Having remote employees is no longer something that’s restricted to large businesses. Businesses of all sizes must now deal with the difficulties of managing employees who are working off-site, both for good and for ill. Supervising these employees, as well as keeping them engaged and motivated, can present a significant challenge for those who have never dealt with off-site employees before. Fortunately, this is a task that can be done by a business of any size.
Tips on managing remote employees
If you’re going to have remote employees, it’s vital that you manage them properly. Doing so can help you to make an asset of these individuals, but your failure can lead to significant losses in revenue as well as long-term management problems. When you’re ready to start managing remote employees properly, make sure to keep these tips in mind.
Make yourself available
Keeping remote employees engaged means making sure that they are still an active part of your business. One of the reasons that managing remote employees is so hard for so many managers is that it’s hard to keep connected with them. If you’re available to them when it makes sense, though, they’ll feel like part of the team. Make sure to keep yourself accessible to remote employees both by monitoring your own channels of communication and having a willingness to go off-site yourself. If you can make yourself available, effective workforce management will be much easier.
Communicate effectively and frequently
If you want to make sure that your remote employees are on the same page as your in-house employees, you’ll have to make sure that you are communicating effectively and frequently. Frequent communication helps with keeping remote employees engaged and working, while effective communication helps to eliminate the frustrating gaps in information that can make remote employment so inefficient. Your goal should be to stay in contact with your remote employees in the same way you would stay in contact with those who work in your office.
It’s also important to remember that frequent communication is a part of effective remote employee monitoring. When you are constantly in contact, it’s harder for things to fall through the cracks. Your goal should be to let your employees get their work done, but in a way that doesn’t keep you in the dark about your employees’ daily activities.
Set goals and timelines
You almost certainly have goals and timelines for your in-house employees. It only makes sense, then, that you’d have the same when managing remote employees. Keeping these goals and timelines in place can be a powerful tool for motivating remote employees as well, giving them a solid roadmap for your expectations and allowing them to feel like their work still contributes to the overall success of the business.
Always make sure that the goals and timelines you set keep the unique circumstances of your employee’s remote location in mind. You want to use these tools as a way to keep employees on task, not to punish them for things that are out of their control. If you’re able to set realistic goals, you’ll be able to ensure that your employees will know exactly what needs to be done and on what schedule they are expected to accomplish those tasks.
Use daily summary reports
One of the hardest parts of working with remote employees is that it can be hard to see what they’ve accomplished without physically visiting their work site. In a typical employer-employee relationship, you can simply stop by a desk or a work station to get an idea of what’s been done. When an employee is working remotely, though, you’ll be forced to take quite a bit on faith.
Setting up a system for daily summary reports allows remote workers to keep you apprised of what they’ve actually been doing. This is great for motivating remote employees to make the most of their work day and a good way to stay in the loop with what’s actually being done. These reports don’t need to be exceptionally detailed and shouldn’t be a burden on the employee, but they should be detailed enough to help you understand exactly what your employee has accomplished at the remote site.
Implement a time tracking system
Time tracking can be difficult even when all of your employees are in the same building. There will always be issues with people clocking in improperly, misusing their break time, or even trying to claim hours worked when they were not present. This becomes even more difficult when you’re managing remote employees, as they are rarely in a position to physically clock in and out using your in-house systems. As such, it’s important to implement a solid time tracking system that will help you with remote employee monitoring.
The specific system you choose to use will depend on your company’s specific needs. You might choose a web portal that allows your employees to log in and out from home, a GPS system that ensures that your employee is on a job site, or even geofencing tools that ensure that your employee actually showed up where he or she was supposed to be. No matter what you choose, make sure that your tracking system will help you to prevent wage theft and ensure that your remote employees get paid for the hours they actually work.
Find the tools that work for you
You don’t have to do all of the hard work of managing remote employees on your own. You can work with PayTech to develop a system that works for you. We can help you with tasks like time tracking, payroll processing, and even the HR tasks that are so important when working with remote employees. When you’re ready to start improving the way you manage your remote workers, make sure to check out our products and pricing packages to find a service that fits your needs.