Remote work is a little bit like marmite in the UK – some people love it, and others can’t bear it. Working from home can improve your work-life balance, reduce commuting costs and help you to manage your mental health. However, it can also result in loneliness and a decline in productivity.
Businesses worldwide turned to remote working methods in the pandemic. In 2020, there were 5.6 million remote workers in the UK as offices closed down during lockdown. Companies operated over video calls, and employees used their bedrooms and hallways as office spaces. The pandemic brought about a new era of remote working, and some companies have permanently closed their offices as a result.
Here are a few tips on how to manage a team of remote workers.
Identify and provide reliable tools
Your employees need resources to work productively and effectively. This could include a better laptop, office supplies, or an ergonomic desk setup. While it isn’t necessarily your responsibility to provide these tools, you could drastically improve your team’s working conditions by doing so. Ask your team about their work environment and the small things that could make a big difference. They might need a better laptop stand or a screen monitor to improve the ergonomics of their setup.
Set clear expectations
You need to hold weekly meetings to keep your team focused and motivated. Discuss your goals for the week and the outcomes you expect to see. Your team should know what you expect by the end of the week, and they can meet those requirements.
Track your worker’s progress
Your employees should be making progress at work. In an office, you might provide employee training workshops and career development opportunities. It would be best if you offered the same possibilities in a remote working environment. An HR system can help track your employees work whilst they are working from home. You can see what work they are doing, how much time is spent on different tasks, and how they can improve their productivity.
Communication is a vital part of remote work. You need to utilize video meetings and talk to your team daily (apart from weekends, of course.) Organize social events so the team can meet up and get together once a month in person. Communication can build company relationships and help the team to work better together.
Working from home comes with its own set of challenges. Remember that your employees may have children at home, pets under their desk, and a noisy washing machine in the background of a call. Encourage your employees to set their own hours, so they work when they feel most productive.
Check-in with your team and support them through the transition to remote working strategies.