3 Tips for managing remote workers
As 2019 comes to a close, 66 percent of companies embraced remote work, and for good reason: When businesses don’t have to gather all of their staff at HQ every day, bosses can broaden their search for talent beyond who is available locally, while giving employees more control of where and when they work, which has been proven to pay off in spades.
But to derive the positive outcomes of employing a largely decentralized workforce, leadership needs to establish a culture that ensures teams never feel at a distance from each other, even if that is the case geographically.
The onus of this culture building lands on managers, who need to embrace an atmosphere of trust and transparency while being very clear about expectations. It’s not an easy task or something that can be done overnight, but with an array of SaaS and cloud solutions available specifically to help enable a remote workforce, managers have plenty of tools at their disposal. But most importantly, team leaders need to adjust their mindset and embrace the following strategies for success.
- Trust from the get-go: When team members are spread across time zones and branch offices, managers need to know they can trust their team to meet agreed upon results. While one remote team member may be at their desk when it’s midnight where their boss works, as long as both stakeholders trust each other to meet all established deadlines, managers shouldn’t feel the need to micromanage from afar (or hop online in the middle of the night). Task management solutions like Asana or Jira, for instance, are great for helping drive this coordination and building this trust by giving remote teams a “shared space” online to hash out their goals as a team.
- Embrace communication: In the best-selling sociology text Sapiens by Yuval Hariri, the author explains how human beings have risen to global dominance despite being a relatively weak species physically. “The real difference isn’t on the individual level,” Harari says. “It’s on the collective level” – that is, humans are able to communicate with each other effectively, allowing for us to coordinate and overcome our individual inadequacies. When applying this logic to the workplace, the teams that are able to effectively work together will be the most likely to succeed at any given task. That means that managers have to be especially cognizant of not falling into an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality where remote workers are involved. Yet again, there are no lack of SaaS solutions leaders can deploy to accomplish this – from Microsoft Teams to Google Hangouts – but managers need to go a step further and hold regular video chat meetings, for instance, between individuals and the rest of their team to gain that “collective edge.”
- Do away with “Us vs. Them’‘ – Building on the points above, it’s important that teams don’t just rely on the UCaaS and VoIP at their disposal to bridge all of the separations (primarily geographic) hindering collaboration. Team leaders need to go out of their way to ensure that the language they use in communicating with remote team members reflects the underlying ethos of “one team, one dream” – that is, not referring to remote workers as a separate “arm” of the department. This puts the onus on leaders to be sure they share even casual updates with all remote staff with the same regularity they would in the office, and to employ inclusive pronouns like “we” and “our” as much as possible. This way, remote offices don’t feel at odds or in competition with peers who may only sit a few desks away from team leaders.
Underlying all of this is a greater emphasis on new technology – specifically, SaaS and cloud workflows – that can keep teams in tandem now matter how far apart they may be physically. This calls for robust network performance to the point that the underlying network infrastructure is essentially invisible to end users.
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Filed Under: industry insights
Tags: network performance monitoring, network technology, Unified Communications, UCaaS, software as a service, SaaS, enterprise IT, network management, network monitoring, tips, remote workforce, remote work