Today, most businesses are embracing remote trends. They hire top talent from different countries as well. Therefore, it is the responsibility of a manager to manage remote teams. Some of the responsibilities a manager has towards remote team members include nurturing, guiding, and supporting them, which can be a challenge.
Related: The Virtual Office Assistant
Basically, the term “remote employees” refers to professionals who are in different time zones, different cultural environments, and who have diverse skill sets but work together on a unified project. Employees who fall under this title work from a separate location, live in different cities, and work across space and time. To work remotely is one thing and to manage a remote employee is another, wholly different, and a challenging task. Remote employment seems to be everywhere and in every industry. However, there is a difference between employees working on site and working outside an office.
It is important for an organization and its management team to know the challenges that come along with managing remote employees such as managing teams, project management, and ensuring that projects are done on time.
Challenges in managing remote employees
The higher the rate at which employees are working remotely, the more challenges there are which related to remote team management. Some of the common challenges include:
- Difficulty tracking employee performance
- Lack of communication
- No clearly defined roles and tasks
- Lack of team cohesion
- Missing accountability program
- Scheduling difficulties
- Employing the right resources
Even though many companies struggle to succeed in remote employment environments, there is hope for success. These are some of the practices that can help a company to manage a remote team.
Use communication tools
It can be difficult to communicate with remote employees because they are not around for face-to-face communication, hence missing out on vital information. Therefore, there is a need to have communication tools that can reach remote employees quickly. These tools could be video conferencing, phones, instant messaging software, and emails.
Track employee time
Knowing whether or not remote employees are working could be difficult, particularly if they do not work on site. Sometimes they might take advantage of their situation by committing time theft, either intentionally or unintentionally, due to the relaxed nature of their environment causing them to be less productive. Therefore, there is a need to track employees’ working time. Better monitoring can be done through the use of time and attendance software. Employees will have to log their hours worked, or either clock in and clock out each day.
Tracking projects that are being worked on by a remote employee can be tricky. For this reason, introducing project management software can be a wise decision and can make projects easier. The software will help the manager to monitor which tasks need to be done, projects in progress, and which employee is working on what. Moreover, the manager can monitor the time taken by employees to complete projects.
Bottom line, these are just a few tips on how to manage remote employees effectively, there are many other practices that can help your organization grow and improve your remote working culture. Good luck!