Over the past few months, millions of businesses around the United States have been tasked with adjusting to life during a global pandemic. Since the start of the COVID-19 health crisis, many businesses have had to close down their physical locations. In these tumultuous times, many entrepreneurs have learned to use remote workers to keep their businesses afloat.
While you may be unaccustomed to managing a team of remote employees, it is important to learn how to keep your team members productive while they work from home. Are you looking to successfully manage your new team of remote workers? If so, check out the useful tips below.
Provide Your Team with the Right Tools
The key to successfully adopting a remote work business model is to provide your team members with the tools they need. If a person is working from their home, they will need access to business files, customer logs, and other vital information. Without access to these important resources, it will be nearly impossible for your workers to stay productive. The answer is to invest in a cloud server, along with a series of cloud-based tools.
With the help of cloud-based tools, remote employees can access the information they need to get the job done. For example, if your business requires the ability to fax and receive documents from customers or vendors, you cannot provide each of your remote workers with a fax machine. The modern solution to handle these tasks is an online faxing solution such as eFax. With this technology, sending and receiving faxes is as easy as pushing a button.
Set Expectations for Your Remote Workers
Going from managing workers in an actual office space to trying to manage remote workers can be a challenge. Consider how you will approach this new normal to ensure success in this new chapter of your business life. And most importantly, be very clear with your remote workers about your expectations.
Develop guidelines and boundaries that allow you to hold workers accountable in the future if they are not meeting your outlined expectations. Be clear about how many hours a week they need to work and how long the assignments you give them should take to complete. This is essential to avoid lulls in productivity. Speak with members of your management team to help determine these specific guidelines and expectations.
A Collaborative Effort
Making a small business successful requires flexibility and the ability to adapt to changes quickly. The COVID-19 health crisis was a curveball that no one saw coming. As the complexity of this pandemic continues to evolve, business owners must find ways to keep their customers engaged and happy. A great team of remote workers can help. If you are taking on new projects and relying on remote workers to get them done, consider using cloud-based project management software.
If team members are working from home and only handling projects on their own, they may become disengaged as time goes on. This is why team member collaboration should be a priority. With cloud-based project management software, you can assign tasks to multiple team members and check their progress. This type of software also provides team members with message boards and other tools to make collaboration between employees easier.
Before choosing a cloud-based project management program for your remote workers, take some time to assess what each program offers. Assess the cost of the program and the number of team members allowed on each account. You should also read the reviews carefully for each particular project management software program. This will help determine which program is the best fit for your company’s needs.
Do Not Micromanage Your Remote Employees
Companies with highly engaged employees are usually more profitable. As your business transitions from having employees in an office setting to having employees working remotely, you must find ways to keep your team members happy and loyal. One of the biggest mistakes is micromanagement. Employees may feel stifled if every decision is micromanaged, or every minute of time must be accounted for. It is crucial to provide your remote workers with a certain degree of trust and freedom.
You may need to interject, however, if you see that a particular remote worker is not fulfilling their obligations. Schedule routine meetings with members of your management staff to figure out where problems exist, and how they will be solved. Show your remote workers that you trust them enough by not micromanaging their every move. This can also help prevent high employee turnover rates during this pandemic.
A High Level of Organization is Needed
Adequately managing a team of remote workers for the first time can be challenging to say the least. It is important to stay organized to ensure projects get done on time. If a number of tasks fall through the cracks because you are disorganized, you may start to lose customers and profits. In some cases, you may feel you are overwhelmed by the number of tasks you must complete each day. Delegating some of these tasks to trusted members of your staff can help you lighten your workload and avoid losing customers.
Create detailed briefs to give your team members regarding how to handle each project. By providing these details, you can be assured your customer’s needs are being met.
Avoid Getting Deterred
As you start to navigate your way through the world of managing remote workers, there will be bumps in the road. Rather than letting these setbacks lead to project failures, you need to remain persistent and flexible. Staying the course and rolling with the changes can help your business achieve success during the pandemic and beyond.