Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has come under the spotlight. Although it has been a buzzword even before the pandemic, today most companies can’t keep their business afloat without it. While some believe working remotely is the dream came true, for most managers it’s a nightmare. Why? Because it’s much more difficult to organize work and tasks when all employees are scattered around than when they’re in an office. Their management skills are put to the test. However, the more experienced managers and employees know how to keep everything under control no matter where they work. Here are a few tips to help you out while working remotely.
Select the Right Tools
Only a few decades ago, working remotely would’ve been impossible. Technology hadn’t advanced enough to support this work arrangement. However, today, everything’s possible with a rapidly advancing technology. With proper devices and tools, working from home doesn’t pose a problem anymore. As a manager, it’s your job to research and select the right tools for your employees to use. Since they no longer share an office, you have to connect them in a virtual one instead. When all employees are well connected, organizing workflow is just as effective as in the regular workplace.
Some managers prefer using one tool for video conferencing, other for texting, and another one for task management. For this reason, platforms such as Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft 365 are the first choice of many companies. However, others prefer using an intranet portal that shares similar features with previously mentioned apps. Whatever tool you choose, make sure it has everything your employees need to perform well.
Keep Everyone Updated
When you worked in an office, having an ongoing information flow was crucial. Now that you’re working remotely, its significance hasn’t changed. It only took a whole new level. You’re no longer in an office where it’s easier to find that piece of information you’re looking for. If you or your employees lack relevant information, it can interfere with your work and damage the business. That’s not something you or your company need right now. For this reason, you should encourage your employees and coworkers to share information and documents. As a manager, you have to keep everyone in the loop. This way, you eliminate any possibility of conflicts and misunderstandings among employees.
The one thing you absolutely must do when working remotely is prioritizing. This means that you should put all tasks that require your attention to a piece of paper. Then, think about each task and see which ones are time-sensitive or time-consuming. Once you figure that out, you can focus all your energy on completing them and meeting their deadlines. When you get these tasks out of the way, then you can spend time dealing with less demanding ones. Setting priorities helps you stay productive and focused. It also allows you to delegate more effectively and polish your management skills. Besides, you can encourage your employees to do the same. This way, they will finish their tasks faster so they can spend more time with their families.
Collect and Give Feedback
The transition from working in an office to working remotely can stress out and frustrate employees. They may need some time to get used to the new environment. Since you and your coworkers will be working remotely for a while, you should do what you can to make this arrangement work. There’s no better way to make improvements than giving and receiving feedback. As a manager, you should encourage your employees to give feedback but also receive it. Of course, during a busy day, you can’t deal with feedback on top of all tasks and meetings. However, you can always spare a few minutes throughout the day to collect and give feedback. It’s necessary if you want to improve as an employee, a manager, and the company. More importantly, you have to act on the collected feedback. There’s no use in collecting feedback if everything stays the same.
Even when working remotely, you shouldn’t forget to recognize and reward your employees for their outstanding efforts. Now more than ever, it’s important to show how much you value them and appreciate everything they’re doing for the company. At the beginning of every week, you set a clear weekly goal for employees to meet. Those who meet them by the end of the week can leave work early on Friday, or have a day off. If they reach a monthly goal, you can give them an additional day to spend on vacation. Similarly, if an employee excels at work, consider giving them a new piece of equipment or promoting them. The rewards can differ based on employee efforts and merits.
Make sure they’re motivating enough so employees can continue working hard for the organization.
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Morgan Rose Elliott is an aromatherapist, yoga instructor, animal lover, a happily married mother of three. She enjoys reading biographies and writing poems, sunny days on the beach, and any shape and form of vanilla. Crazy about the ’80s, her favorite band is Duran Duran (although kids prefer Franz Ferdinand, and the husband Blink182) and she is obsessed with Netflix original Stranger things. Follow her on Twitter.