How to Manage Remote Employees

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The modern workplace continues to evolve in ways which we could not have imagined only a few years ago.

These innovations have benefitted companies and the workers they employ.

A good example is the four-day week - something that our parents dreamt of but never thought possible - often shows better results than the traditional five-day week. Companies are also embracing wellness policies to improve the mental and physical health of their employees.

In this changing working culture, remote working has also become a favoured practice. Employers who encourage working remotely enjoy a range of benefits such as hiring from a wider talent pool, saving on office costs and minimising office politics. Workers also benefit from maximising their flexibility, spending more time with loved ones and greater inspiration to work outside the confines of an office.

Airtasker conducted a survey among full-time employees and found that over half of the respondents work from their homes for the majority of the week. They worked an average of 1.4 more days more per month, which is 16.8 more days annually.

Remote work restores the work-life balance that is often lost in a standard office job.

Of course, remote employees do need to be managed in a different way to your conventional office-based staff, so here are our top tips to get you started:

Start slow

A full shift to remote work may be too abrupt and eventually lead to disaster. Do the necessary research and see how other companies have been able to make a gradual shift.

You can start out by adopting remote work for your current team and do test-runs for these, then work your way from there.

Get everyone on the same page

Transparency and trust should be at the cornerstone of remote work, and these will also allow expectations to be met and accountability to be achieved.

To help achieve this, provide everyone with a set of guidelines of what is expected of them.

One example could be for everyone to send the status of their work at the end of each day or having tasks and progress visible for everyone to see.

A simple checklist

Find a platform to centralise operations

Meetings can still be conducted without face-to-face interaction with the help of various software or online tools to communicate effectively with your teams.

Think of these tools as your online office where you can send deliverables, follow up on updates, assign tasks, and even do group calls.

Tools such as Trello, Slack, Asana or Monday are essential to good project management and are also a smart way of keeping tabs on everyone in the team.

Give frequent feedback

Silence is never an option for remote workers.

Teams should be structured in such a way that everyone has someone to report to.

Feedback, whether good or bad, should be communicated often as it is one of the few ways to definitively measure performance when you are working remotely.

There are many ways to give feedback to colleagues

Consider other remote services

Once you’ve started getting the hang of it, your next hires can be independent contractors or freelancers who are used to remote working. This will make transitions a lot smoother as you don’t have to walk anyone through the process.

Any new hires must be made fully aware of your expectations as well as the company’s goals to keep everything in line with your vision.

Good luck!