5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers for Company Owners & Managers
Resources: How to manage remote direct reports, Harvard Business Review
There are many guides out there for remote workers and companies that choose to let people work from home - but not many for managers of remote workers. Here are a few tools and tips that can help you manage a remote team.
1) Retool Your Own Management Style
If you are managing a remote team, you need to be adaptable and have master-level communication skills. This Forbes article lists six traits that are important for managing remote workers - many of them are traits you should have already as a manager. Positivity in the face of negativity in the company, offering constructive rather than just negative criticism, and being approachable are all necessary managerial traits. Their importance does become amplified when working with a remote team.
Additionally, when working with remote teams, the need to toss any idea of a 9-5 work schedule out the window and mastering phone and email communication become much more important, especially if your team is dispersed across time zones. You’ll be using email much more frequently, and the phone when those emails aren’t answered or read.
2) Get the Tools You Need to Manage Employees Remotely - G Suite & Prodoscore
There are many reasons to start using Google’s suite of productivity apps - G Suite - for a remote work team. Enhanced collaboration, affordability, and better communication with essential features like real-time editing of documents. But if you are managing remote workers, it is also necessary to have a certain amount of transparency into their activities, without invading their privacy. Prodoscore is custom-built to enable managers to see how much time is spent in G Suite (including Gmail) and assigns a productivity score to each employee that helps you track their performance. Through G Suite, you’ll already have access to shared calendars that show what appointments and meetings your remote workers have made, but Prodoscore gives you much more than that. You’ll get daily email alerts of everyone’s score, and be able to log in to Prodoscore to view activities in real time.
3) Get Boomerang for Gmail
Since you’ll be using email more frequently, you’ll need something to help supercharge your use of it. Boomerang is a free tool which can be installed in Chrome which allows you to see if someone has read your email, schedule emails to be sent later, and more. It’s indispensable to managing remote workers. You can set rules that if an email isn’t read in a certain amount of time to forward it again, and much more. You can download it here. You may want to recommend it to your team as well.
4) Be Proactive About Getting Things Done
If you are using G Suite and Prodoscore, you’ll be able to see right away if a particular employee is having an issue. This will allow you to get on top of minor issues before they become major problems, and make you a more efficient manager.
Another way to stay proactive is to have a team call or video conference at the start and end of each week, giving employees a structure for the week and an opportunity to ask questions or address concerns. If you have G Suite, you can do this through Google Hangouts and record the conference so that employees who can’t make the call can review it later.
5) Be Clear About Goals, Expectations and Rewards
Employees work better in a structured environment, and remote workers need this even more than those who are working from an office. On your weekly calls, make sure you are measuring progress towards goals, and be prepared to step in if your workers are hitting any kind of logjams, including clients not getting back to them or similar items. You should also have a clear employee review program set up, in which rewards and expectations of a certain amount of deliverables or goals is laid out clearly.
If you choose to use Prodoscore, this will help you in employee evaluations as well as you will have additional insight into their activities.
If you are interested in setting up G Suite and/or Prodoscore to better manage remote teams, contact UpCurve Cloud today.