3 minutes read
Managing employees remotely: How to do it properly
3 minutes read
The COVID-19 pandemic highlights a business trend that started long before: A transition to working from home, and a combination of working from home and from the office.
Numerous studies have proved that working from home increases employees’ productivity and creativity, improves their satisfaction and increases their commitment to the organization.
How do you manage staff remotely while improving work productivity, reducing operational costs and strengthening cooperation between the managers and the employees who work from the office and those who work from home?
Constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic and new business opportunities
The COVID-19 pandemic is perhaps best characterized by instability and frequent changes, and at the outset some of the businesses were required to move their business to a strictly remote model.
Now, after more than half a year into the pandemic, the trend is to open businesses in the different industries, while limiting the number of employees and customers in the physical workplaces.
It turns out that this has created business opportunities that enable a significant reduction in the operational costs and an increase in the business’s productivity.
Companies and organizations worldwide have realized that they achieve better outcomes when their employees combine working from the office with working from home.
Principles for optimal management of employees working remotely
Remote management requires a clear and precise definition of goals, aims, schedules and tasks, so that managers can be in control of the staff working from the office, and the work times of employees working from home. The cost of mistakes and not being organized in such a situation can be critical, so first and foremost make sure to optimally coordinate all scheduling matters – who will be working from home, who will be coming to the office, and when.
Imagine how much time and resources can be wasted and the ensuing chaos if all the employees come to the office and jeopardize the health guidelines applying to employee placement, or conversely, if no one comes in to the office at the same time. That’s why it is so important to have a built-in system pertaining to scheduling, shifts, attendance clocks, and coordinating between all the teams, made possible by the AI-based employee management system that links with the time clock.
Setting policy for working from home and managing expectations
When teams are at the office at the same time, the expectations, policy and work procedures are intrinsically understood in the direct relationship between all the employees and their direct superiors.
you have to clearly state your expectations and specify how each task will be measured, and its schedule and parameters.
In contrast, when some of the teams work from home, as well as when managers are not physically present at the workplace, you have to clearly state your expectations and specify how each task will be measured, and its schedule and parameters.
If, for example, a manager wants to receive a weekly progress report, check that certain aspects are implemented or meet a specific deadline. This information has to reach the relevant employees directly. Instead of letting the employees interpret things on their own or waste precious time on text messages and emails, it’s best to use a computerized management system that lets you enter free-form text notes so that they reach all the relevant employees online.
Trust, availability and constant contact with the employees
Managers build trust when they are present at the workplace and available for questions, consultations and interaction with their employees.
So, managing and working remotely poses a challenge and begs the question – how to create trust and a sense of availability even when there’s no face to face contact? One of the advanced options that enables managers to show that they care and are there for their employees, even without physically meeting them, is by means of maximal availability, such as via online chat consultations.
It’s important for a manager to encourage his subordinates to come to him if they have any questions, issues or concerns, which contributes to the trust between them and also improves the quality of solution given to the customers and the quality and precision of the results.