Although remote work has become more popular in recent years, the sudden onslaught of stay-at-home orders in response to COVID-19 caught almost every business off guard. Now, even months after the pandemic started, many are still struggling to accommodate their remote workers and address the various challenges that come with it.
Here are seven proven tips for tackling the new era of remote work:
1. Provide the right tools
If you don’t already have a BYOD policy that allows employees to use their own devices, now is a good time to start thinking about it. Studies have consistently shown that people usually work better when using their own devices, and it saves cash in a time when businesses need it most. You still need to supply the right tools though, such as collaborative platforms and web apps, which your employees need to do their jobs.
2. Emphasize communication
It’s easy for remote workers to end up feeling undervalued and even isolated to the point that both morale and productivity start to suffer. Especially during these uncertain and stressful times, employers need to be on the lookout for signs of distress. They also need to promote healthy dialogue to help their employees navigate the constant pace of change. Also, consider which communication and collaboration tools best accommodate your workforce.
3. Avoid micromanagement
No one likes to be micromanaged in the traditional workplace, let alone in the privacy of their own homes. While supervisors and line managers still need to keep a pulse on their teams, it shouldn’t come down to constant monitoring and hourly check-ins. Instead, business leaders should lead by example, be clear on timelines and expectations, and delegate tasks to the right people.
4. Drive a culture change
Sustaining your company culture when everyone’s working remotely isn’t easy at the best of times. That goes doubly true in organizations that have been slow to innovate. In the office environment, company culture typically evolves organically through things like team-building events and activities. With remote teams, it’s important to rethink these processes by using business messaging apps and webinar tools to promote teamwork and create new company rituals.
5. Collect feedback regularly
There’s much more to remote work than simply giving your employees laptops and leaving them to get on with it. Although the benefits of remote work are without doubt, it doesn’t suit some as well as it does others, particularly those with children at home and/or no dedicated space to work.
Encourage your employees to voice their concerns, and assist them wherever possible. You might also consider launching quick surveys to collect feedback at scale. Just remember, if you’re asking for feedback, you need to act on it!
6. Focus on results
Although micromanagement should be avoided, there’s nothing wrong with using time tracking apps to ensure your employees are doing the hours you’re paying them for. But it’s not usually the most suitable option for remote work. Instead, it’s better to focus on results and deadlines than the processes employees use to reach them. After all, if someone delivers impeccable work, does it really matter how and when they did it?
7. Celebrate success
Any decent employee engagement strategy makes a point of celebrating success, and it’s just as important in remote working environments too. Especially during periods of disruption, it’s essential you can accommodate employees’ increased desire for recognition. This doesn’t just motivate your team, but it also sends a powerful signal to other employees. Ways to celebrate success remotely include gifts and bonuses, virtual events, and even online games.
Kortek Solutions provides intelligent technology and support to help businesses innovate and empower their remote workforce. Call us today to find out more.