For a significant part of the UK, remote working is here to stay. However, as the world of work shifts to this new reality, many business leaders are playing catch-up - wondering how to keep an eye on things like workload, productivity and burnout. Luckily, there is a playbook to help you make the transition.
In this article, we'll look at the best, pre-established ways of managing remote employees.
Thousands of employees have settled into a post-pandemic routine that provides an improved work-life balance. For some, it has quickly become the most important part of their employment benefit package.
A survey found that 85% of those currently working from home would always like some sort of remote working option because it offers more flexibility and helps them to work more efficiently.
This has led to a switch in mentality for many business leaders, who are now trying to find the best ways of managing remote employees and come up with new hybrid working solutions that work for everyone. Here are 7 top tips you need to make managing employees working remotely simple.
Just as a good manager shouldn’t be monitoring an employee’s every move in the office, you don’t need to when they’re at home. Micromanagement will not help with building trust and healthy communication within your team. Instead, put the tools in place for your team to complete their work to a high standard, and trust that they will.
A large part of the appeal of remote working for your employees is that it fits in with all of the other things that they need to do.
Make sure to speak to your team about how they can be as efficient as possible and how you as an employer can help them to achieve that and find good ways to measure progress across the entire team. You might find that collaborative folders, timesheets, team meetings or daily check-ins cover everything you need – as long as whatever you choose works for both you and your team.
Just because your team’s location has changed, it doesn’t mean meetings and catch ups need to. With a host of tools available, it’s easy to keep successful and proven routines in place and keep channels of communication open. Virtual 1-2-1s offer most of the same perks as in-person meetings, and can help you monitor progress, gather new ideas, and check in on employee wellbeing.
For many HR professionals in the UK, mental health awareness is a key focus, and is a significant worry with managing and communicating with a team of remote workers.
Burnout is a very real problem for both employees and those managing them. Burnout describes an extreme exhaustion and detachment from work and can very quickly lead to a lack of productivity. Businesses should be considering burnout when managing employees working remotely and ensure that they’re regularly checking in on workload and wellbeing to ensure employees are happy and healthy when working remotely.
Of course, much of the remote working that we’re seeing was enforced by stay-at-home guidelines introduced to protect businesses from COVID-19 – but it raises questions of just how long employees have hoped for flexible options.
81% of office workers say that they feel more productive working from home, where there are fewer distractions.
For businesses it must prompt thoughts of how productive workers felt in previous working environments and how much they don’t know about the sentiments of employees.
HR professionals can stand to benefit by speaking to employees about other opportunities to boost retention and improve working conditions.
Clear communication can be key for leaders looking to manage employees working remotely. Clearly setting boundaries and expectations is fundamental.
Establishing these things early helps employees not only know who they need to contact for assistance, but also explains what is reasonable and expected of them whilst working remotely.
For most employees to work at home, they will need some standard equipment. Usually, employees will expect employers to provide this equipment and assist with setting up and troubleshooting any potential problems.
As well as physical equipment, businesses should ensure tools like messaging apps, file sharing, emails and collaborative working tools are all in place and secure.
Businesses should also outline any necessary terms for these tools to ensure they remain compliant and functional for employees and team leaders.
It’s clear that modern employees are much less interested in “fun” benefits and instead prefer workplaces to listen and implement change that helps them craft a more balanced lifestyle.
Employees are favouring flexibility and financial stability, with remote working, healthcare and good pensions right at the top of their benefits requests.
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