Managing employees in an office environment can be difficult, but it’s far more challenging to manage them from home. When you work remotely, you will need to put in the extra effort to keep track of your employees' performances, to improve their workloads and to give them as much encouragement as possible.
One of the best ways to manage a remote team is to hold a lot of meetings — even taking five minutes of your day to check-in will be better than doing nothing. Communication is key, especially when you can’t walk a few steps into their cubicle and see how they’re doing. If you can’t do an old-fashioned phone call, use tools like Skype, WhatsApp or Google Hangouts.
When you don’t reach out, you could miss the fact that your staff is drowning in work or making big mistakes. Of course, employees should be comfortable telling you when they’re having troubles, but there will be times when they might not know that they’re on the wrong track.
Maybe running short meetings every day isn’t possible for you because of intense workloads, different time zones or mismatched hours. In that case, you can make up for this by establishing online accessibility — send frequent emails and IMs to your employees and always check for their replies.
Make sure your employees have access to online tools that make their workloads easier to handle. Working remotely already comes with its difficulties. You don’t want them to be sitting at their desk with their head in their hands and wondering why it’s taking them so long to complete a single task.
For instance, you can give them access to a courier broker app if they are in charge of packing product orders and preparing them for delivery. This online tool will help them compare shipping rates with all dimensions from different trusted couriers and find the best rates for the budget. They can use the tool to print out shipping labels, track shipments and speed up other aspects of the packing process.
Take the guesswork out of their jobs. When you’re away, they won’t have anyone to look over their shoulder and tell them what to do.
When you work in an office environment, your employee can gauge if they’re doing a great job or not. They can tell that you’re pleased when you give them an encouraging smile or when you stop by their desk for a friendly chat.
When you work remotely, it will be much harder for your employees to sense that positivity. The majority of their communication with you will be about their workload, their deadlines and mistakes. Try your best to give them as much positive feedback as you can through your meetings and emails, so they aren’t anxious or discouraged about their efforts.
Managing remotely will come with its challenges. It will be harder to communicate, encourage your employees and guarantee that tasks get finished the right way. However, with online tools and effective correspondence, you can manage just fine.