What do you think makes a company successful?
Is it a good idea for a business? The money from investors? Or maybe the newest technological devices available?
All these answers are partially right. However, what is even more important is the human factor in the company. Good employee relationships, their ability to work as a team, the openness and comfort in sharing opinions and problems – all those factors make workers effective and their company – more successful.
Smooth communication among employees is the key to the proper functioning of every business. However, it’s not easy to achieve all these things while working remotely – whether due to COVID-19 pandemics or to the sole nature of the work.
Because, in the end, how is it possible to create a safe environment for employees in the cloud? And how to keep up the morale of the teamwork without seeing your workers eye to eye?
If you own a company and are currently struggling with these and many other questions regarding managing remote workers, worry no more. We’ve got 5 tips that will help you manage your business online and communicate with your workers efficiently.
The road to successful online management starts from acquiring all the devices and tools that you will be using to communicate with your employees.
First, you have to establish the mode of communication for your company: is it going to be through email, video conferencing, or a call? Remember that the chosen platform should not only serve as a professional meeting tool but also as a place for social interactions enabling keeping up positive relationships within the group.
Then, choose the tool perfect for your business from a wide variety of platforms available. Bear in mind each one has different functions. For instance, Skype and Zoom are the most popular choices for video calls. Microsoft Teams and Office365 enable wide multimodality of work. To set more advanced telecommunication management, you can also check out www.yeastar.com; hiring professionals will let you focus on doing business without worrying about IT problems.
What makes online communication so different from live one? Surprisingly, it’s not only the devices that emerge between you and your employees but also a different communication strategy that each communication platform requires. From now on, you have to adapt your communication strategy to the virtual environment.
Don’t be afraid to make some grand changes. For instance, shorten the time of your meetings, but make them more regular. To avoid confusion and disorganization, set clear remote work guidelines, such as the hours of calls or responding to emails. You can make your employees part of the decision process by asking them about their preferred mode of communication or letting them help you in establishing rules.
Naturally, you want to keep an eye on your employees. However, you have to give them the right to manage their time on their own. In the end, you don’t know about their working conditions; maybe they have kids that require constant attention, or they don’t have a separate office just for work? Try to follow the rule: track, but not overcontrol.
Track your workers’ progress by creating a work schedule or a timetable with the tasks that they should accomplish. You might also want to let them establish the schedule for themselves and approve it afterward. Ensure your employees know the goals they have to achieve and the expected time for completing the task.
However, remember to be flexible. Indeed, set a deadline for each job, but don’t over-control your employees’ work time. In the end, focus on the effects of their work rather than the path leading to them.
Besides setting the expectations for your workers, make sure you give them regular feedback. Establish a timeslot in their schedule just for one-on-one meetings; use this time to discuss organizational stuff, sustain a positive relationship with your workers, as well as give feedback on their work. Your employees should feel that although they are the boss of their own house, somebody else keeps track of their work too.
Moreover, regular feedback will also help them get accustomed to this new situation and help them more successfully manage their progress. Give your workers constructive feedback to celebrate their successes and discuss losses. Moreover, remember to criticize them in private (for instance, during regular one-on-ones), but praise in public (for example, in an open channel). This way, you build a positive relationship with your employee, as well as motivate other workers.
Last but not least, as a leader of your company, you need to remember to support your employees. If the shift to remote work is abrupt, they might not have enough devices and tools to keep up the good work – or maybe they lack the understanding of them. Thus, it’s important to give co-workers a helping hand. Reach out to them from time to time and ask about how they’re doing; listen to their concerns and take them to heart so that everybody feels heard and included.
Moreover, keep track of your employees’ happiness levels: your workers are bound to be stressed, overwhelmed, or suffer from anxiety. If that’s the case, they might be unable to work efficiently. Consider setting motivational programs or psychological sessions for those who might need that. Mindfulness training or coaching sessions can also help them organize their remote work time better, keep up their motivation, and learn how to avoid home distractions.
Although home-office work is far from ideal, always encourage your employees to make the best out of it. In the end, every troublesome situation has its positive sides too.
Indeed, your employees might not be able to meet for a coffee during the lunch break, but they save a lot of time by not commuting to work every day. Sure, they might be dealing with many home distractions, but this provides them with an excellent opportunity to learn about successful time management.
Use this time to teach your employees something new and keep supporting them in every-day challenges. With a sense of community and the right attitude, remote work may be enjoyable and successful.