
2. Leverage Shared Software
There are a variety of options for communicating with coworkers and managing projects. Project management software, calendars or shared documents like Google docs make it easier to spell out specific expectations without being confrontational or micromanaging. It also provides a paper trail to point to if a problem arises later. Standardize the software and systems employees will be working on for the sake of consistency and measurability.
3. Decide What Must be Measured
As working from home becomes a long-term prospect rather than a couple of emergency weeks, formal policies should be put into place. For work that is quantifiable or results-oriented, it’s relatively simple to assess productivity. Work is either completed on time or not. But what about tracking hours? Is it necessary for employees to work specific hours or does the work just need to be completed on time?
4. Adapt Your Management Style
If you were in the habit of “managing by walking around” to always have your finger on the pulse of how each employee was progressing by stopping by their desks, how do you replace that? One option is to schedule brief, weekly check-in meetings. They can be calendared for short as ten minutes, so you can see if they are getting overwhelmed and can stay on task or have any questions.
5. Set Clear Expectations
KPIs and specific deliverables can make it easier for you to track productivity and relieve stress for the employees. Try to use productivity measurements as a tool to keep the team achieving their individual goals and company objectives. If an employee is falling behind, discuss what’s going on with them and ask if you can help. Keep a line of communications open so they will not hesitate to come to you with any problems they are facing before it gets out of hand.
6. You May Be Pleasantly Surprised
Studies show that productivity is higher among remote workers. Remote teams have been found to be 13% to 35% more productive. The Social Security Administration has reduced their backlog 11% since they began teleworking at the start of the pandemic.
Are you looking for a better way to manage your remote workforce?
For advice on how to build and manage your workforce, whether they are working onsite or from home, contact the team at The Panther Group.
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