Last Updated on Feb 25, 2020 by James W
Working with remote employees, contrary to popular perception, is a tough job. Apart from the geographical distance, there are other issues that can hamper productivity in ways imaginable. Since you do not know them personally and as you have no idea how they are spending their time, you will find it really hard to figure out who is working hard and who is just wasting your resources. However, challenges like these are quite common when you are running a business. So, rather than pining for a utopian world, you need to get your gloves on to create a remote working environment that actually works.
Respect your remote employees: Working with remote employees is a different ball of game altogether. You cannot expect them go online sharp at 9 am simply because they are freelancers and not your usual employees. Yes, I know this really pricks you but given its other advantages, you need to learn how to bear with this. Acknowledge the fact that each person has his own way of getting the job done and all you have to do is to respect the way. Rather than forcing them to work in a fixed time frame, why not let them do their work the way they wish. You need to intervene only when problem creeps in.
Make them aware how you want things to be done: The most difficult part of working with remote employees is that you need to be in contact touch with them. So, while distributing the work, you have to make it a point that everyone involved in the job know the priorities of the day. Once they are done with the deadline, they can start working in other project. This will make things easier for you and for your remote employees as well. To make this work, you can use Google Docs at no extra expenses.
Give Feedback Consistently: if you are managing remote employees, you should not shy away from giving direct feedback to your employees. Since there is no way to interact in person, you need to inform the employees whenever you see something wrong, no matter how small it is. Yeah, I know this takes some time and energy, but if you continue ignore things like this, major problem will crop up and destabilize the whole work process. And please do not forget to give positive feedback whenever it is due. This will inspire your workers to work hard and lift their morale. There are some managers who always interact with employees who are the best, but this should not have been the case. You need to interact with all and sundry so that everyone has a clear idea where he/she stands.
Check the Outcome and not the process: One of the biggest drawbacks of working with remote employees is that there is no way you can figure out whether they are working or not. Even if you have developed a system or platform where they need to stay logged in, this does not ensure that the work is going to get done or the person is actually working. So the only way you can judge the performance of the individual is by checking the quality of the finished product. Minor hiccups in the production process can be ignored safely as long as you are not compromising on the quality of the final product.
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