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5 tips for managing remote employees

In a recent survey conducted by PwC, less than one in five executives wanted to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. An overwhelming 83% of employers agreed that remote work has been a success.

Now that we're two years into the pandemic, organisations have had lots of time to work on the remote-work experience to keep employees productive and engaged, but many still view remote set-ups as temporary. However, some employers are still struggling to keep employees engaged and it's become even more crucial now to support remote employees as we see shifts in the future of work.

Here are our top five ways to manage remote employees:

Foster innovation

During high levels of uncertainty, managers and employees may understandably become more risk-averse. However, it is precisely during these times that innovative approaches and risk-taking are even more vital to employee engagement and organisational success.

Man looking at ideas on bulletin board
Employees are naturally hesitant during uncertain times to try something new.

Management can emphasise the need for incremental innovation or process improvement even when the organisation cannot make large investments.

Boost recognition

Effective recognition not only boosts confidence in the recipient but also sends the right signal to other employees for model behaviour. Recognition doesn’t always have to be monetary – it can be a simple acknowledgment, tokens of appreciation, or low-cost perks.

Previously managers were able to recognise employee achievement at the workplace, but with remote work it is important for managers to boost recognition more with lesser visibility. By meeting your employees virtually, you can ask them what barriers they have overcome and identify elements to recognise or share the accomplishments of team members.

Trust your employees

Due to the current pandemic, managers may be concerned about the constant visibility they had into their employees. Don’t respond by micromanaging them as that will only disengage and induce even more stress onto your employees. Ensure your employees have everything they need and that they know how to be productive from home.

Friendly handshake with co-worker
The best thing you can do as a manager right now is to put your utmost trust and confidence in your employees doing the right thing – which they will if they have the right support system.

Use objectives to create transparency

It’s easy for role definitions to come vague and unclear during disruptions such as the current pandemic. Make sure you are focusing on what the employees should be achieving. To improve clarity, stress on objectives rather than processes – which will also increase employee engagement.

If employees feel their work is contributing towards organisational goals, they will feel less anxious about their job security.

Emphasise on outputs, not processes

Remote employees are juggling work and family commitments in their homes so it’s vital to allow them to complete their work in ways that are easiest and most productive to them.

Your 8 A.M. meeting may no longer be feasible or the lengthy approval process for processing a payment for a client may have to go. Take advantage of different virtual tools and mutually agree to meet at a suitable time for both parties.

At the end of the day, it's more important to pay attention to what work is getting done rather than the process of how it's getting done.

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