Seven Tips For Managing Remote Workers

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There are a huge variety of advantages for using remote workers, so it's no surprise that more companies are hiring staff to work from home. But working remotely brings with it a number of challenges both for the employees and the employer. Here are seven great tips for managing your remote staff.

1. Use an online rota

The saying goes 'out of sight, out of mind' and this can sometimes apply to remote workers. When you aren't reminded that they are working it can be easy to overlook the work that they are doing. Additionally, when they aren't working you might forget to schedule someone else to take over their tasks. This is why it is so important to invest in an online rota that you can refer to. You can make use of staff rota software online to manage the workload of each staff and ensure that you always have the right amount of people available to get tasks done.

2. Make sure you have the right IT infrastructure

A key aspect of good remote staff management is having strong IT infrastructure in place. It's vital to have a system that can be accessed remotely with online documents and file sharing, rather than workers having to constantly send files back and forth to each other.

3. Establish better ways to communicate

Good communication is key for getting the most out of your remote workers. Let them know that you are always available to them to answer any questions or bring up any issues with. Additionally, you should set aside the time to have calls with them and pass on any important information that you have shared with the rest of the team.

4. Ensure they still feel part of the team

A natural downside to working remotely is that you are separated from the rest of the team. This can leave remote staff feeling that they are a true member of the team or that their role in the business isn't as valuable. It is important to set up regular meetings – this could be on group calls, over Skype or using any kind of video conferencing facilities.

Remote work can isolate staff if they are left without interaction with the rest of the team for too long. It might even be valuable to have an in-house messaging system that staff can chat with.

5. Set expectations and rules

One of the most important aspects of home workers is ensuring that they understand exactly what is expected of them. Make clear the rules and working practice that is expected of all workers as early as possible, and remember to be completely consistent in terms of what is expected of office workers and home workers. It's not fair to ask your remote staff to do things that you aren't asking of everyone else. Create a culture of working that everyone is happy with, then ensure that everyone sticks to those rules, whether they're remote or otherwise.

6. Track but don't micromanage

Of course you need to stay on top of your remote workers schedules to ensure both that they have enough work and that they aren't being asked to do too much. You need to have systems in place that allow you to manage and track exactly how much work your remote employees have. However, some employers will attempt to micromanage their home working staff to ensure that they are being as productive as possible. In general this is extremely unhelpful – not only does it waste the time of the manager, it also leaves the remote worker feeling untrusted.

7. Get together regularly

If you are the manager of remote workers, you need to remember to get together with them regularly. It can be easy to forget that might often have sit-down meetings with your members of staff who work with you, but you rarely get the change to do the same with your remote staff. These meetings can be very important – remote workers are just as likely (if not more) to require guidance so it's important to make time for them too. Organise to have your remote workers come in as often as is practical. This will vary from business to business, but it's certainly a good idea to have a get together at least every six months.

 

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Wednesday, 14 November 2018
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