How to manage your remote workforce

Remote working has graduated from being merely a buzzword today. Businesses are embracing hiring top talents and providing a successful employee experience while maintaining productivity levels.

However, how sustainable is this trend? Without long used metrics like desk time and visible activity levels, how can employers and managers measure success while maintaining and improving employee engagement?

What is a remote team?

Remote teams are usually made up of employees or professionals who are based out of different time zones, having different skills, work routines, and working styles.

How to solve common challenges faced by remote teams

Running a remote workforce looks different across companies, depending on the workforce size, culture, and approach to remote work. When working remotely, it is helpful to recognize common issues such as isolation, and lack of supervision that can arise. Thus, having a preconceived plan can help tackle the issues.

Employ relevant remote working tools

One of the biggest challenges you face as a remote team leader is the inability to keep your team on the same page. Although email is a good way to get started, it won’t be able to give your employees the benefits of real-time collaboration, video conferencing, and knowledge sharing.  Leveraging features like channels, private groups, scheduled messages, and emoji reactions on applications such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom make virtual communication and collaboration as seamless as possible. It is also important to account for mobile-enabled usage for simpler, less formal communication that is time-sensitive.

Read more: 5 Remote Work Challenges and How to Overcome Them With Help Desk – Slack Integration

Ensuring necessary work-from-home resources

Working from home, or any remote location comes with its own set of distractions. It is imperative that companies provide employees with a dedicated workspace and childcare services if needed before they start working remotely. Companies should also ensure that their employees have access to required gadgets and infrastructure like high-speed internet, monitors, and other devices that they might need to carry out their work and eliminate distractions. While this may mean reallocation of budget, it is an important step towards setting up your remote team for better growth.

Access to quick responses to queries and information

The process of getting answers to simple IT, HR, or Operation questions can seem like a barrier for new and experienced people. This also means that the members of your IT, HR, and Support teams spend time answering these — repetitive questions. With tools like HappyFox’s Assist AI, your support teams can now focus on more important tasks and provide your employees with easy solutions to all their requests.

Scheduling regular check-ins and interactions

Depending on the requirement, team size, and working style, many managers like to establish daily or weekly catch-ups with their teams. Regular meetings with managers can help employees voice their doubts and concerns. Moreover, scheduling time for casual interactions and activities is said to foster teamwork and a healthy line of communication.

Regular meetings with managers can help employees voice their doubts and concerns.

With employees working remotely, it is essential to go beyond regular check-in calls to reach the desired goal.  Communication is important for any management team, but it becomes even more crucial when working remotely. Communication that is carried out in simple, fluff-free language helps everyone in various time zones and with different levels of knowledge about anything in particular.

Setting and managing employee expectations

The ability to manage team success depends on largely setting clear expectations in terms of responsibilities and team dynamics. While this has always been important to maintain, it is even more important in a remote workspace where there is more scope for communication gaps. This method also helps to define the frequency, means, and preferred timing for communication between team members and the management.

Flexibility is important, but it is also important to establish daily, weekly and monthly timeframes for various projects. This will help you break down bigger tasks into smaller, actionable goals and allow you to collect data for future planning. 

Establish processes to ensure employee productivity

It is important to ensure that each employee has their own set of responsibilities and goals they can work towards with their own style. This should be supplemented with processes that help them achieve the goals in tandem with that of the team. To build an empowered team, the focus should be held on results and not a daily activity. Setting up clear project roles and responsibilities, discussing specific roles with team members, and tracking key metrics of the projects are important initiatives to be considered.

Investing in your remote workforce

Understanding and tackling the challenges of remote working, from social isolation and distractions to lack of ideal technology and resources is a vital step towards successfully running a remote workplace. Amongst other steps that can be taken, like showing flexibility and empathy and setting clear KPIs, investing in the right technology is a necessity. Schedule a one-on-one meeting with our product specialists to understand how Assist AI can make managing your remote team better.