Due to the pandemic, a lot of companies globally have implemented a remote work setup for their remote employees. However, this new system of working has brought about some doubts and uncertainties to organizations especially when it comes to workforce management. And, although they thought that simply establishing new company policies is enough, it is still evident that the policies must come hand in hand with an effective strategy to managing remote teams.
Fortunately, there are already companies that are implementing remote work way before the pandemic started. This helped researchers easily search for the best method to improve remote workforce management in the past year. To help, we will discuss some of them in this article. Read on to know more.
To ensure the quality of remote workforce management, the first step that managers should take is understanding the factors that affect the entire setup. This will help in managing remote teams and creating the best solution to retain the job performance and engagement of your high-performing remote employees even in an unfamiliar working environment. Here are some of the remote work challenges that your team may face:
Obviously, one of the main challenges in managing remote teams is the lack of face-to-face interaction which may lead to some misunderstandings. While some supervisors have endless worries about the uncertain efficiency and productivity of their workers, the employees often struggle with the lack of managerial support and communication.
In most cases, companies do not have an effective communication system for their remote employees which leads to communication issues. They often feel that their remote managers are out of touch and cannot offer help and support in their tasks and inquiries.
This is related to what’s mentioned above. A lack of communication means a lack of access to information from co-workers, especially in a remote work environment. Even getting a response from other employees and managers can feel like a great challenge for those who work from home.
For example, if an employee has an inquiry, and there is no standard to check communication tools regularly, they might not be able to notice the message right away, hence the lack of reply. This can be frustrating on both sides and can even affect the productivity of a team.
One of the most common issues in a remote work environment is loneliness due to isolation. A lot of remote employees often miss informal social interaction in an office setting. This causes stress, depression, and feeling less “belonging” to their organization. In the long run, it may even affect the retention rate of a company.
When you search for remote work at home on search engines, you’ll often see images of remote employees juggling office tasks and home errands. This is a negative representation of the effectiveness of virtual work which often makes remote managers suspect their employees. However, they need to understand the possibilities of these things and implement effective strategies to avoid these work distractions as much as possible.
When planning for successful remote management, it is important to establish a daily check-in with your employees. This could be in a form of a one-on-one call or a team call depending on their nature of work. If most of the employees are not comfortable with this, a manager can also implement a rule of submitting daily reports before or after every shift.
What’s important is utilizing a way to know the productivity and welfare of remote employees daily. Workers can also make this a way to consult with their immediate supervisor or manager regarding their concerns and questions.
While email and communication tools are sufficient for communicating, it is also important to provide remote workers with better communication technology options. This will make managing remote teams more effective and efficient for everyone. For example, some companies do video conferencing for meetings, brainstorming, and announcement of important information. What makes it effective is the visual cues that it offers which gives the team a feeling of being in a regular face-to-face meeting.
Considering that we are in a modern and technologically advanced generation, it will also be more effective to use mobile-enabled messaging applications that everyone can use. This way, they can have better access to messages and information for less formal conversions and time-sensitive communication.
One of the main roles of managers is to keep an eye on communication among employees to ensure harmony and collaboration. To make remote work more efficient, managers need to set expectations for the frequency, timing, and means of communication for their teams. One of the examples of this is letting workers know which platform and apps to use for certain tasks and information. They should also set a rule on the time where employees can send emails and messages.
As mentioned, one of the problems that remote workers often address is stress and feelings of loneliness. As a manager, it is important to understand the anxieties and concerns of remote employees and empathize with their struggles. A manager should be the one to insist on this type of conversation by asking them how remote work is faring them. If an employee opens up with this topic on daily check-in, don’t forget to give them words of encouragement and emotional support.
According to research, 82% of employees are willing to leave their work for a more empathetic workplace. This means that an effective leader must understand and acknowledge the stress levels of their remote employees and do something about it to retain their workers.
There are some challenges that remote teams face when it comes to working remotely. However, there are also effective ways to prevent and combat this to help you implement better remote workforce management. But, if you are having some issues with your remote team engagement, Remotify can help!
At Remotify, we offer employer of record services that include team engagement and an I.N.S.P.I.R.E program to promote a healthy remote workplace environment. We help foreign companies manage the HR tasks and payroll management of their remote Filipino team. To know more about our services, you can check out this page or contact us here.