With the second year of the pandemic, remote work has become the norm. Many newly launched businesses are adapting to the numerous challenges of today’s digital era, and remote workforce management is just one of them.
As a new manager, you might be excited to take on your remote team, but are you ready to tackle the challenges of managing remote employees? An interesting fun fact about remote work is that even before the pandemic had hit the globe, remote work had grown up to 140% more than any other workforce since 2005.
That said, remote work is more likely here to stay and grow within the upcoming years. Read on to learn essential tips on remote workforce management.
Make Time to Know Your Team
Understandably, as a manager, you might be too consumed with integrating a proper platform, dashboards, and time clock software. However, it is easy to talk about asks, milestones, and business and getting your team on the right track to executing the work.
Nonetheless, as a manager, you should never miss out on one of the most critical parts of management – building rapport with each team member. Building a rapport and making time to know each team member via small talk is essential to work through problems in the future and gain their trust.
Building rapport makes your team members feel comfortable and confident that they can come to you when they face a challenge with work. It will help remote employees stay motivated and focused on their tasks.
Balance Time Zones
Once you start taking remote employees on board, you will come across many different time zones, making the scheduling of a virtual meeting difficult. It will be normal to have a couple of people who always have meetings scheduled at awkward times.
As a remote workforce manager, you ought to show solidarity with employees working in quite different time zones by making team members of your time zone accommodate the outliers. By integrating a personalized approach, you will have a strong sense of community flowing while empathizing with the more distant team members.
Have Face-to-Face Meetings Once Annually
Nothing is better than having a face-to-face meeting at least once a year. Nonetheless, be ready to have a couple of the comments that involve “you look different than on videos”. Moreover, having real-life meetings will help you as a manager improve your rapport with the team.
Having real-life meetings always allows the workforce to have bigger discussions on the company’s culture, vision, and future. It also allows for the remote workforce to bond with each other.
Make Video Calls as Much as Possible
You might have heard that humans tend to communicate with non-verbal communication more than they do with verbal communication. We don’t get to see each other as in a regular office during remote work, each day of the year (except on weekends). That said, it is essential to have a visual idea of what the other person is thinking.
You have many inexpensive options for video calls, such as Skype, Zoom, Facebook, and Google Hangouts. Ensure that all remote employees have stable internet connections and encourage the team to find a silent spot at home for remote working.
Have One-on-One Meetings
Setting aside time for one-on-one meetings with team members is essential, not only for building rapport but also for discussing goals, milestones, and other work-related tasks. As a manager, it is recommended to let your team know about your “open-door policy”, without conflicting the different time zones. Also, let them know about your availability on MS Teams, Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Slack so that your remote workforce knows when your “doors” are open.