As communications, technologies, and workplace models continue to evolve, it’s becoming more and more common for IT companies to allow remote work options for their employees. In an illustrative example, a recent Gallup poll found that 43% of Americans now work remotely at least part-time (compared to 39% in 2012). Despite the increasing popularity of allowing employees to work remotely, there are some management and logistical problems that employers can encounter.
If you manage a team of remote employees but find yourself struggling to maintain a sense of unity, cohesion, or common purpose, you’re not alone. Thankfully, there are some simple tactics which employers can adopt to manage remote employees more easily:
- Make Time for Facetime – This is a rule that should be applied for all employees, regardless of whether they work on-site or remotely. When you’re strategizing for a project or planning for an important goal, make an effort to connect with remote employees via a video chat or meet for coffee, as opposed to communicating via email or a phone call.
- Leverage Communications Technologies – To maximize cohesion within your team of remote employees, use multiple communications platforms (such as Slack, Skype, or Google Hangouts). Using multiple communications platforms to keep the conversation going will ensure that they feel their needs are being addressed and that they have a direct line of communication to their team leader.
- Get Them Connected With Other Off-Site Employees – By facilitating the communication between remote employees who are in the same area, managers can strengthen their network of off-site employees and ensure that there is a chain of support for managing projects.
- Maintain Steady Communication and Provide Regular Feedback – The communication must be a two-way street with remote employees. If you don’t provide them with regular feedback, remote employees can quickly start feeling alienated, unimportant, or excluded.
- Acknowledge Their Achievements – It’s easy to make an on-site employee feel recognized and acknowledged when they’ve made a notable contribution, but things can be a bit trickier when it comes to our remote employees. Nevertheless, managers must make an effort to make remote workers feel recognized by their peers for their accomplishments. When a remote employee goes above and beyond, make sure you acknowledge them in a line of communication that will be visible to their teammates.
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