Thanks to the wonders of the Internet, it’s now possible for businesses to hire staff that don’t need to frequent an office each day. Remote working is on the rise and offers numerous advantages for both employers and their workers.
Employees can better fit their work around personal commitments such as childcare. Meanwhile, the companies they work for enjoy a more productive and happier workforce! Of course, remote working can produce some challenges to employers. Here are some proven methods to better manage a remote workforce and foster good employee relationships:
Image Source – Max Pixel
Make sure you know what each remote worker does
If your business manages a lot of staff or perhaps employs a lot of seasonal workers, knowing who does what can sometimes be a challenge. That can also be the case if your colleagues are in charge of the hiring process. It’s important to know who works for you and their typical roles within your organization.
Thankfully, you can use technology to help you keep tabs on your staff. For example, you could use an employee timesheet application to understand who works for you and when they do so. Or you can create an organizational chart that links in with other office software tools. Take a look at this article over at Pingboard.com for more details on “org charts” as they are known.
Build rapport with your team members
It’s one thing to fire off instructions to your remote colleagues or have a quick two-minute chat with them on Google Hangouts. But, it’s another to actually learn more about them and what makes them tick.
Building a healthy working relationship with your remote workers is vital. It’s important because you want them to trust you enough to approach them with any questions. If they feel you are unapproachable, you’ll end up with a toxic working relationship.
Image Source – Flickr
Set up video calls
Texting and instant messages are both common non-verbal forms of communications used with remote team workers. The disadvantage of those two examples is they don’t give you a clue about how the other person is feeling when you’re talking to them.
A video call is straightforward and free to organize with your team members. What’s more, you can better gauge their overall mood when you approach them with a fresh set of challenges to overcome in their work, for example. Check out Skype.com to see how video calls can work for you.
Set aside time for weekly one-on-one conversations
One disadvantage of remote working is that you don’t see your staff in the office for individual communications. It’s important both parties are kept up-to-speed on the latest developments during their work.
Using video or even plain old telephone calls, allocate some time each week to have a chat with your remote co-workers.
Meet up in person at least once a year
Last, but not least, consider meeting up with all your remote workers at least once a year. For example, you could create a culture of everyone attending a Christmas meal. Doing so allows everyone to meet each other on a social level and feel happier about the work and the people they work with.