Remote working presents great opportunities for employees and businesses alike, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges compared to traditional work practices. For managers, one of the most obvious of these is the difficulty in fostering a positive and productive work environment with people who you only communicate with online.
Without being able to observe your team directly, it can be tough to read a situation fully or energise and encourage team members to keep productivity on track. A manager of a remote workforce must therefore be able to adapt to the varying situations and etiquette that online communication brings.
To make sure you are getting the most out of remote employees, The Business Backer has created a guide with different tips for motivating your team. Here are just some of them.
Set the ground rules
By establishing clear expectations and guidelines from the start, you can avoid unhelpful miscommunication. Let people know what they are responsible for, what deliverables are expected, what their role is, and who they should contact for specific requests.
Provide opportunities for development
Research has shown professional development to be a key motivator, with 76 per cent of millennials listing it as one of the most important perks of a job. Talk to individuals about their goals, make and follow through on a plan of how you can help achieve them.
Keep working hours flexible
Employees who set their own hours have been shown to be happier and work longer. Create a schedule that suits your team members and use project management software to keep track of productivity and deliverables.
Hold regular progress meetings
Without daily contact and the ability to observe an employee first-hand, it can be easy to lose track of how they are doing. By engaging in a simple routine every month, you can make it easy to stay in tune with how they feel they’ve been performing and what they hope to achieve moving forward.
Adopt modern technology
There is a variety of project management and communication apps, such as Trello, Slack and Jive. These can be used to easily update and track work progress, and also to create a social space for team members to get to know each other.
With a little help to find the right groove for your team, you can ensure productivity and cohesiveness stays at its optimum, whatever the distance between desks.