There are many reasons why so many businesses opt for a remote team these days. Some businesses simply don’t have the office space to handle a large team, and it can work out a lot cheaper to hire someone remotely rather than organising desk space for them.
This also comes with its drawbacks though. A remote team doesn’t facilitate the same level of communication you could expect with everyone working in the same space as you. It can lead to some staff feeling disconnected, or left out, as well as demotivated and unproductive. Finding a way to keep productivity high for remote workers is essential if the process is to work. But what works?
Manage them, but don’t micromanage them!
Just as staff don’t like to be unnecessarily micromanaged within the office, they won’t be keen on it at a distance either. Using project management software can help you track and manage projects without feeling like you’re constantly asking for updates. It also allows you to set targets whilst having total project oversight.
Some companies opt for screen monitoring software with the aim of improving productivity. It enables you to see exactly how your staff are spending their time and can pinpoint any issues that need to be addressed. Be cautious though; staff who are good at self-policing and self-motivation will feel like they’re not trusted, which can damage morale.
Have monthly goals
Setting targets for staff to reach is a more informal way to track projects and productivity. These targets can come with rewards or even just be informal goals. Having something to work towards and receiving positive reinforcement at the end of a task can greatly improve overall productivity and morale.
It can make staff more focused and motivated, especially when it comes to scheduling work for themselves, plus it’s something measurable that you can use to assess performance.
Try to speak face to face
This is one of the harder ones to achieve, especially if your remote worker is located in a different country as you! Managing to match up working hours from different time zones can be challenging. Staff need communication though, not just with each other, but with their manager, too. It helps people feel like they’re valued if they get some face-time, and utterly dispensable if they don’t.
Video calling can help when face-to-face meetings aren’t possible, helping teams understand the subtle nuances behind the emails and messages, and can go a long way towards enhancing team harmony.
It’s important to remember though, some people feel more comfortable communicating over email rather than a video call, forcing these people into a certain option can be detrimental to their productivity.
Do you use any of the above methods when working with remote staff? Or are you the one out of the office, trying to keep up with staff back at HQ? Let us know any tips and tricks we’ve missed off!
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About The Author
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.