More and more business employees are now telecommuting, that companies around the world are restructuring their management practices to meet the challenges of remote collaboration.
Now with the spread of the Coronavirus and workers being asked to work-from-home the need for managing remote teams is higher than it’s ever been.
Because they tend to be more agile and open to change, small businesses are particularly well positioned to adapt to telecommuting. Increased productivity and happier employees who appreciate the added flexibility are just a few benefits winning over small business owners.
But telecommuting also presents some challenges – in particular, two core issues: keeping track of what remote workers are doing and ensuring that remote and in-house teams form a cohesive unit.
These tips can help you effectively manage and support your remote employees.
Promote communication and accountability
Defining expectations and setting up methods to track results are essential elements of remote team management. Here are a few ways to make sure your remote workers understand what is expected of them:
- Set up a shareable daily work log your remote workers can use to report their progress on ongoing projects (Google Drive offers some good options).
- Utilize a project management system to exchange messages, assign tasks and monitor projects rather than relying solely on email.
- Determine key indicators for success for each remote worker and share these indicators with your employees (these might be daily, weekly or monthly goals).
- Conduct regular reviews with remote workers to assess their performance.
Include remote workers in office culture
Positive work culture and employee engagement are quickly becoming top priorities for business managers who want to retain top talent. These tips will help your remote workers feel just as valued and validated as your in-house team.
- If your in-house workers enjoy a monthly pizza party, don’t forget to include your remote workers. Invite them to attend, have a meal delivered to them or offer a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant.
- Get to know and spend time with your remote workers, just as you would with in-house staff. Set aside a few moments each day to inquire about their families, personal interests, recent challenges and successes.
- Consider pairing up remote workers to complete complex tasks. You’ll improve efficiency while helping remote workers feel like part of the team.
Ready to enjoy the benefits of remote staff?
If the benefits of remote workers outweigh the risks in your view, try offering your staff a work day from home a week – then, if it works out, you can try hiring remote employees. Some small business owners hire a remote employee in another region – a great way to expand their market.
If you trust your employees to work hard no matter where they’re located, the main thing to remember is fostering teamwork. A monthly meeting that everyone is required to attend can encourage stronger relationships, allow opportunities to clear the air or discuss any challenges – and improve a sense of teamwork and camaraderie.
Got a question about your business? Chat to us.
Business Development Specialist - Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD
I love business and the ability to change peoples lives through them!
At Ceebeks Business Solutions for GOOD, we get up every morning to positively impact young families in business by making their businesses REALLY work so that we all make an even bigger impact together. The rewards that bring allow our team ('the fantastic five') to make small but powerful contributions to impact our local community, our country and the lives of those less fortunate around the world.
You see, something quite remarkable happens when we work together, for example, the gift of water is made when we prepare a tax return, the gift of a goat is provided when we help a new business start-up, the gift of shelter is forwarded when we organise a home loan. When we work together, we actually change the world!
I am a business development specialist with over 36 years experience, a CPA, an authorised representative of MyPlanner Ltd and a credit representative of Outsource Financial Pty Ltd. I have recently co-authored an International Best-Selling Book 'Legacy - The Sustainable Development Goals in Action' and am about to publish my first book - 'Chasing the Dream! - How to Grow a Business in these Amazing Times', host a daily blog/vlog on our small business Facebook community group page 'Chasing the Dream, and with our Team run a monthly event for small business owners called 'The Chasers Meet-Up', where a guest speaker presents a topic and tips and strategies are openly shared.
In 2015, our business won the Change GPS International Member Firm of the Year and in that same year, I was a founding member of the Global Accounting Movement - Accountants for Good. We were recognised in 2016 by Steve Pipe in his international publication - The World's Most Inspiring Accountants and Featured in "The LinkedIn PlayBook" by world-renowned social media strategist and consultant, Adam Houlahan. In 2017, we were in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award for search4accountants, B1G1 Business for Good Top 100 Giving Businesses in the World and a Semi-Finalist in the 2017 Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards. In 2018, we were an Australian Accounting Awards Finalist in "Community Engagement Program of the Year", a Semi-Finalist in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'South West TAFE & Deakin University South West Regional Achiever Award', a Nominee in the Victorian Regional Achievement and Community Awards 'Regional Development Victoria Business Achiever Award', and featured in the Top 25 Most Popular Accounting and Tax Services Award by search4accountants.