The impact of COVID-19 on remote work and how to manage remote employees has been significant. Remote work has allowed companies to remain productive during the global shutdown, or has boosted the opportunities available for international employment.
Employers and employees have benefited from greater flexibility and the global mobility of international employees. Having off-site employees, whether they make up your entire team or a certain percentage, is beneficial in many ways.
Business leaders are incredibly divided about how long-term remote work may be. Some (perhaps wishing it so) believe that it is already in decline, while others see it as being an inevitable future for the majority.
However, it can also be challenging to manage remote employees. Without having direct, in-person contact with your employees, you may find it hard to establish an effective relationship with them.
In this article, we offer you some guidance and tips on how you can find success managing remote workers. We understand that employee satisfaction is important to your company’s success, and we want to ensure your workplace can be welcoming and effective for everyone, both in the office and at home.
Four Essential Practices for Remote Work
1) Make an Effort to Communicate Regularly
Typically, when not in close proximity with others we can feel left out of conversations. Employees who don’t have in-person contact with you may feel ignored or that their input is less valued.
You can get rid of these doubts by ensuring regular contact with your remote staff, both in groups via virtual meetings and one-on-one calls. Let them know their needs are heard and addressed like their in-office coworkers.
Tip: Communicating with your remote staff is more at risk of technical difficulties like internet problems or being disconnected from calls. When there are problems it might seem easier to give up and email, but persevering shows you take that face to face interaction seriously.
Spend time before a meeting making sure the application or program you’ve chosen to use for calls works for everyone. Offer tech support for those who have trouble connecting or do a test run before important meetings. This way, there’s less risk of interruptions.
2) Build a Virtual Work Culture
A work environment is not just where people come to work; it’s a social environment that cultivates friendship, camaraderie, and essential work relationships.
Social interactions like office chatter or team-building events are just as crucial to building a successful team as work hours. So, take the time to win employee trust and include all staff members in celebrations as if they were in the office with you.
Tip: It can be easy to forget significant dates like employee birthdays and milestones when you don’t see them face to face. Organize a calendar with HR services that reminds you of these dates and plan to celebrate and honor your remote employees accordingly.
When their contributions to the company are equally valued and appreciated, they will know they belong in your company long-term.
3) Show A Willingness to Adapt
If you expect your remote staff to operate the same way as your in-office team, you will be frustrated. The two modes of work are fundamentally different, and that’s not a bad thing.
If you show a lack of trust in the new system, why would your employees feel differently? Manage remote employees by leading by example. Taking the time to adapt and build trust, as this will be the best way to integrate these new ideas.
You may need to use new technological systems to track your remote staff’s work and progress. Sometimes, this may take time and energy to set up and organize properly.
4) Be Patient
You are not alone if you have struggled with managing your remote team. The transition has been difficult for many businesses across industries as employers strive to find ways to streamline new functions. However, it has worked out in the end for many companies.
Be flexible if there are initial issues or missed meetings. Your employees will respond with the same commitment and belief in the success that you show them.
Tip: For those who manage remote employees in different countries, the time zone difference can be problematic. A simple way to avoid problems is to incorporate devices that show the time zones of all your staff.
This way, you can ensure you don’t miss or get confused with scheduled meeting times. It also makes it easier to rearrange meetings if anything causes a delay.
5) Offer Emotional Support and Understanding
Isolation is one of the most significant drawbacks of remote work for employees. This feeling was a decisive factor in employee unhappiness during the pandemic.
By offering time and support to your remote team and giving them a safe space to express how they feel and what they’re experiencing, you strengthen the trust between employer and employee.
Show that you understand the impact mental health struggles and anxiety have on work production. This way, you are more likely to increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention
Tip: Show your remote staff that you prioritize their wellbeing by sending regular wellness newsletters or offering access to online counselors or therapists for those who need it.
Even the most talented worker is ineffective if they suffer burnout. You cannot overlook the mental health of your remote employees if you want a winning team.
Manage Your Remote Team with INS Global
Being an employer or team manager is not easy, and it can easily feel overwhelming dealing with the amount of change occurring in business today. Adjusting and adapting to the additional tasks of managing a remote team or remote employees can feel like extra weight for a packed workload.
However, with the help of an expert international PEO (Professional Employer Organization) or global Employer of Record (EOR) services, your remote staff can have all their HR and payroll needs be met smoothly and stress-free. By making the most of these solutions, you can also expand without the need for a local entity in your target market while still supporting your overseas staff.
Our PEO services and EOR experts can maximize your time for essential management tasks. We can handle employment tax, local requirements for legal entities, payroll for a global team, and any other global expansion processes on your behalf.
We have experience working with global companies in over 80 countries. Our local expertise can ensure that you are abuilding trust in the workplace by understanding relevant sensitivities of new remote staff.
We are your local and global partner for when you need to succeed, no matter where your staff is located. Opportunities for working remotely can be a great boost to any company, and we are here to make that happen.
Contact us here today to learn more about our range of global employment services.