How do you manage workers in the remote age?
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As more businesses create work-from-home policies and establish online-only office spaces, employees and managers alike have had to re-evaluate how they work. One question that keeps coming up: How do you manage workers in the remote age?
The answer is several-fold. Managers need to perfect their communication skills, and businesses need to make sure their remote workers are equipped to handle a different kind of work than they would have had in a shared office.
But the question remains: How? Let’s take a look.
Communicate on a regular basis
Communication is huge when your entire office is remote. In physical workspaces, managers can easily stop by their reports’ desks or say hello during lunch. When the physical space is removed, communication and collaboration have to become more intentional.
Good communication is critical for your business’s success. With daily standups or even regular check-ins, you offer a space for your team to engage with you and with each other. Communication issues lead to confusion, frustration, and, in some cases, duplicated work (or no work at all). Connecting clearly with your team helps you avoid those pitfalls.
One way you can ensure effective, streamlined communication is to use platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams to create team-wide and project-specific channels. You can also use these platforms to cultivate a newsfeed of the most important information everyone needs to know.
Be on the right track
If you’re thinking about starting an online business or your company is transitioning to online-only employees, consider forming a limited liability company (LLC). This will ensure you are on the right track in terms of your business goals and ensure you have the right resources and protections to support your remote employees. The benefits of forming an LLC include flexibility and tax advantages.
You can avoid lawyer fees when filing with an online formation service. However, be sure to check the rules in your state (and the states where your employees live) before moving ahead, as regulations vary by location.
Give your employees the right tools
The “right tools” can mean many different things. This can mean the technology for their job. Do they have a computer that can handle their work? Do they have the design tools they need for their marketing job or a GitHub account set up for their coding job? Do they have access to collaboration tools like Slack?
The “right tools” can also mean the right space to be creative. Give your employees the mental tools necessary for growth and innovation. Your employees — especially your remote employees — need to know you trust them and that you’re not micromanaging their work. This kind of trust produces good work, and it leads to motivation so they continue producing that quality of work.
Managing remotely is still managing
Working from home is a different beast. It can be difficult for employees to maintain motivation at first, especially if they are not used to working from their home office or they are having anxious feelings about their current situation.
But by being intentional about internal communication, providing the tools employees need to thrive in their environment, and staying on the right track in terms of maintaining your business from a legal standpoint are all effective ways to manage a remote team.