When leading an in-person team, there are additional steps and considerations that might not be necessary. It’s important to balance the needs of your organization and clients with that of your employees. Here are a few ways to balance it out.
Culture and connections are important. One of the biggest challenges of managing remote workers is creating and maintaining a sense of company culture and engagement among those in the office and at home
Keeping remote employees up to date on technical issues seems to be the easier part of the process according to the leader of the team. Keeping up the level of engagement is more difficult. The entire team needs more intention and energy to do that.
The tools that help employees stay connected throughout the workday are the messaging app Slack, as well as Zoom.
“Slack has been a huge help to make sure the conversations continue,” he said. Even if it’s virtual, it’s good to see the people you’re having a conversation with.
Tools aren’t only for work conversations. Many companies use software to re-create the social aspect of being in a physical office
Andrew Jordan, the COO of FinancePal, an accounting and tax firm that was founded as an accounting and tax firm, said that they break into different groups once a month instead of doing an all-team huddle. You have to be more intentional about it.
Tech tools can be helpful, but it’s important to not use them too much. Some firms allow attendees to turn off their cameras if they’re not feeling good in a virtual meeting.
Incorporating more tangible means of staying connected can help fight virtual meeting burnout.
“We’ve found a better balance, and we’re not necessarily asking our team members to participate in happy hours.” “We try to do a group order on Door Dash for lunch or make sure we’re sending food to our team members in other areas.”
Give recognition. Effectively managing remote staff involves recognition. Since it’s not possible to thank or praise employees in person, it has become more deliberate to make employees feel appreciated. Weekly or monthly recognition emails can be used to highlight top-performing employees. Virtual tools can help recognize outstanding work, and some organizations have created a channel specifically for sharing employee wins.
A tool called 15Five is used by a Honolulu-based CPA firm to allow employees to call out their superiors.
“So a staff member thanked someone for their help on the project, not just the two employees involved see it,” said Donny C. Shimamoto, CPA/CITP, CGMA, founder and managing director of the company.
The tool allows managers to conduct “pulse checks” with all employees, as well as give them the opportunity to raise concerns, set goals, and maintain a regular line of communication with management.
It allows the employee to say how well the week went on a scale of one to five. It forces them to ask themselves what they want to do this week, so it does some simple goal setting with them. What do you want to do in the next week?
Please help with boundaries. Helping employees set boundaries is one of the most important things to do with remote workers.
New employees have to know how to draw boundaries. We tell everyone that our acceptable response time is one business day, and that there’s a sense that you have to respond quickly to everything.
Boundary setting includes being aware that some remote employees may be in different time zones, so being respectful of that means adjusting expectations of response times or meeting schedules.
If an employee is three hours ahead of us, we’re not scheduling things so she has to get on a call at 7 p.m. and ask us to not ping us at 8.
Boundary building is more important for employees who struggle to separate their work and home life. Encouraging employees to create an office space can help them separate their work from their home duties.
“If you have a designated workspace with doors that are close, you are more efficient because you don’t have to go to a common area to do your work,” said Jessica Robinson, CPA, senior, tax, at DMJPS PLLC. When they see me, they want to stay with me. When you work from home, you have to train your family to respect your workspace.
Robinson suggests that employees keep their own records of their time to make sure they stay on task.
She said that keeping detailed time records is helpful because they don’t have accountability.
Flexibility and rethinking the structure of how employees work is the key to making remote workers successful
A writer by the name of Jen Bringle is based in North Carolina. If you would like to suggest an idea for another article, please contact the author of this article.