4 Remote Workforce Management Tips in 2017
The population of remote workers is growing. In fact, in a recently conducted survey from London’s Global Leadership Summit business attendees, approximately one-third expect that more than half of their full-time employees will be remote workers by 2020.
While remote employees offer greater flexibility, less financial overhead, and in many cases higher productivity, managing them effectively will likely require a significant alteration of your leadership style.
How to Manage a Remote Workforce in 2017
In order to better utilize and manage this flexible new workforce, you’ll need to cater to the unique needs of remote workers. The four tips below will help point you in the right direction.
1. Focus on Setting Goals
Clear and focused goals are instrumental to any project, but are even more important for remote workers. Rather than being driven by simply filling in the working hours, these employees typically put their value in achieving results-based goals.
And when your goals are well-defined and marked by quantitative metrics and key performance indicators (tenets of the SMART goals criteria), your remote workforce will spend less time interpreting intention and more time being productive.
2. Effective Communication is Essential
Communication is by far the largest hurdle to overcome with a remote workforce. Getting progress updates from an employee is infinitely easier when they’re down the hall rather than in another time zone.
Make it a priority to establish clear and consistent communication with your remote workforce. Basic communication systems like Slack and Microsoft Lync can be effective, but the added benefits of asset management, task assignment, and analytics of advanced systems like Workfront can make collaboration even easier.
3. Take Advantage of Video Conferencing
Interfacing with your employees is one of the best ways to maintain engagement and motivation among your team. With remote workers; however, doing so can be especially difficult. Without frequent communication, the result is less collaboration, lower morale, and ultimately a weaker team member.
Incorporating video conferencing into your processes is an incredibly effective way to combat these issues. Programs like RingCentral and ClickMeeting are both invaluable additions to any remote team and will help keep your digital employees involved and committed.
4. Leverage the Power of Processes
The lack of a physical presence can make onboarding remote workers especially difficult. With many of these employees serving multiple clients, expecting them to perform the job exactly how you want right out of the gate is simply unrealistic.
Ensuring your team documents their processes in detail can help to reduce confusion and keep your remote workers moving. Procedure documentation should also follow best practices, such as incorporating flow charts and checklists to make them easier to understand.
Remote Workforce: The Future of Business
While remote workers bring with them a new set of challenges, they also offer the modern business a host of benefits as well, such as increased flexibility, higher quality workmanship, and lower costs. Incorporating these tips into your management strategy will ensure you use these unique employees to their full potential.