7 Tips for Managing Remote Employees

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A recent study revealed nearly one-third of Canadian businesses have (at least) 10% of their employees working from home due to current COVID-19 conditions (approx. 5 million total).


The same study also reported at least one-quarter of organizations predict that 10% of their staff will continue to work remotely post-pandemic.


What are you doing to help manage those employees?

With more and more businesses gravitating towards a remote workforce, owners are now facing all-new challenges when it comes to effectively managing staff.



As we usually do at GAM Tech, we've put together some useful info from a technology point-of-view.



Here are our 7 tips for managing remote employees:



1. Equip Your Employees For Success

2. Set and Manage Expectations

3. Make Communication a Priority

4. Use As Much Video As Possible

5. Schedule Regular One-on-Ones

6. Create A Virtual Watercooler

7. Focus on Progress Instead of Process




Tip #1: Equip Employees For Success 🎉

Portrait of excited man looking game on laptop at home


Set your employees up for success by ensuring they have the right tools.


It may seem obvious to some, but  beyond the basic laptop and/or mobile phone, this should also include collaborative software needed to perform daily activities.



Some of these other tools may include:


  • Video chat apps
  • Real-time communication app(s)
  • Project management software
  • Time management software
  • Access to company policies and procedures
  • Security protection (anti-virus, firewalls, 2-factor authentication, VPN)



Tip #2: Set and Manage Expectations 


This type of work situation may be new for some of your employees.


It's now more important than ever to be transparent and open regarding company guidelines, boundaries and expectations.


This means defining your employees’ scope of work, deliverables expected for each project, timelines for delivery, etc.


You’ll also want to help your team understand how their successes will be measured.


Businessman standing with his back with objects in his hand and looking at the globe, courtesy of NASA



Tip #3: Make Communication a Priority 


Successful remote management also starts with a communication strategy.



Pro Tip: Stay far away from the urge to micromanage your employees! 👍


Trust is extremely important in a remote work environment - hey; if you trusted them enough to hire them, let them try to do their best for you in this situation!


All the same, you’ll definitely want to establish a set of guidelines that allows workers to feel acknowledged and supported.


Guidelines may include:


  • How the team is expected to communicate (i.e. email, video chats, phone calls, etc.)
  • Communication turn-around times (especially for email!)
  • When the team can/should communicate (i.e. certain times of day for meetings, etc.)



Tip #4: Use Video as Much as Possible


So... I heard you may have a bit of Zoom exhaustion. We understand!


Stressed businesswoman sitting at her desk in the office


Did you know experts recommend utilizing video conferences as much as possible to build relationships, streamline collaboration and boost productivity?


Yes... some of us are getting tired of it, but we believe that's mainly due to a lack of balance between in-person interaction that has been limited due to the pandemic.


Many companies have been using Google Meet, WebEx, and Skype For Business long before there was ever an emergency work from home scenario.


Realistically, video is the next best alternative to “in-person” interactions where employees can engage with both you and each other - a key component in building workplace relationships.




Tip #5: Have Regular One on Ones 



It’s much easier for employees to “stop by” to discuss ad hoc issues or ideas in an office setting...


...for companies that are moving to a more permanent remote work solution, those days may become few and far between.


If you're looking to encourage an open-door policy in a remote environment, try to schedule weekly/bi-weekly/monthly (depending on what works best for your organization) one-on-one meetings with your staff.


You may also want to provide a list of “open hours” where you’re available to chat without the need to schedule an official meeting.




Tip #6: Create a Virtual Watercooler


New workers eating sandwiches for lunch


Social interaction is yet another critical part of the "in-person" workplace.


Consider creating a channel in your chat app of choice where employees can communicate in a fun and spontaneous way (i.e. Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, etc.).


At GAM Tech, we use Microsoft Teams. A lot of options offer free trials, so download one and try it out with a few team members to see if they're into it!


Alternatively, you may want to add additional time to the beginning/end of video meetings for employees to connect and converse.




Tip #7: Focus on Progress Instead of Process 🏁


Every employee has their own approach to completing tasks successfully and on time.


For this reason, it’s important to focus on the business goals achieved as opposed to how they’re being accomplished.


This will also show workers you trust them to deliver without consistently checking in on them (which you have little time for, anyway).



Looking for more "work from home" help? See our previous post: 8 Work From Home Tips For Health & Productivity



What do you think? Are there some tips you can use in here? Share with your friends and sign up for the GAM Tech blog for more useful technology and work tips!



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Find out how GAM Tech can help you protect your business’s remote data by booking your Free Consultation today. Or, to have the latest IT trends, tips, advice and information delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to our newsletter.

Posted by Adrian Ghira on Aug 27, 2020 4:02:51 PM

Topics: remote, working remotely

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