Managers can encounter criticism and derision. Employees can portray them as busybodies who do little and expect their staff to do miracles. However, managers are absolutely essential for any successful business. And they are becoming more relevant as the world transitions to a remote workforce.
A team can stumble along without an efficient manager when the members share a space; but separate them, and the cohesiveness crumbles. Managers fulfil an important duty in the team, especially in today’s remote working environment.
Being a remote worker without clear guidance and oversight can be immensely challenging, since you lack so much critical context for your work. An efficient manager can keep everything organised, although this is not a guarantee.
Managing any team is challenging, but managing a remote team of flexible workers presents its own unique challenges. You need to approach the task with an open mind and be determined to adapt. In this post, we’ll provide some tips for managing a flexible workforce. Let’s dive in.
Provide relevant software (and training)
A remote worker relies on the internet and on online systems. Gone are the days of conventional reliance on offline versions of Microsoft Office that gave way to cloud-based systems like Office 365 and Google Docs. These systems provide organisations and their remote workers with secure access to their files from any location. But that’s just a small example of what’s available.
A cursory search will reveal just how many business-centric software systems are available. You should focus your attention on productivity tools that address the issues and challenges that slow your online business down. You can achieve notable long-term improvements to the foundation of your working day by investing time and money into some of the most effective productivity software for small businesses, including:
Despite this, you cannot simply roll out these tools and expect your employees to use them as intended.
There is a learning curve for how even the simplest tool works, and you can assume that employees will resist new software. Training them takes time and effort, as they will prefer to stick to what they know. You might benefit from pairing the software-specific training with broader productivity training to get better results, so think carefully about it.
Consider allowing people to choose their way of working
Some people work better at night. At first, they are tired and unproductive, causing them to become more listless throughout the day. But the moment the light fades, they become more energised. You have two options for dealing with night owls in your team:
a) you can force them into working conventional schedules, or
b) you can let them do what feels most natural to them.
The latter makes more sense. In the past, employers were more likely to force employees into unfavourable work schedules. When people shared offices, this made sense, but not anymore.
Obviously, you cannot grant total freedom. You will need people to work (and be available) at specific hours during the day, but how often do you have deadlines that cannot be moved? Probably not very often. All other circumstances aside, you simply need to let your workers determine their own working methods.
Be less concerned about methods and more concerned with results. That’s the way to success.
Request detailed employee feedback and implement solutions
When you lose that in-office connection, it is more difficult to identify when employees are frustrated or dissatisfied.
Although steps have been taken towards reducing the stigma associated with mental health and employee satisfaction (the Harvard Business Review has a helpful article on this topic), people still tend to be reluctant to speak up about problems they face in the workplace for fear of appearing incompetent.
The less guidance employees receive, the more likely morale and productivity will suffer. How should you respond? While it may be challenging to appreciate given how much else you have to do, it’s up to you to solicit feedback. You need to make it clear you’ll act on it.
Engaging with employees means asking them how they’re doing and what you can do to make them feel more satisfied.
No matter how far away your employees’ remote workplaces, they are still your biggest assets, so you must nurture them accordingly.
Looking for managerial qualifications? Manager Training is here to help
Whether you’re new to a managerial or team leader position or you would like to demonstrate the skills you have gained over the years, Manager Training has you covered.
Manager Training is an authorised training centre for the CMI (Chartered Management Institute). Founded in 1947, the CMI is the only organisation offering management and leadership qualifications that can offer Chartered status. We offer a wide range of qualifications and diplomas that can be tailored for team leader, junior manager, middle manager, senior manager and executive levels.
In addition, we offer a range of accredited Project Management, Change Management, Business Analysis and Business Improvement study packages. All our study packages are offered with unrivalled mentoring, tutor support and recruitment services.
All our courses can be completed online, meaning no matter whether you’re working from home or the office, you can get qualified at a pace that suits you.
Plus, with 0% finance available, you can get started on your dream qualification straight away.
Contact us today and see which managerial qualification is right for your needs.