Working in an office allows you to keep a number of procedures manual by using verbal tasking and email. In distributed work, these mechanisms stop working. If you didn’t have a task management tool up to this point, it’s time to start implementing it.
Managing remote employees is not easy – that’s a fact. Studies show that 39% of employees who work remotely look for ways to avoid doing set tasks. This article offers tips on how to organize remote work so that it doesn’t have a bad impact on the results.
How to maintain remote work
1. Remote work is not a paid leave
We need to start with clarifications. Most of the employees for whom you are changing their employment status to remote these days do not know what it means to work remotely. It’s one thing to write a report for two days while working from home because of the child’s illness. Another thing is to get up every morning, slowly take a shower, after a leisurely full breakfast, walk over to your laptop and get to work. At the same time, you can sleep longer, because now you do not need to spend an hour on the road. You also don’t have to wear a suit, a tie, style your hair and wear uncomfortable shoes. Isn’t it a vacation?
This is exactly how many employees perceive the unexpected happiness that has fallen on them in the form of remote work. Happiness slightly clouded by reports, analysis, sorting, processes, and numbers. But all this can be done later.
Send out instructions to employees on how to organize everything for productive remote work. It will be better to hold an online meeting where you can discuss all the difficult moments and answer the questions.
2. Meetings 1:1
The manager should regularly communicate with remote employees tête-à-tête, just to see how they’re doing and whether their attitude to work has changed. Assign such calls to each employee once a week. That way people will know that on the appointed day they will get in touch with you and discuss working moments. They will get used to this format quickly if it’s on a regular basis. Moreover, it will motivate them to do their job better and better.
3. Maximum openness
Build a remote work system so that information on the project is open to everyone and you can easily involve new employees in it. The game of levels of employee access to information is a relic that gives managers the illusion of control over their subordinates.
When working remotely, it is especially important to plan carefully for different reporting periods – month, week, day. A general team call at the beginning of the reporting period is obligatory. In a publicly available plan – let it be at least a sign in Google Docs – you need to write down tasks, responsible persons, and deadlines. Advanced Jira, Asana, Trello services are also great for this purpose. But the main difficulty lies not in the tool and learning how to use it, but in employee engagement, discipline and responsibility.
Every day you should have short meetings. It is very important that it will be at the same time every day – it disciplines the team. At such planning meetings, you will find out what did your colleagues do yesterday, what problems there are and what is planned to be done today. This creates the feeling that everyone works, everyone is united by a common cause – colleagues work, so I must, too. That’s what’s missing when we work remotely.
5. Take care of clarity
You’ll also need a shared cloud calendar or access to your colleagues’ calendars. If the company does not have corporate plans “stitched” into corporate mail, you can use those that are on every phone. Our accessibility or inaccessibility must be clear. If you call an employee, and he does not pick up the phone, you must see in the calendar – he has communication with the client, for example, and not household chores or sports. In real life, we can look up and see an employee on the phone. So you can text him to come over when he’s free, or just wave and get his attention. We do the same here. But instead of raising your head and looking at the employee, you check his calendar and see all his activities.
If your management style is total control, install programs on the computers of employees that track activity – how long the employee has been using this or that application, which sites he visited, and so on. However, it ruins the trust in the team, we do not recommend it.
Any activity that involves more than two people should be on the calendar. This is not done for total control, but to make it easier for the rest of the team to build a relationship with each member. And if you need to go away on a personal matter, you should do the same thing as you did in the office: just ask for leave. And don’t forget to mark it on the calendar, of course. Even lunch.
6. Evaluate the quality of work instead of the amount of time worked
Set tasks and keep track of them. The completed work is measured by the result, not by the time spent. However, this does not negate the need to designate the scope of working hours, preferably – the same for everyone. It makes it easier for people to plan their time.
7. Respond quickly to performance drops
If you notice that a remote employee is not making progress on their projects or avoiding sharing information, then it’s time to react. Talk face to face and make it clear that he does not live up to expectations. React in real time, don’t delay action.
8. Start with the bosses
All of the above applies primarily to managers. It is he who sets the tone for all remote work. All those actions that the boss requires from employees, he must, first of all, perform himself. You and your leaders should always tell your employees about completed or failed tasks, share problems and not be afraid to ask for advice.
Helen Wilson is a content writer at a professional essay writing service. Her main spheres of specialization are Recruiting and Business. She also studies topics about psychology and health and provides economics assignment help.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.