Remote working is much more common than it used to be due to the pandemic. Technological advancements such as Zoom, Slack, and Teams have made working from home much more feasible than it once was. Nevertheless, many people still find that remote work results in more communication difficulties than on-site work. Here are some tips for solving common issues that come up with employees who work remotely.
Establish Expectations from the Beginning
Many of your remote employees have never worked remotely before. They might have no idea what the expectations are. It is essential to state what the expectations are as clearly and as directly as possible. What hours do you need them to be available to work? What means of communication do you want them to use? All these little details need to be spelled out. Establishing expectations right away will help you avoid a lot of miscommunication going forward.
You’re more likely to check in regularly with on-site employees because you are seeing them in person. It’s can be more complex with remote workers because they’re out of sight, especially if they perform well independently. The problem is that studies have shown that remote workers often feel isolated and left out. To maintain a strong relationship with your remote employees, check in with them often and regularly. While you can still use email, checking in occasionally, either by phone or video call, helps a lot.
Give Lots of Feedback
If remote workers don’t receive enough feedback, it creates all kinds of problems. The employees will feel less motivated and less interested in the work they’re doing. In addition, without consistent feedback, remote employees won’t improve their performance, and they may stagnate. Annual performance reviews are a thing of the past. Employees need regular and frequent feedback. This is especially true of remote employees. Along the same lines, you also need to incorporate performance rewards. Recognition is another challenge when it comes to remote workers. With on-site workers, it’s more convenient to say “thanks” or “keep up the good work.” You might buy an employee a cup of coffee when they’re doing a standup job. We’re more likely to neglect remote workers in this respect.
With more and more jobs moving toward remote work, there is an entirely new set of challenges for the employer-employee relationship. Communication is especially hard. You need to make the employee feel like they’re a part of the organization even if they’ve never actually been on-site.
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