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With strong management and some carefully considered organisation, remote teams can be a huge success. Things can start to unravel very quickly without this management and organisation though. Here are a few of the most common issues remote workforces and their management teams are facing today. You might even recognise some of them yourself.

Struggles around lack of control and supervision

This is particularly important for senior staff and supervisors who oversee what employees are doing in real life. Are they clocking in on time? And working their full hours each day? Or even working at all? Are they just sleeping in ’til noon and watching reruns of The Office?

Isolation and feelings of disconnectedness

Without the chance to catch up with a morning coffee, or to socialise during lunch, things can get a little lonely. Working remotely increases the risk of feeling isolated and disconnected. This isn’t just a social thing, either. Staff can also feel left-out of decision-making processes, too.

Poor focus and heightened distraction

There is a whole spectrum of things which can curtail your concentration when working from home. An overflowing washing basket, kids who want breakfast, a delivery at the door, dogs that need walking. Accountability can sometimes prove a bit of a challenge in these demanding circumstances.

The extra time spent locating information

This isn’t always the case for businesses already operating on online platforms. But, if you’re paper based, there’s the extra logistical step of how to access that information. It can result in working from home being a difficult transition to begin with.

So, what can be done to combat these issues? Keep reading for our top tips on monitoring a workforce that is mostly remote or working from home.

Set clear deadlines and make sure everybody sticks to them

Setting realistic deadlines is a great way to monitor productivity levels without having to micromanage staff. As long as reasonable deadlines are met and work completed to a high standard, you shouldn’t need to worry. Remember, it’s not about being in charge for the sake of it. It’s about setting protocols to make sure high standards are maintained.

Communicate deadlines in writing means there is a record of them. It’s an effective way to encourage a remote workforce to remain accountable and motivated, without feeling the gaze of Big Brother.

Use digital task management tools

Online task management tools help us to communicate and set out deadlines, and task responsibility. Think of it as your collaborative, virtual to-do list that can be accessed by the entire team via the internet. That way, everybody can see who is doing what, when it’s due, what’s coming up and where they fit into that process.

Take advantage of modern technology and video collaboration

Emails are great and it’s easy to pick up the phone, but putting that extra ounce of energy into scheduling a video call is invaluable for a whole host of reasons:

Of course, a video call won’t always be the right medium – it really depends on the task in hand but also the personality of your participants. Some employees may feel more comfortable working via voice call, whilst others may prefer to just ask a quick question via text or instant message.

That’s the beauty of modern technology – it’s an inclusive tool which enables a diverse workforce to be productive however they see fit.

Visit our blog for more business advice and tips, including our specialist subject – accounting! Learn more about the services provided by our online accountancy professionals.  

About The Author

Stephanie Whalley

Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.

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