Remote workers; a notorious alias for unproductive and paid workers. And we understand why this is so. Resources are spent on hiring and remuneration and close monitoring seems daunting. As a result, many employers shun the innovation altogether.
For those whose operations have had to shift from office operations to remote working or combine the two, this system can prove very stressful.
Yeah, we’re going to tell you it’s not as stressful with the right understanding and management. And to do that correctly, we’ll let you know what remote working is and how you can manage them to get the best results for your organization.
What is Remote Working?
It is a situation whereby your workforce, a part, or all of it, works from the comfort of their homes or other locations asides from the traditional central office space. This is not the exact thing as working from home, which means that your workers are working from their homes. This is becoming the future of work as so many things in the world continue to evolve and let’s just say uncertainties are mounting up by the minute. Big companies adopt this remote working either fully or partially, with only essential staff coming to work and the rest doing so in other locations.
Remote working is constantly evolving to solve challenges. You could use collaborative tools like slack, zoom, Gmail,and many others.
Not every job in the world will accommodate remote work. Jobs that can accommodate remote work include accounting, engineers, tutors, writers and editors, HR and other types of consulting, web development and some aspects of healthcare, especially therapy and medical consultations.
Are there any advantages to remote working in Nigeria?
Given the terrain of growing security challenges and political instability, it is economically prudent to make many positions in your organization remote ones, except it is an absolute necessity. It has the following famous advantages to employers
- Reduced Costs: Keeping people in one physical location for a long time means, they have to have furniture, constant electricity, some relaxation of sorts, transportation costs, workplace hazard insurances, and other allowances you have to factor into their salaries as well. This is good news to startups and companies who want to greatly reduce overhead costs.
- Access to a wider talent pool; Often, there may not be many great talents within your office location who will be willing to come in, to work physically. Making a position remote is an incentive for great talents who are likely to apply for that position. Access our recruitment services to get the best of remote and on-site talent.
- A Diverse Workplace- Diversity is a very useful spice in creating an efficient workplace. The work ethics of a certain demographic, or culture, or perspectives can be a positive influence on your workplace, leading to greater efficiency when properly harnessed.
To the employee, remote work is often useful to maintain a great work-life balance. For freelancers, it poses a greater opportunity for work. Work hours are flexible, you only earn what you work for. You save commute time and you have a more productive time.
Now we’ll move to look at a few tips that can help you manage remote workers you already have in your organization
Tips on Managing remote workers
When managing remote workers, it is best to initially realize that micro-managing your team is not going to cut it. Allowing your team have the space they need to work will be more profitable. You may not get to see what everyone is doing at the same time. But staying positive will be a beacon to your employees that will tell them how they should go on with their duties.
Tip # 1- Ensure that your team members know that you see their contributions, value and appreciate them.
Motivation is the name of this game and you have to play it well to ensure that you don’t have an unproductive team. Be available to answer enquiries, and accept contributions from your team. Have a positive, and accommodating demeanour around your team members generally. Also, engage them in finding solutions to problems they may be facing at work, hindrances they might have to productivity. This is not always intuitive to do, because usually if a person is unproductive, they are immediately let go. But more loyal and productive employees are built when the employer helps them attain and maintain productivity.
Tip #2- Formulate and Maintain your company culture
It may seem like a herculean task to have a company culture when your teams are not physically present. But a strong company culture will pervade teams and make sure that no matter how many teams work remotely, your company culture and values are never lost.
Tip #3- Make Expectations Clear
It is important that you make Objectives and Key Results as clear as water so employees know what to expect. Make Key Performance Indicators available for easy reference. Talk about primary roles and responsibilities, define goals for the month, week, year, etc. Ensure that there are no uncertainties abou these basics.
Tip #4- You’ve got apps- don’t be afraid to use them
There are a lot of tools that make remote working easier. Apps that help collaboration such as Zoom, Slack, Google Meet and Skype facilitate conference video meetings as well as voice calls. Apps like Click Up, and Trello help with project management. You can use time tracking applications like Wrike to keep an eye on work flow and productivity. Instant messaging platforms make it even easier and save less time. Most people use WhatsApp, Slack, Skype and others to do this. You can create groups to help with keeping information in the same palce. Learning your way around them helps to improve your efficiency and reduce your tendency to micro-manage. Try a few of them to see how they fit in your organization. You can switch platforms if they don’t fit your organization.
Tip #5- Be open to reviewing expectations
It is great to be firm about certain aspects of work, such as your company culture, deadlines, deliverables and others, but always remember that certain things such as your goals, workflows, and updates to technology can affect your expectations. Do your best to review them and explain these changes to your team.
Tip #6- Check-in frequently
Employees working remotely need a greater degree of connection so they do not feel as disconnected. It would be great to set a regular time for catching up on work, fielding questions and connecting on even personal matters as well. This is guaranteed to keep the connections between you and your employees strong. Empathy should drive all your communications with your employees.
Tip #7- Loosen up
Having a great company culture and getting things done is great, but once in a while, loosen up, have a virtual way where everyone can relax and be their actual selves among the team. It is more profitable to allow humour even through work. That way there are less opportunities for your employees to get stressed out.
Those are some tips to managing your employees that will help you to manage your remote workers more productively. It is important to be clear about what you expect, and it is also important to make room for your employees to use their initiatives. We’ll be very glad to hear about your experience with managing remote workers. Let’s hear about it in the comment section.