Research has found that remote staff are healthier, more productive, and have a better work-life balance. Remote working culture has brought a workplace revolution, one that projects that most companies will let 70% of their workforce work remotely by 2025.
Besides, it’s said that remote working comes with numerous benefits for both the company and employees. Companies that allow their staff to work remotely report that their remote staff takes fewer sick leaves, works for longer times, and they are highly motivated. Remote workers, on the other hand, enjoy the freedom of working from any location—and this saves them a lot of money and inconveniences that are incurred by in-office staff.
This makes a remote working sound like something that all businesses need. However, it’s a bit challenging to switch to remote working and hope for positive results. What businesses need to understand is, managing remote staff comes with numerous challenges, which can affect their productivity and overall business operations. In this post, we shall discuss the top 5 challenges with remote staff and how to avoid them. Read on for more information.
Communication is essential when managing remote staff. It’s important to collect input from all your remote staff and know the tasks that each individual is working on. However, most businesses have a great challenge in fostering open communication when managing remote employees. While some businesses rely on traditional emails as their means of communication, this is a formal tool that doesn’t promote quick communication.
One of the best ways for businesses to deal with this issue is to set dedicated communication tools. Some communication tools like Slack support communication from different channels, and it’s one of the most preferred modes of communication. Besides, it allows future staff to see the frequently asked questions.
Regardless of the communication tool that you choose, always make sure it fosters two-way communication. Besides, the channels should always remain open throughout the day. This way, your remote staff will not feel isolated or neglected.
Tracking employee productivity
Some managers have a challenge in tracking how much their remote teams achieve and at what rate. Mostly, these managers have a challenge in determining whether their staff are underutilized or they are not putting their best foot forward when working on a particular project.
To deal with this issue remote managers must establish different ways to track the productivity of their employees. At times, this includes creating metrics for how much work an employee should complete every day, like:
- Scheduling a certain number of social media posts every hour
- Making x cold calls per work shift
- Sending x outreach emails every day
Whatever KPI metrics that you choose to assess the productivity of your remote staff, use it for your in-office staff. This helps to create clear expectations, regardless of where and how your employees work.
While having a remote team increases the possibilities of better productivity, however, remote managers must overcome some inefficiencies to achieve this. One of the major challenges that remote managers face is having remote staff from different time zones.
When managing staff from the same time zone, it becomes easier to set clear expectations in regards to the time worked. However, it can be tougher to coordinate work time if your remote staff comes from different time zones. In such cases, it becomes a big challenge to know what your staff is working on. Are they logging in for work on time? Are they working on their allocated tasks? Are they meeting their deadlines? These are some of the challenges that most remote managers go through.
However, using scheduling software makes things easier for you. These programs allow remote managers to schedule shifts for all team members and even get notifications if they don’t start tracking time within that period. Also, you can get email alerts if an employee misses or abandons a shift. At the end of the day, using scheduling software ensures that your remote staff is working on the allocated tasks, thus reducing any downtime for your business.
Lack of trust
According to the experts from Allshore, dedicated .NET developers staffing company this is another big challenge for both remote workers and remote managers. Mostly, remote managers are not sure if their remote staff will complete their allocated tasks. Remote staff, on the other hand, have several concerns, like whether they will get paid at all, and on time. However, being transparent can help to build trust when it comes to remote working.
Remote managers can build trust among their remote staff by being transparent about the following:
- Project expectations
- Pay rate
- Payment timeline
- Working hours
- Regular updates on projects
And, when it comes to expectations, remote managers should be honest with the workload that they expect from their remote staff.
Lack of accountability
Remote working gives employees 100% freedom of working from any location and at any time. However, this comes with a great challenge—the lack of accountability, especially if remote managers don’t have the proper monitoring and evaluation tools. This can affect the performance of the business if it goes unchecked for some time. However, remote managers can use performance monitoring and evaluation tools to ensure that their remote staff accomplishes their allocated tasks.