The COVID pandemic took business owners by surprise and many had to create plans to go remote.
It’s been 3 years since the start of the pandemic, and more than 27% of businesses are still hiring remote staff. Remote work proves to be just as beneficial as bringing people into the office, but it’s not suitable for every industry.
If you’re considering adding a remote staff member or already have a team, you need to plan for the obstacles. Keep reading to discover the common challenges of managing remote employees.
One of the biggest challenges of managing remote employees is communication.
Small businesses and large corporations often deal with communications issues. Whether you have a fully remote staff or a hybrid team, you can’t let communication barriers set you back. Utilizing chat programs, phones, and email will help keep everyone in the loop.
Not only does poor communication impact relations within the company, but it can also impact timelines for each project.
Weekly goals and charts might not be enough to set high expectations for remote employees.
Before you start telling your team about your expectations, you need to identify them first. Take note of what metrics you will follow to ensure productivity levels aren’t going down. Communicating these items with transparency will motivate your team and give them direction.
If you want to successfully set expectations, you must give your team the tools and resources to be successful. Meetings can help you address performance problems and prevent delays.
Overlapped Vacation Time
Without coming into the office every day, some remote staff may get creative with their leave time.
Since people can work from home, they can work anywhere. Working during a vacation, however, could eat into your payroll without adding to productivity. Using annual leave management tool can help your team request time off without overlapped dates or unexcused absences.
Most employees want to take time off work around the same time, such as the holidays. This can lead to a headache during scheduling, but you don’t have to handle it alone. Scheduling programs are a great way to track who is working and when they are available.
When it comes to training staff, it’s always easier to do it in person.
Unfortunately, remote employees won’t have the opportunity to come into the office but they still need to get the details. Modules and videos can help you get your point across, but many remote employees still feel undertrained.
To avoid remote training issues, it’s best to pair your new team member with a more experienced person. They can find ways to communicate and ask questions, but there needs to be sufficient support.
Keep in mind that switching to remote training will involve making adjustments. Talk to your new staff and experienced members to learn about the struggles they face. Getting to the root of the issues can help you retain staff and increase their confidence.
Different Time Zones
A common problem business owners face involves time zones.
Different time zones can interrupt communications and employees might miss out on crucial info. Unless your departments and employees have a way to stay up-to-date, you will cause more harm than good. With remote staff working at different times, you need a way to oversee their progress.
If you’re able to work different time zones into your business plan, it can become an advantage. This lets you maximize your workflow and get more accomplished by utilizing various time zones. Whether you want to hire someone on the coast or in another country, you need to approach this with a plan.
Some remote employees get so invested in their work that they struggle to balance their home and work life.
If you’re noticing staff stay logged into the server until the late hours of the day, you may want to discourage them from continuing. Without a clear separation between work and home, burnout will occur. Employee burnout has caused people to underperform, but it also causes more turnover for your company.
The best way to prevent burnout for remote staff is by regularly checking in with your team. Talk to your staff one-on-one and take preventative measures when they are struggling. You should also monitor how tasks are designated to the staff so that no one feels overwhelmed.
Limited Company Culture
Without seeing everyone in the office and creating an environment, you may struggle with your culture.
Company culture encompasses values, attitudes, and behaviors in the workplace. If you don’t find ways to get your team working together, they will never understand how they play a role in the larger picture. You can promote culture with weekly newsletters, group chats, and other interactive activities.
Your company needs to have a healthy culture so each employee feels respected, safe, and able to think outside of the box. Think about how you want your team to work together and find small ways to encourage teamwork and communication, even online.
Avoid These Challenges of Managing Remote Employees
When it comes to increasing efficiency and employee happiness, remote work is a reliable solution.
Discovering the challenges of managing remote employees can help you prepare for and prevent issues. This will improve the transition as you onboard staff and try to retain your highest-performing staff. Don’t underestimate the power of newsletters and communication efforts, they can keep everyone on the same page.
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