Prospective managers need to be prepared for a rising trend in remote work. There are several advantages to overseeing remote workers, primarily that employees avoid a daily commute and have greater opportunity for work/life balance. Learning how to manage remote workers is an important goal for any aspiring leader. Working through difficulties such as limited communication with employees can help ensure that your team matches the productivity of on-site employees. Effectively managing remote workers requires strong leadership, professional development and team-building opportunities.
Zoom and other services make it possible to maintain open lines of communication between employees and management. Phone calls, online calendars and emails are other tools that managers can use to share company news, reminders and feedback. Many companies with remote workers use instant messaging apps or paid services that enable collaboration on projects. It is wise for executives to establish standards of communication to ensure that employees can be contacted during work hours.
All teams need the ability to collaborate. Even if team members typically work on individual projects, employees need the ability to communicate with any employee within their organization. Using streamlined internal communication helps team members reach out to both in-office and remote colleagues in their team and throughout their company. Employees working on the same project will enjoy the capabilities of apps that use cloud storage and enable real-time collaboration.
Virtual meetings empower remote teams to work together and encourages feedback. In addition to teleconferences, companies can use videoconferencing apps to enable teams to build strong connections with a similar experience to face-to-face interactions. The ability to pair a face and a name and voice can encourage more communication and a friendly environment between members of the team.
One of the major downsides of remote work arrangements is that it is difficult to replicate the atmosphere of community and personal connection that can develop in a physical work environment. It may not be possible to completely replace the connectedness of the physical workplace. However, managers can promote community engagement with virtual team building for remote workers through activities, regular meetings, collaboration and feedback.
Management may consider providing a channel for non-work-related banter on a messaging app to replace the “break room” atmosphere that employees need to stay productive throughout the day. Hosting scheduled activities like trivia games, book clubs or virtual costume parties can also help employees stay engaged in their work environment and support other team members with challenges that arise in the remote work environment.
Aspiring executives and middle management require a competitive skillset and knowledge base. At Grand Canyon University, our Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Leadership degree program combines our supportive online and on-campus learning community with a rigorous curriculum that challenges future leaders to thrive. To learn more about the Colangelo College of Business, click on the Request Info button at the top of this page.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.