“Technology now allows people to connect anytime, anywhere, to anyone in the world, from almost any device. This is dramatically changing the way people work, facilitating 24/7 collaboration with colleagues who are dispersed across time zones, countries and continents.” – Michael Dell
Remote workforce management refers to the methods and systems that are used to manage workers who are not in the same office location as their co-workers and supervisors. In recent years the number of businesses offering remote or flexible workforces has grown dramatically.
The benefits to businesses are clear: increased productivity, better retention rates, and the ability to recruit from a larger pool of available talent.
While having remote workers in your company can be an attractive option, there are risks you need to keep in mind. While some of these risks are obvious, others may surprise you and cost you more than you initially thought.
To protect your business from these potential threats, you need to implement the right remote team management system. Here are 9 great tips on how to do just that-
Top 9 ways to manage remote workforce risks
1. Recruit from a local pool
When you have a remote workforce, it’s essential to ensure that your business is tapping into high-quality candidates and not those with little experience or who are eager to take any job that comes their way. When hiring remote workers, always recruit from your local talent pool first.
However, it can be tempting to look further afield when hiring people who might be cheaper or willing to relocate. At the same time, they may cost less initially (if they relocate). You could end up paying more if your hires aren’t adequately trained and equipped for their role.
And if you don’t hire locals first, there’s a good chance many of them will jump ship when companies closer to home start posting openings for similar roles in their region.
Also Read: 7 Leadership Tips for Digital Workforce Management
2. Establish communication guidelines
Before your remote workforce can do any work, you’ll need to establish communication guidelines. Whether it’s a weekly town hall meeting or something more informal, regular communication is an essential part of managing remote employees.
Make sure everyone understands what’s expected of them and agree on ways to communicate about project progress, questions, and other workplace issues that crop up.
In addition to defining your communication methods, spell out your expectations for performance from a productivity standpoint as well.
Sign-up to try the best remote employee monitoring software to build strong communication among your remote workers-
3. Host team meetups
Your team may not be in one place, but there’s no reason you can’t have periodic meetings and get-togethers. You don’t have to make travel plans for everyone on your team; instead, arrange gatherings at a central location where all your remote workers can meet up and share ideas with one another.
Managing remote workers from video conferencing programs like Skype or GoToMeeting are the best ways to conduct virtual sessions with team members.
Such tools allow team members to connect with each other, especially if they don’t usually collaborate closely together. And it never hurts to put some personal face time into your relationships.
4. Stay in touch with employees
Communication is an excellent way to manage a remote workforce. With so many avenues of communication available, it’s easy to stay in touch with employees—whether you choose to communicate using text messages, Facebook posts, or office emails.
The important thing is that you choose one method and stick with it, so your team knows what to expect from you. That way, if they want anything from you (or if they have something important to tell you), they know exactly how and where to get in touch.
Keep lines of communication open throughout each day for regular updates and status reports—your team will feel more connected and will be better able to handle projects efficiently as a result.
5. Hold regular one-on-one meetings
Regular one-on-one meetings are essential for making sure remote employees feel supported. Scheduling these sit-downs every week helps team members know when they can expect an opportunity to talk through roadblocks and brainstorm new ways to contribute. It also allows managers to stay apprised of their workers’ progress and concerns.
As you schedule your weekly one-on-ones, make sure that everyone knows who is meeting with whom and why—that way, if someone has questions or wants to shift things around, they can do so.
A little planning will help you make sure remote teams feel heard and appreciated by leadership.
6. Have frequent check-ins via video call
Even though you can’t see what your employees are doing, it doesn’t mean you can’t hold them accountable for their work. Thanks to simple video-conferencing tools like Skype, you can communicate with employees from anywhere in real-time.
Use these video calls to discuss progress on projects, ask them questions about how they’re feeling, and make sure that there should not be any red flags.
Once every two weeks or so is probably enough, but as long as it works for your team/company, do what works best!
7. Train your employees properly
The most cost-effective and simplest way to manage remote workforce risks is by training your employees properly. Educate them on how to remain vigilant against scammers, how to protect their devices, and how to monitor activity.
You can also provide other tips, such as turning off chat windows when they are not working or keeping personal information private.
As you know, prevention is always better than cure: if your employees have been trained well, you’ll likely avoid even costly human error.
Also Read: 10 Features of WorkStatus That Make It a Perfect Workforce Management System
8. Develop the right tools
According to recent research, working from home is increasingly popular—according to a recent study, the number of remote workers increased by 2.6 million from 2012 to 2020. As a manager, it’s your job to facilitate that arrangement and ensure everyone stays safe and productive.
Before you let employees work remotely, make sure they have all of their business tools up and running—you don’t want them logging on to an unstable network or low-bandwidth connection.
If a remote employee doesn’t already have his tools set up at home, buy him what he needs. In addition, back up anything sensitive if there’s ever a security breach with your equipment provider.
It’s also essential for remote employees to understand (and adhere) to your company’s social media policy so that sensitive information isn’t sent out accidentally over public networks.
9. Set expectations right upfront
Set expectations early on so that you and your remote team members are all on the same page. First of all, How much freedom do they have in deciding when to get their work done? How many hours a week can they work? Are there any essential times for meetings (for example, right after lunch or right before bedtime)? What should they expect as far as communication goes (hourly check-ins, weekly reports)?
These are just a few questions you might need answers to in order to create a productive remote workforce. If expectations aren’t set upfront, it could lead to confusion and conflict later down the line.
We are hopeful that the above pointers will help you create a more sustainable and profitable business model while still retaining quality staff members who work on their schedules. Why not give a few of these suggestions a try? or
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Workstatus is a powerful, simple-to-use AI- platform that helps organizations manage their distributed team of employees. With its intuitive dashboards and unique features like-
- Real-time reporting
- Easy to calculate work hours
- Face recognition attendance system
- Employee scheduling app
Such features make it easy for managers to stay on top of all aspects of their business operations from anywhere in the world (or even halfway around the globe).
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