Managing employees situated in different locations around the globe isn’t easy. Hiring remote workers has a number of challenges. Reviewing their work and providing timely feedback is can be difficult since you can’t physically monitor them.
But most businesses (especially startups and small companies) find hiring remote employees to be very beneficial. Here are some of the benefits:
- You can hire top talent regardless of the location
- Remote workers are often more productive than office workers.
- You’ll save plenty of office expenses
If your company has multiple remote workers, it will be a challenge to keep all of them coordinated and productive. Here are a few tips to help you achieve this.
1. Find the Right People
Remote work isn’t for everyone. It offers flexibility that everyone loves but it also requires a great deal of discipline in order to produce results.
When looking for remote workers, choose people that are used to working independently. Managing someone who has never worked remotely before can take a lot of your time and energy.
Allow a test period for every remote employee you hire. During this period, you will be able to assess their efficiency. You don’t need workers that have to be constantly pushed and reminded about their tasks. Micromanaging every single member of your remote team can be a real nightmare. Look for people who are proactive, who reach out to you whenever they have questions or updates on their schedule and status.
Good communication is the key to any successful remote team. Make sure to hire people that are good at communicating.
Here’s a list of places where you can look for remote workers:
- Freelance platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Guru, Toptal, and Freelancer allow you to hire people in every profession, from content writers and website designers and web developers. However, these platforms charge a fee from both the employee and the employer.
- Craigslist is a classified site where you can post jobs. It’s especially good for finding remote employees across the States.
- LinkedIn is a social network for professionals, which makes it a great place for finding quality remote employees.
2. Set Clear Goals and Expectations
Make sure to explain clearly what you expect from your remote workers. Set clear goals and timelines for each of them.
They should know what your company’s long term business goals are. For this purpose, it might be a good idea to share your business plan with them. This will help the whole team to be more coordinated and stay on the same page. If you’re just starting a business and don’t have a business plan written down yet, use a strategic business plan template to create it quickly and easily.
Finally, let your remote employees know how you will measure their progress. Using clear and measurable goals is the best way to manage remote workers.
3. Communicate Regularly
When you have multiple remote workers, it’s difficult to keep them all on the same page. Since you’re unable to walk into the office and discuss the issue with a remote worker, you need to establish frequent and effective communication.
Frequent communication allows you to identify problems and resolve them effectively. Make sure that every member of your remote team is easy to reach via phone, email, chat, or a team collaboration tool.
Here are a few ideas that will help you communicate with your remote team effectively:
- Use chat to discuss things in real-time.
- Schedule weekly meetings with your remote workers.
- Use screen sharing when necessary to better explain tasks.
Here is a list of the best tools you can use to communicate with your remote workers:
- Skype is a software that enables you to make free video and voice calls, whether one-to-one or in a group, send messages, and share files.
- Slack is a collaboration hub designed to replace email as a primary method of sharing and communication. It allows you to organize group discussions into channels and allows private messaging to share files and information.
- Google Hangout is a communication service that includes video chat, SMS, instant messaging, and more.
4. Track Your Remote Workers’ Progress
Use virtual services and online apps to track your remote workers’ progress on a daily basis avoid unpleasant surprises. In addition, give regular feedback to make sure they’re moving in the right direction.
Here is a list of some great tools that you can use to track tasks, project status, working hours, etc.
- Trello is a collaboration tool that allows you to organize your projects and tasks into boards. It tells you who’s working on what and what work is currently in progress.
- Asana is a project management tool that allows you to organize and plan projects, workflows, emails, and conversations, in a dashboard that is really easy to read.
- Hubstaff is an application that remote employees install on their computers or laptops to track activity levels, time, and take screenshots.
- HiveDesk is a management solution that offers time tracking, performance reviews, task management, and activity reports
- Project managers working on small or midsize projects can also use Microsoft Excel to plan, track, and visualize their projects. This may be an Excel project tracker, a simple spreadsheet, or something more complicated like an Excel project management dashboard. It’s always a great idea to utilize the power of Excel. If you need additional help for creating a customized experience you should consider consulting excel programmers that will help you reach your management goals with ease. Excel data can also be easily converted into PowerPoint slides.
5. Measure Your Remote Team’s Performance
Make sure to measure the performance of your remote workers regularly.
Start by detecting how much time each employee spends on their tasks and use this data to compare their productivity. This will allow you to identify the most efficient members of your remote team but also to see whether your remote employees are as productive as the workers in the office.
Managing remote employees is challenging: monitoring activities and performance of all team members, as well as organizing and keeping track of the work process is much harder than at an office.
There is no magic formula that will help you manage remote teams more effectively but there are resources and information you can use to make things a lot easier. Following our tips will help you build a team of productive, hard-working, and loyal employees and reach the company vision sooner than you think.