There is no doubt that remote management is already at the forefront of many supervisors’ concerns in a year fraught with anxiety regarding COVID-19. This unprecedented global crisis has put management skills to the test across the globe, with higher-ups from virtually every industry forced to determine new techniques in managing skeletal staff or remote workers. Instead of the usual commutes, in-house team, schedule of in-person meetings, and others, managers started to get creative.
And for the people in charge, they will need all the help they can get. Following the massive economic impact of the pandemic, businesses have started struggling. It was time to employ new strategies and techniques to minimize damage. But most of all, remote management has become the new hurdle to overcome. How do administrative personnel make the successful transition to managing a remote workforce while still keeping their sights on their business goals?
A Wider Net: The Significance of Remote Management
The advent of remote work as the world began to isolate itself for its personnel safety and curb COVID-19 cases has led to the use of several creative tools and virtual methods. Remote management became necessary to keep business going as usual. Instead of in-person meetings, everyone hopped online, utilizing a video conferencing tool to ensure that everyone remains on top of the business at hand despite the pandemic. More cloud-based software and tools are being used to continue to work no matter where they are.
Remote work, its benefits, and its possibilities have been discussed for years before COVID-19, but the pandemic has driven it to a comprehensive test. Everything now only proves that it can be done on a global scale. And the numbers don’t lie:
- 5 million employees work from home in the United States alone.
- 62% of employees between the ages of 22 to 65 work remotely occasionally, while 30% of workers state that they have been working for a fully remote company.
- It’s not just restricted to employees lower on the rung; 18% of executives work from home too.
- And since 2010, there has been a 400% growth in how many people work remotely at least once a week.
Of course, it has its ups and downs. The first thing that higher-ups have to accept is that remote management will continue even well after the pandemic has been weathered. Remote work is now the new normal. Everything is more flexible, with employees able to work from the comfort of their homes. No more battling against traffic during the commute, and there’s certainly a lot less overhead for businesses.
The company culture also becomes more connected to one another as employees get to see each other on video calls in a more relaxed manner within their homes. Device location no longer matters; employees can chat or join in a conference call as needed.
The Big Challenge: Remote Management Pitfalls
But there are still downsides to this discussion. Remote management means staying on top of your team, who are scattered into the wind. Checking and tracking productivity will be a significant issue, and if they’re halfway around the globe, how do you do it?
Furthermore, establishing a company culture online is far different from doing it offline. With workers isolated in their homes, the company “environment” is out of reach. And finally, communication remains at the top of the concerns: With everyone available from anywhere, how does communication etiquette work now? What is the best way to keep everyone in touch?
Making the Jump: Ways to Ride the Remote Management Wave
Great managers know how to hurdle the challenges. To overcome the culture shock of remote work, old dogs need some new tricks. In the following segment, we have discussed these tricks.
#1. Give your employees every avenue of communication.
Eliminate the communication problems early by ensuring that employees don’t just have one way to reach everyone else: they have a lot of ways. Keep the group connected through various chat platforms or video conference software.
Yocale’s powerful all-in-one app, Zoom, Slack, and even popular gaming communication app Discord have been utilized by employers to ensure that everyone stays connected. Don’t forget to pick an app with channels that let individual teams talk.
#2. Make your culture virtual
Image Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Remote management means bringing company culture to a virtual world. If the company uses a communication app with “channels,” open up a channel for watercooler talk where the employees can still talk freely about non-work-related things. Embrace social times and add a culture of fun to the remote work, such as taking breaks together.
#3. Put down lines when it comes to goals
Image Credit: Gerd Altmann from Pixabay
Because communication is critical, managers must communicate the team’s goals and policies a lot more clearly. Set clear and defined rules regarding availability, what tools they can use, and how to communicate. Most importantly, remind them of the usage of productivity tools that ensure everyone remains tracked and producing results.
#4. Be there or be square
Image Credit: Alexandra_Koch from Pixabay
Managers can no longer be there in person for their employees. This means that they have to amp up the encouragement and moral support over virtual communication. This keeps employees aware that managers are still supervising them, but it also motivates them to maintain open communication lines when it comes to difficulties.
#5. Motivation and recognition go a long way
Image Credit: mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
In line with the previous point, part of remote management is to continue motivating employees. Team-building opportunities, some incentives, and other collaborative efforts keep teams engaged. Furthermore, recognizing the team’s efforts, hard work, and diligence during a pandemic can go a long way to keep employees working hard. We recommend a theory Y management approach.
#6. Keep your lines open
Supervisors are now in a unique position to be more communicative than they have ever been before. With the team scattered around, they will turn to their leader more often for instruction and set an example. Managers working remotely always need to keep their communication lines open, and they have to be more responsive than usual to keep things chugging along.
Bracing for the New Normal
There are so many benefits to remote work that this may likely be the new normal for many industries. It will be a while yet before the pandemic’s effects will die down, and even to this day, the development of a vaccine is still ongoing. Furthermore, there are far too many benefits to remote work that it’s likely many employees will begin to opt for it.
This means that remote management is the key to keeping a well-oiled machine working well. When the cogs are all in different places, managers and supervisors have to adapt, just like everyone else to run the company clockwork as smoothly as possible. With many tools and techniques at their disposal, it may even be more accessible than ever.
How has your company coped with the pandemic? Has your industry opted for remote work? How have your employees adapted? Let us know in the comments below.
This is a guest post by Aaron Chichioco Chief Content Officer (CCO) | WebDesigner