An Essential Guide for Managing Remote Employees

As coronavirus continues to spread throughout the nation, we are witnessing more jobs that are transitioning remotely. Not only are jobs becoming remote, but additional in-person positions have shifted into remote ones. Now is one of the most crucial times to understand how to communicate with employees through technology. Here’s an essential guide for managing remote employees.

Face-to-face

It can be easy for employees and members of a company to feel left out and alone when working remotely. Now that everyone, besides necessary workers, is working from home, they are beginning to experience feelings of being left out. We are all accustomed to in-person, in-office interactions, so this transition in terms of communication can be very restricting.

One of the best pieces of advice as a leader of a company can take would be to plan time to communicate and engage with one another outside of the required work time. Whether that’s a zoom happy hour, a drive-by, or a group text message, external communication outside of work needs is extremely necessary.

Use Video/Audio

Working from home can be a challenging transition, but now that remote work has become more of a norm, proper communication is vital. It can be easy for people to send a text message back-and-forth, but a lot can become lost within a text message, such as a tone or reading between the lines. Text messages are easy and fast, but it will be more beneficial to engage with one another over a video or audio line.

When employees are engaging with one another, recommend that they call one another via phone or an online video chat. Doing this will enforce similar interactions as when talking in the office, although they are not getting that face-to-face interaction. Set up a zoom line or a Slack messaging channel to simplifying calls for employees. As a leader, you should encourage video and audio calls and demonstrate the use of them as often as possible.

Increase one-on-one’s

It can feel overwhelming to work from home, especially when the most collaboration between employees is required. Whether that’s a team that regularly works together, across teams, or across the company ladder, one-on-one time should be a priority.

As a leader, you should encourage one on ones with team members at least once a week if not multiple times a week. Doing this will also help remote workers transition from working in the office to working at home. Conference rooms can no longer be booked for the purpose of discussing a project, so use video or audio calls to improve your one on one chats.

GIFs

It might sound cheesy, but one of the best ways to convey emotion through text and online messaging is to use GIFs. Using GIFs is a great way to share feelings, whether they’re feelings of excitement, frustration, etc.. Not only does it help communicate how one another is feeling, but it will add fun liveliness into work chats.

It’s essential as a leader of a company to be able to establish the foundation and transition of remote work. Not only do you have to focus on how the work is going to be accomplished, but you have to focus on the interactions between the staff members. It can be hard to get used to, but with time it will become more natural and more convenient to work remotely. For those that struggle with technology and how to use it to communicate, practice makes perfect. Continue to use audio and video calls as often as possible to ensure the most beneficial one on one communication.

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