Written by Erin Stalcup for World Education
If the current state of things has shown us anything, it’s that working remotely is not only an option for many companies that didn’t think it would work, but sustainable with better productivity than their commuting counterparts. Studies have shown that remote workers are more efficient and are generally happier with their job than commuters. They can also struggle with loneliness, poor communication, and distractions around the home.
It’s pretty clear that remote working is here to stay in at least some capacity. Now managers get the task of figuring out how to manage employees remotely, keep them motivated, and make sure everyone is on the same page. Here are a few tips to help manage remote employees.
- Set expectations and adapt as needed: Everyone needs clear and concise expectations when doing any job, but this is especially important when remote working. Set goals and deadlines and let the employees do the rest. Try not to focus on how active they appear but the quality of the work that comes out of it. It can be easy to make assumptions when you can’t see what's happening in the background.
- Communication: The biggest issue people face with remote working is loneliness and loss of personal connection with their management and company overall. To combat this researchers suggest a variety of things to keep lines of communication open.
- Video chats - Use video chats whenever possible to allow that face-to-face interaction that makes your employee feel like they are part of your team
- Use gifs - Utilize gifs in chats to help convey emotions
- Make time for small talk - Small talk in the office is essential to office morale, that doesn’t change when you are working remotely. Everyone needs that human connection with their coworkers.
- Offer emotional support - Working from home can be lonely, stressful, and isolating. Check in with employees regularly on how they are managing their emotional health.
- Collaboration: There are many innovative ways to create joint projects online now. Use them! Using new and fun programs keeps people interested in creating and motivated to complete work in a timely fashion. There are many new tools for digital whiteboards online as well as sharing platforms for documents that allow multiple users to edit simultaneously.