Nowadays, a growing number of businesses are embracing remote work as a viable option. Working remotely has never been easier, thanks to advances in computing power and increased connectivity. Another reason for the popularity of remote work is that it allows firms to access a worldwide talent pool. However, as advantageous as remote work can be, it can often be challenging to manage. The main reason for this is because remote workers are not physically present in the office, they might easily feel neglected and isolated. This can result in high turnover costs as well as a drop in staff motivation, productivity, and efficiency. Companies with an HR department, on the other hand, can ensure that those problems are prevented in the first place.
Top 5 Challenges Managing Remote Employees
Internal Communication Problems
Your employees must be aware of the company for which they work as well as the organization’s objective. They require all of the information they need to do their jobs well, stay compliant, and deliver excellent service. They need to know who or where they may go for help, to express their opinions, and to provide feedback.
When working with remote employees, most organizations claim increased productivity, although scheduling issues might arise. Coordination of chat times can be difficult if your employees are located in different time zones. Furthermore, notifying them of important changes or upgrades may be too late.
Hiring and Training New Employees
Even if you and your team thrive in a work-from-home environment, the prospect of employing new employees from distance might be daunting. However, keep in mind that remote work isn’t a new concept, and today’s technology can compensate for a lot. It’s never easy learning how to perform in a new role, especially when it involves new technologies. As a result, managers may need to spend more time training a new remote employee. Online onboarding should be meticulously planned.
Lack of Trust
When you have an everyday conversation and face-to-face interactions, you instantly build trust and are able to bond better. When you have remote employees, however, you don’t have that advantage, which leads to difficulties of trust and cohesion between you and your employees, which can only lead to employee cohesion.
Company Morale and Culture
There’s no denying that a work-from-home policy can have a negative impact on company culture. Regardless of how much time employees spend chatting with one another at work, communication and camaraderie are crucial, and it can affect employee morale.
Skills Managers Need To Manage Remote Employees
Managers must have the necessary skills to manage remote staff. The job description remains the same: guarantee that your staff is directed, fostered, and supported in every manner. The skills required to manage remote workers are listed below.
Constant communication is something that most managers who have handled remote personnel have in common. Your staff must be aware of the importance of constant communication. Trust and respect are developed via efficient communication. Managers can also use communication to inquire about workloads and the status of projects.
It’s critical to develop a team and relationships outside of work. Regardless of how far away your remote employees are from you, creating personal ties with them is critical to getting the most out of them. Bring up topics that will help to build individual relationships as well as the team’s overall spirit.
Managers must develop techniques to be available at all times in order to effectively manage remote employees. The manager’s performance is dependent on his capacity to be available at all times. Managers should guarantee that their remote staff has access to them at all times by having an open-door policy and different channels of communication.
How HR can manage remote employees?
Create a clear remote work policy:
A growing number of businesses are implementing a remote work policy. It makes sense, given how far technology has progressed. Employees and employers alike may benefit from this. According to one study, workers who worked from home were 13% more productive than those who worked in offices. At the same time, another study found that enabling employees to telecommute saved businesses $2,000 per year.
Define the scope of remote work.
Set clear expectations for employees and managers.
Evaluate employee’s performance out of working hours.
Give employees the productive tools:
It is your responsibility as an employer to offer work-from-home employees with the tools they require to complete their tasks. When team members operate from multiple locations, email communication suffers from a lack of supervision. As a result, HR departments can implement cloud-based customer service technologies.
It enables the customer support team to concentrate all information and communication in order to provide each customer with a compelling user experience. HR staff can also look past any continuing challenges that the representatives may be having in order to assist them when they are in distress.
Microsoft 365 implementation can better support or design the remote work environment than any other. Microsoft’s work-from-home options are one-of-a-kind and expertly crafted.
It’s critical that your customer service representatives are kept up to date on their customers’ profiles and relevant communications. You can provide specific training to help them understand the audience profiles. Regardless of cultural variations, it is critical to provide superior service to clients. It will aid their internal mobility, allowing them to be redeployed to new jobs if their current one becomes outdated. It can help individuals advance in the company by allowing them to learn new abilities, which can lead to more specialized jobs.
Use video meetings:
The average attention span for video meetings is 35 minutes, compared to 23 minutes for phone conversations. As a result, HR departments should encourage regular video meetings using solutions like Microsoft Teams, which assist the customer service team to discuss pressing concerns. The video recordings of such meetings can also be used to instruct other staff who are dealing with the same issue. Virtual meetings can also be used by customer service managers to ensure a smooth flow of information among the team.
In our office, we’ve probably dealt with micromanagers. Managers must build trust and maintain an appropriate amount of check-ins. Having to make a one-on-one call twice a day, every day, will definitely do more harm than good. This should be sufficient if deadlines are met and communication is clear. Make sure you’re concentrating on results rather than activities. You can start by ensuring that your goal-setting and expected outcomes are properly defined.
Involve your remote employees:
Remote workers can be equally as skilled as your in-house employees, so you’ll need to include them in the decision-making process and any project discussions to keep them motivated. This can be accomplished by ensuring that remote workers can collaborate with both their teammates and their managers. The simplest way to do so is to take advantage of modern technology, which makes communication, file sharing, collaboration, and any other important actions efficient. If you’re hosting a business meeting or an important meeting where you’ll discuss future projects, make sure to include remote employees rather than merely sending them a summary of what was discussed.
Remote work is becoming increasingly popular these days, especially as more businesses realize the advantages it may provide. However, adjusting to the idea that not all employees must be present in the workplace is still difficult. Fortunately, with the support of human resource management systems, businesses can not only properly manage remote employees, but also ensure that they feel like an important part of the company.