Remote employees are the way of the future. The internet allows businesses to hire the best and brightest talent from all over the world, and no one needs to relocate to work. While you have the advantages of retaining top talent, a lot of things need to change to accommodate the unorthodox way in which they work. Think about the process a little differently, and you’ll see great success.
- Make Communication Easy
When your team all works in the same office, a lot of communication is done casually and easily. When you have remote workers, most of them will never even meet each other face to face. This means you need to provide alternative methods of communication. Try professional group messaging apps or internal social media to keep all your team members connected.
- Keep Information Secure
Office computers are always connected to a single secure network. Your remote employees are using different networks By giving them access to a VPN, you can keep multiple people in multiple parts of the world on a sole secure channel. If your employees work in different countries, they might already have experience with VPNS – they bypass region restrictions, and a lot of people around the world use them to watch American Netflix.
- Be Mindful About Sensitive Data
Your remote employees will probably need access to some sensitive data in order to do their jobs. Just be careful about what you’re sending and how much of it you’ve dispersed. The more data you have out there, the harder it is to keep track of. Since your employees will be able to access the data from their devices, you need to make sure that you’re able to effectively control and manage what they have should they decide to end their employment with you. Never send them things they don’t need, and encourage them to sign an NDA regarding important business data. It will keep you protected.
- Use Remote Team Building Exercises
You can’t go out for a company dinner or a company bowling trip when everyone lives in different places. You’re going to have to explore some unconventional methods for team building. Encourage them to play an app game together. Invite them to converse via Facetime, Skype, Google Hangouts, or another video chat service. You need team synergy.
- Properly Empower Your Remote Workers
You won’t always be there to provide immediate assistance or approval as a project progresses. Pick and choose where you can empower your remote employees to handle things on their own. If you give them full control over areas of work where their strength shines through, things will move quickly. Communication delays and lags won’t be much of a problem when you assign independent authority appropriately.
- Consolidate All Of Your Information
You need everyone to be on the same page at any given moment. They all need access to the same information about projects, new developments, and deadlines. Send out a daily memo to everyone. You can include a broad reach of what everyone is doing and include specifics for each employee regarding what you expect from them on a personal level. You’ll cut off miscommunication before it has a chance to disrupt the workflow.
- Make Coworking Easy
You need tools like Slack, Google Drive, and Google Docs when your employees are scattered. They’ll all be able to work on the same documents in real time. Having to send things back and forth limits productivity. When you’ve created a sole place for people to work together, you’re speeding up the process.
Managing a remote team might take some getting used to. Don’t expect to be the perfect remote team leader from the moment you begin. In time, everything will fall into place.
Sarah Kearns is a hard working mother of three daughters. She is a Senior Communications Manager for BizDb, an online resource with information about businesses in the UK. She loves cooking, reading history books and writing