An option to work remotely or from home at least once a week is a career aspiration for many people searching for a new job. With the rise of remote working, businesses need to ensure that their managers and team-leads are equipped to successfully manage and drive productivity in their remote workforce.
With remote working being a tried and tested way to attract top talent, Resource Solutions offers top tips for management looking to adapt to the modern working lifestyle, overcome concerns around flexi-working, and better manage their workforce remotely.
Changing from behaviour-based to outcome-based assessment
On a day-to-day basis, managing the remote working of a team requires a move from behaviour-based monitoring to an outcome-based mindset. Instead of solely assessing performance according to what an employee is seen to be doing, managers should take their employees’ output or other deliverables into account and establish an environment of mutual trust.
Devising innovative alternatives to face-to-face communication
Flexible working can create communication challenges, as employees may feel less connected with each other. This can lead to a weaker sense of belonging to a team. Apart from specifying a set time of the week when the team can get together, managers should use alternative tools such as instant messaging and virtual meetings to foster communication.
With the growth of a virtual workforce comes the need to make time for those online face-to-face catch ups. If managers do not take the time to carry out face-to-face online catch ups, the silence can become loud and dangerous, with remote employees second-guessing their performance. Take the time to schedule in video catch ups to reassure and guide your workforce to ensure maximum productivity.
Create an open culture of flexibility
Companies should also create a culture where employees do not feel they will be disadvantaged because of their flexible working arrangements. Some new joiners may struggle to learn if their manager or team members are not around. Managers should discuss flexible working arrangements openly with all team members to ensure that everyone is treated equally.
Beware of ‘burn-out’
With the ever-increasing use of mobile devices, the line between work and private life is blurring. Managers should conduct reviews to ensure remote working employees are not working excessively, as this can lead to high stress levels and eventual ‘burn-out’. Signs to look out for are a reduction in productivity and/or output, uncharacteristic detachment and increased cynicism or complaining.