In this era of global interconnectivity and outsourcing, you may be working with employees or freelancers who work from all over the world. While this is one of the beauties of the digital age, managing remote employees successfully presents some definite challenges. Not only is there the logistics of time zones and occasionally language differences to sort out, but keeping everyone on the same page when everyone is on a different continent can be a challenge in and of itself.
Fortunately, the same advancements in technology that allow remote workforces to happen in the first place all make it possible to effectively manage them. Let’s look at five tips on how to manage remote employees successfully.
Remote Management Tip #1: Build Rapport
People are people and expect to be treated as such, regardless of where on the map they reside. Make time for small talk. Get to know your team as people. Ask about their families and interests and remember that information the next time you talk to them. Encourage them to interact with other remote team members and use online collaboration tools to facilitate such interactions. The key to an effective remote workforce is good cooperation and ongoing collaboration. At the heart of that is rapport.
Remote Management Tip #2: Communicate Clearly
It is easy to overlook small details that make a big difference in terms of the result. If you are communicating with a team member in the eastern part of New Zealand and you need work to be turned in at 9 am in the Eastern Time Zone (EST) in New York, you need to make that clear because there is about half a day’s difference between the two. In this scenario, the New Zealand team mate has extra time, if he or she is not trying to meet a deadline in New Zealand!
Remote Management Tip #3: Track the Work
Use a project management application or software as a service (SaaS) to keep track of each team member’s projects. This is the only way to keep a firm grasp on project completion. Reliable and regular tracking is an essential when managing a remote team.
Remote Management Tip #4: Clue Into Culture
Remember that different cultures observe different holidays. Try to avoid making culturally insensitive gaffes by assigning tasks to be due, for example, during holy months and on special occasions. Just as you might not expect an American worker to turn in work on Independence Day, you might not expect a British worker to turn in assignments on Boxing Day. Sometimes, this is not the case, but you still want to be culturally sensitive to this by setting expectations ahead of time.
Remote Management Tip #5: Welcome them Aboard
If you have a set of processes that need to be followed, or a company culture to uphold, your remote workers will only know that if you tell them. When you bring a new remote team member onto your team, explain that as part of their onboarding.
About the Author
Morris Edwards is a content writer at CompanyRegistrationinSingapore.com.sg, he writes different topics like Keeping Star Employees Happy and New Office Will Prepare Singapore for Increasingly-digital Society and all topics related to Entrepreneurship, Tech and Singapore Business Setup.