In 2018, flexible working environments are becoming more and more common. Employees, especially those in office roles, want to be able to work from home if their child is sick or put in a day or two on a family trip without being charged vacation time. While offering these types of flexible working arrangements is great for your employees (and ultimately great for your business), it can be hard to manage all those different people in all those different places. Here are four important tips to help make it easier.
Make Sure Your Team is Motivated
If you have a bunch of employees who you need to stand over them all day to make sure they get their work done, they are not good candidates for remote work. Your remote employees must be self-starters who will continue to perform at a high level even though they aren’t within sight of your office door. Some people will be more productive working remotely because they won’t have any distractions. Others will use their work time to do all kinds of household tasks and end up accomplishing less than they would have in the office. If your team is responsible, motivated, and well-organized, give them a shot at some flexible work situations. Odds are they will impress you.
You Need to Be Able to Trust Them
You won’t be able to micromanage your remote employees – gasp! If your management style consists of checking in with every team member on the hour, remote work is not a good match for you (and you should probably reconsider your management style to boot). You need to be able to trust your employees to get their work done and meet their goals without you or another supervisor constantly walking by their desk. If they’ve demonstrated they can do this, then leave them alone! Let them use their remote time to really dive deep into those complicated projects that require intense concentration and just can’t be completed when their phone is ringing off the hook.
Communication is Key
This one is critical. Employees working in different locations have to be able to communicate seamlessly with each other, with their superiors, with clients, with vendors, and with anyone else they might otherwise need to do business with. Fortunately, there are tons of apps and tools out there to help make managing a remote team easier. Videoconferencing and screensharing are your best friends for intense collaboration, while Slack or a similar instant messaging tool can be used for quick day-to-day communication. Make sure everyone communicates early and often about project timelines, goals, division of labor, and due dates so the team is working just as smoothly as if you all had desks next to each other.
Remote Work Can Be Lonely
Let’s face it – some employees love the social aspect of working in an office. There’s nothing wrong with this (unless their love of chatter is cutting down on their productivity), but it does mean they likely won’t enjoy or be as successful at working remotely. They will quickly feel bored, isolated, and uninspired – a sure recipe for subpar work and decreased job satisfaction. Even remote workers who prefer to be by themselves need to feel like part of the team. Make sure you’re regularly checking in on your remote employees to see how they are doing personally – not how their projects are going. Encourage the kind of water cooler chit-chat that happens organically in the lunch room or break room to continue over electronic means. They team needs to feel like a team, even more so when they aren’t physically together.
Pulling It All Together
Managing a remote team is hard work and it definitely takes practice, but the rewards are worth it. Empowering your employees to work from wherever makes the most sense to them means happier, more satisfied workers who will give your company 110%. At 360 Payments, we know all about it. Many of our employees work from home every so often, and we even have a few full-time remote team members. And just like we empower them, we also empower business owners. Give us a call at 1-855-360-0360 or drop us a line on our website. We’d love to show you what we mean by that.
PS – Here is our number one secret to a high-performing team.
PPS – These four tips will help you process payments more efficiently than ever before.