Remote work keeps gaining popularity both because of the pandemic and because the gig economy is on the rise. Digital nomadism, in particular, has presented itself as a dream-like opportunity for many unsatisfied traditional employees who have begun to increasingly realize there is more to life than 9-5 shifts.
One benefit that remote work generates is the freedom to choose from a variety of international clients, meaning that location doesn’t matter anymore.
Many employers have realized that the lower costs of managing remote teams make office work less appealing, which is yet to fully reflect in future trends.
Still, one particular aspect of remote work that is yet to be polished is management. Both the employees and the managers need to adjust to all those digital tools that keep popping up all the time. And we all know how tempting the prospect can be for people used to being executives as opposed to leaders.
Everything considered, various trends have contributed to drastic changes in many companies, with employees either following suit or turning to new remote opportunities that are becoming increasingly available to everyone.
The thing is, managers need to adapt fast to the rapid changes and learn to handle remote teams from anywhere in the world fast and efficiently.
Let’s see some tips on how to do that.
1. Pick the Right Tools
When it comes to remote work, tools and apps are a leverage of success. Seamless communication tools, project management tools, and performance management tools are crucial for remote teams.
It is also important to keep an eye on the trends because online apps get perfected all the time, meaning that remote managers must be no less tech-savvy than their peers.
2. Employ Best Practices
First and foremost, always keep communication alive! Make sure to clearly communicate the channels and timeslots when employees can reach you and schedule regular meetings.
Next on, you should provide timely company updates, with “timely” usually translating into quarterly, monthly, bi-annually or annually.
3. Keep Your Employees Happily Engaged
Much has been said about employee engagement but still, there’s no universal approach… neither should there be one.
It’s up to remote managers to come up with their own strategies, which should be rooted in an efficient employee engagement survey. It’s all too easy to forget the human factor when working remotely, so make it your goal to focus on building a culture that nurtures motivation.
4. Delegate Work
Managers should keep in touch with their respective remote teams regularly and make sure that tasks are delegated properly at all times.
Updates can be provided sporadically and the same applies to general meetings. Don’t overdo it! Remote workers have picked remote work precisely because they don’t want to frequent company meetings all the time.
5. Offer Promotions and Benefits
Everyone is looking for better opportunities and remote workers aren’t an exception. With the expansion of the gig economy, people unsatisfied with their jobs, working conditions, company culture, and salaries (and pretty much everything else) are already looking for a better job offer.
Make your company the best place to work at!
Allow your remote workers to grow and act on the feedback. For many managers, it is difficult to draw the line between “control” and “communication.” Learn to adapt to the circumstances. Remote workers also need a lunch break and if managers make it impossible for them to get up from their chairs and go brew some coffee, workers will go elsewhere.
Never ever forget that there is a place for everyone. The gig economy simply offers a little something to everyone, so instead of competing against the rising number of businesses, make sure that your business offers the best conditions.
Build a culture of trust and engagement while promoting company values and showing gratitude and actual rewards.
Employees who trust their managers will grow as the company grows and they’ll also promote company values and give their best to improve the business. And that would be the most important goal: to build a remote team that feels at home with your company.
Now, when it comes to benefits, some remote work may not offer what traditional jobs do. However, that's not always the case. If your company does offer benefits to your remote team, be sure that they're aware of every policy, choice and opportunity. Ensure things like open enrollment options or deadlines are always made clear, and that HR fully explains any choices that need to be made. If you're hoping for more participation, hold a Zoom call to ensure everyone is on the same page.
If you’re new to remote management, make sure to keep up with the fast pace of remote work. Also, if you’re managing an international team, you should offer cross-cultural training, but make sure to first train yourself!
Build a culture of trust and understanding and offer advancement opportunities. It goes without saying that the latest tech has to be involved in managing remote teams; remote workers expect no less, so don’t let them down by using some crappy tools and apps.
Finally, communicate the benefits clearly. Remote employees should be granted at least the same benefits their traditional counterparts enjoy, as well as the possibility to advance their careers.
Overall, this may seem like a lot of work but in the long run, your remote team will grow powerful and engaged.