By: Daniela McVicker
In the last couple of decades, we’ve experienced severe changes and improvement in almost all areas of our lives. The development of technology led to alterations in the way we communicate, create, shop, travel, socialize, and work. Working remotely is one of the trends which changed the face of the business world, most likely, irreversibly.
Today, with 50% of the workforce working in some sort of telecommuting role, this type of work arrangement is far from the latest news. It has been globally accepted and applied by companies and their workforce and is becoming an essential form of doing business. However, team managers and employers are still struggling to create a productive, balanced work atmosphere for their remote workers.
This guide will help you learn how to make the most of your remote workers by making them more motivated, productive, and active.
1. Provide Proper Training
First things first, you need to ensure your remote workers are capable of performing the tasks you plan on assigning them. In other words, you need to be certain they have the skills and knowledge necessary for doing their best.
This is only possible through proper training.
Just like your in-house workers, your remote workers need help adjusting and learning. Since they’ll be working alone, with no one to ask for help when something goes wrong, or when they’re not sure how to proceed, you need to give them quality training.
You can do this using different strategies:
assigning them a senior colleague to coach them
creating video instructions and demonstrations
allowing a “face to face” training using video communication tools
Make sure each new remote worker goes through the process of suitable training and you’ll have less to worry about in the future.
2. Assess and Give Feedback
Your remote workers don’t want to feel like they’re being kept in the dark. On the contrary, they need to hear back from you on a regular basis to grow a sense of progress, and improvement.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you provide useful feedback based on thorough evaluation and progress tracking. You need to:
give your remote workers feedback on each task they finish or come up with a regular feedback schedule
share information about their productivity, task completion, and progress to let them know how they’re doing
provide practical guidelines on what to change and how
This type of communication between you and your remote workers will give them push in the right direction and help them grow professionally.
3. Encourage Communication
Even though remote workers aren’t physically present in the company offices they’re still a part of it. However, not everybody would agree that this is actually the case.
According to a 2019 report, more than 70% of remote workers feel left out of the workplace. This is due to the lack of communication and not investing enough effort into connecting your employees.
To encourage healthy cross-department communication, you need to work on having your employees connected.
You can achieve this through different strategies:
Provide a space for a team members group chat and share all the latest updates with everyone at the same time. In addition, team members can use this chat to ask questions and seek guidance.
For more important projects, changes, or announcements, you can use conference calls to connect with your employees. This way, you’ll have them all “in the same room” and they’ll be able to communicate with you and each other more efficiently.
Choose from a variety of collaboration tools you can find online, to provide the best possible workflow for your remote workers. Use tools for file transfers, project management, review and proofreading, task assignment, etc.
By providing the right tools and encouraging communication, you’re building a healthy and productive workplace for your remote workers. This will make them more motivated and dynamic.
4. Set Clear Goals
When you’re employees know exactly what you expect them to do, that’s when they’ll be most productive.
In other words, you need to provide a clear target for each of your employees, letting them know what you suppose they’ll be delivering.
Setting clear goals is more than telling an employee what to do. Here’s what it implies:
giving transparent guidelines on how you expect the job to be done
provide the guidelines on which tools should be used for which tasks
setting a target
discussing the amount of work assigned with the employee to ensure mutual understanding
With a clearly set goal and a straight-forward explanation on how the work needs to be done, your remote workers will be much more self-assured, and therefore more productive.
They’ll feel safe, well-prepared, and capable of performing all of the tasks. In time, they’ll be able to work with maximum productivity while you’ll be giving them fewer instructions.
It’s important for the remote workers to be able to speak their mind and express their thoughts. It’s your job to create such a welcoming atmosphere in which they’ll be able to talk openly about the things they notice, feel, or care about.
Therefore, encourage your remote workers to talk about:
their ideas in terms of new projects, different approaches, or anything innovative
their satisfaction with the work conditions they’re in
their concerns and problems they may be facing
Try allowing your remote workers to contribute to the development of your company and listen to what they have to say. This will save you some time and energy, and it will help you pin down the burning issues.
Consequentially, you’ll find it easier to solve them and your employees will be more satisfied.
6. Organize a Get-together
Finally, we have one last step for your management of remote employers and making the most out of them. At least once a year, you should organize a get-together for all your in-house and remote employees.
By getting everybody in the same room, you’re showing equal respect to each of your employees and you’re providing space for communication improvement between them.
Make this annual get-together a tradition. Choose a special date such as company birthday or upcoming Christmas to throw a party.
The benefits you’ll experience are the following:
employees feeling like members of a community
sharing ideas, thoughts, visions, goals, and useful information
building a strong connection inside of the company
working on employee retention and loyalty
showing your employees you care
getting to know everyone better and learning about your employees
A get-together is the best way for you to improve the overall relationships between you and your employees, and help them grow a sense of belonging.
This will further inspire them to work hard, stay productive and focused.
The bottom line is, your remote workers need the same proper management on your side as their in-house colleagues. Even though they’re not sharing a space with you each work day, they still need all the attention and feedback you can provide.
Therefore, use the advice provided above to ensure your remote workers are satisfied. Only then will they be delivering the work you expect them to. Establish healthy communication and make the most of your remote workers.
Daniela McVicker is a career coach and a contributor to TopWritersReview. She’s also a business communication coach, helping future job applicants to write business emails to help them achieve success on their career paths.