The Coronavirus pandemic forced many companies to allow their employees to work from home. This mandated telecommuting policy is the result of “stay at home” edicts instituted by many states in the wake of COVID-19. However, some organizations already rely on remote working and are now well-versed in managing their virtual staff.
With an eye towards optimizing the productivity of your company’s remote team, here are a few tips on effectively managing a telecommuting workforce. Leverage this advice to keep your employees inspired, engaged, and focused on work. After all, remote working just might become the new normal in the business world.
Communication is The Lifeblood of Remote Working
Regular communication becomes even more essential when managing remote teams. This includes videoconferencing, one-on-one meetings, and using text for intraday messaging. The right technology is essential, including tools like Zoom and Skype for video communication, as well as team collaboration software like Slack for interaction between employees.
Clear Productivity Standards Are Critical
Project managers need to set clear standards for productivity. In fact, this is no different from actually working in the office. However, ensuring projects get completed on time is ultimately more important than tracking the number of hours employees spend at their desks. An exception is availability for meetings during a certain period each day. Remote employees are generally as productive – if not more – due to the lack of commuting.
Managers Must Regularly Meet With Their Direct Reports
Making remote employees still feel a true part of the organization is important. Ensure your managers hold regular meetings with the team. Once again, this also includes one-on-one meetings. This approach ensures everyone stays engaged while keeping employee morale as high as possible.
Provide Remote Workers With a Tip Sheet on Telecommuting
Craft a tip sheet containing the best practices of remote working for your employees. This should include advice on home offices, telecommuting technology, and company standards for working from home. A PDF or page on the corporate website works well for this purpose.
Budgetary Considerations for Remote Working
If your company is considering making remote work a regular practice, significant cost savings when it comes to office rentals are possible. However, also expect to invest in telecommuting technology. Additionally, don’t forget about higher travel expenses if requiring remote employees to occasionally visit the home office.
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