The COVID-19 pandemic forced many companies to rethink how their workforce performs their jobs. The need for either expansion or the introduction of remote teams has put a demand on companies to create a new approach to management. The full-time remote workforce calls for a remote worker management plan to make the new set up work to your benefit. However, it does take some adjustment for both management teams and workers. Here’s how to get it right.
Address Work Condition Challenges
When managing remote workers, keep in mind not all employees will have a set up at home that allows them to perform their jobs effectively. It is not appropriate to assume team members will invest money in a new computer, better internet service or other tools required to do their job. Therefore, you should speak to each team member individually to see where their needs lie. This might mean shipping their desktop computers to them or arranging to provide additional money to help them pay for improved internet speed and bandwidth. Otherwise, be prepared to deal with slowdowns in efficiency or a team member being unable to participate in virtual meetings.
Establish Ground Rules
Employees might be uncertain of what this new work landscape might look like. Because they are working from home, can they set their own hours? Do the same meetings still take place? Are there new tools to be provided by your company? Establishing ground rules is the best way to ensure everyone understands how the new remote setting will work. This includes:
- Setting employee hours
- Tracking employee hours
- Providing instructions on how communication will take place
- Providing software for things such as online chatting or virtual meetings
- Workload outlines with performance expectations
- Project management tools
- Remote work apps you will provide
You will have to address the needs of each job role to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunication.
Create Easy Communication
Make it easy for your team to remain in contact with their managers and co-workers. This might require a daily meeting, so everyone remains on the same page for special projects, or introducing online chat software for team use such as Slack. If the team is in this for the long haul, consider having customized remote workforce management software designed to address the specific needs of your team.
Hiring New Talent
Hiring can be a real challenge, but despite the pandemic, you might still find yourself in need of some new talent. In fact, you might even find that working remotely requires a special role for managing remote workers. Using HR and employee management software allows you to improve your onboarding process even if it has to be done remotely. You can streamline the process, attract better talent, and ensure your team remains well staffed during the pandemic.
Addressing Reduced Hours and Layoffs
Effective remote worker management can help you spot a slowdown in work. You should have a policy in place to address potential layoffs or a reduction in employee hours. Having an up to date employee database provides you with the information required to make quick decisions based on the latest hires, performance and other factors you might consider. You can also measure important metrics to help you create a more efficient schedule for your team to help keep manpower spends as efficient as possible. You can avoid overlaps and keep your team leaner until the economy starts to rebound.
Maintain Effective Employee Tracking
Remote worker management makes it harder to keep track of your team. Time tracking systems that are web-based help team members easily log in and out for their workday. Managers also have access to the data captured so they can keep tabs on the activity of workers. As mentioned above you can also look at statistics to determine where hours might become more efficient. The benefits of a web-based tracking system for remote workers include:
- Accurate documentation of employee time
- Reduced errors in payroll hour calculations
- Compliance of workers signing in and out for their workdays, lunches, and breaks
- Employee confidence they are being paid for their work hours and overtime
- Employee access to their own hours to reduce the need for HR involvement
Time tracking is a must for effective remote worker management.
Remain Committed to Employee Career Paths
Just because employees are working remotely doesn’t mean their career paths come to a dead end. Remaining committed to helping employees meet their career roles is still part of managing remote workers effectively. Keeping track of employee performance reviews allows you to provide much-needed one on one time and feedback so employees still see their career plans can move forward.
While COVID-19 has forced many businesses to adopt a remote workforce plan, remote worker management can ensure you remain productive and cost-effective.
About The Author
Ingrid is the Content Marketing Manager at Paypro, managing both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives for the company. She has 15+ years’ of extensive marketing communications experience, leveraging brand awareness and strategic partnerships to increase sales revenue for a diverse group of B2B brands.