In today’s world, more and more people are working from home. This decision has been magnified by the pandemic 2020, which has turned many offices into virtual ones.
Has your company made the switch to remote work? Have you ever managed it before? If the answer to either of these questions is no, rest assured, you are not alone.
If you are new to managing remote employees, you need to educate yourself on the risks and proper practices for employee onboarding.
How do you manage employees working from home? How do you make sure they are still productive and continue to contribute to the company? How much training do you need to give them?
Here is our guide on how you can manage employees working from home.
Defining Clear Expectations
When it comes to managing employees who work from home, it is essential to define clear expectations from the outset. By doing so, you will set the tone for how you expect work to be accomplished, and your employees will be more likely to meet your expectations.
Be sure to define what you expect in terms of work hours, communication, and deliverables. For example, will you expect employees to be available during normal business hours? How often should they check in with you? What sort of work should they be completing?
By providing clear guidelines, you will help ensure that your employees are productive and meeting your expectations. If you find that expectations are not being met, then you can take appropriate action, such as providing additional training or coaching.
It is important to overcommunicate when handling communication for employees who work from home. This means sending clear and concise instructions for tasks that need to be completed and being available to answer any questions they may have.
Managers should check in with their employees regularly to ensure that they are staying on task and meeting deadlines.
Managers can do several things to boost productivity when workers work from home. To begin, set clear goals and timelines for projects. Next, schedule regular check-ins through video conference or phone calls to monitor progress and resolve any concerns that arise.
Also, establish a method for monitoring progress and reporting results to staff. Finally, allow employees to set their work schedules and take breaks as needed.
Check-ins and Follow-ups Regularly
Set expectations with your team from the start about how often you will check in and how you will communicate (i.e. email, phone, video conferencing, etc.). Once you have established that, make sure to stick to your plan. Checking in too frequently can be intrusive, but not checking in enough can make it difficult to stay on top of projects.
When checking in, ask employees how they are doing and if there is anything you can do to help them be more successful. Listen to their concerns and address them. If an employee is consistently not meeting deadlines or not doing their fair share of work, have a conversation with them about how you can work together to improve the situation.
Check-ins and follow-ups are key to managing a remote team.
Identify and Provide the Right Tools
The right tools will allow employees to be productive and efficient while working from home. Some of the tools that may be needed include a computer, internet access, a telephone, and a printer.
It is also important to provide employees with instructions on how to use these tools. By providing the right tools like WorkBright, for example, and giving some instructions, employees will be able to work from home effectively and efficiently.
Another is monitoring how carefully your remote workers are carrying out their tasks.
Continue to Recognize and Reward Employees
Remote work has become the new normal for many organizations as they manage employees working from home. It is important to continue to recognize and reward employees for their hard work and dedication, even when they are working from home. Send a personalized note or card to employees to let them know you appreciate their hard work.
Make sure employees are included in company updates and announcements. Also, hold virtual happy hours or coffee breaks to give employees a chance to socialize and connect.
Give employees access to exclusive content, such as webinars, e-books, or white papers.
Remote Doesn’t Mean Cheaper
The cost of living is expensive, and the cost of doing business is even more so. As a result, companies are always looking for ways to cut costs, including by doing business remotely.
However, just because a company is based remotely doesn’t necessarily mean that it is less expensive to operate. There are many costs associated with doing business remotely, including the cost of setting up and maintaining remote infrastructure, the cost of hiring and training remote employees, and the cost of managing employees who work remotely.
Recognize Typical Work From Home Challenges
You have to recognize challenges when employees are working from home. Here are some things you need to consider:
It can be difficult to manage communication when employees are not in the same space. There are a few ways to solve this problem, such as using a chat program or setting up regular video conferences.
It can be difficult to hold employees accountable when they are not in the office. One way to solve this problem is to set clear expectations and deadlines. You can also check in with employees regularly to see how they are progressing.
It can be difficult to trust employees who are not in the office. One way to build trust is to have regular check-ins and allow employees to voice any concerns.
If you are facing any of these challenges, there are ways to overcome them. By communicating regularly, setting clear expectations, and building trust, you can manage employees who work from home successfully.
Promote Work Balance and Boundaries
Let employees know that they are expected to maintain a healthy work/life balance and that they should set boundaries with family and friends to stay focused on work. Encourage them to take breaks throughout the day, step away from their workstation, and disconnect from work at the end of the day.
Let them know that it’s okay to say no to after-hours work requests and that you understand that they have other obligations outside of work. Promote a healthy work/life balance, and boundaries, to your employees working from home, and they will be more productive and happier.
Be Open to Suggestions
If you manage employees who work from home, be open to suggestions from them about how to improve their work-life balance. Let them know that you value their work and want to support them in finding the best way to do their job.
Many people who work from home find that they need to take breaks more often or work in shorter bursts. Some need to set stricter boundaries between work and home life.
Others find that they need more social interaction than they would get in a traditional office. Listen to your employees and see what solutions they suggest. You may be surprised at how creative they can be.
Success should be celebrated in the workplace to maintain morale and keep employees happy. This can be done in several ways, such as hosting company-wide events, giving out parties, or simply verbally acknowledging successes.
When employees are working from home, it can be more difficult to keep track of everyone’s successes. However, there are still a few things that managers can do to celebrate their employees’ successes, even from afar.
By trying to make a point of regularly communicating with your team and asking about their recent successes. You can also send out congratulatory emails or notes, or even host virtual happy hours to celebrate together. No matter how you do it, celebrating successes, both big and small, is an important part of keeping your home-based employees motivated and engaged.
Acknowledge Your Employee’s Unique Circumstances
Employees with young children at home may need more flexible hours or break times to manage childcare. Employees caring for elderly family members may need time off for doctor appointments or to provide care.
Acknowledging your employees’ unique circumstances shows that you are supportive and understanding, which can improve morale and motivation. Additionally, it may help you retain employees who might otherwise leave for a more accommodating job.
Learning to Manage Employees Working From Home
To manage employees working from home, it is important to set expectations for productivity and output, agree on working hours, foster transparency and communication, and create a positive remote work environment.
If you’re up for the challenge, managing employees working from home can be a great way to improve morale. With these practices in place, you will be able to manage your remote team effectively and ensure everyone is on the same page.
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