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Addressing Challenges Managing Remote Workers

There are many challenges in managing remote workers. These include, but are certainly not limited to:

  • Checking in on progress on tasks and assignments
  • Ensuring they feel a part of the team/organization as a whole
  • Managing cultural differences (especially for global remote workforces)
  • Managing performance
  • Managing conflicts between remote workers
  • Ensuring consistency in how work is accomplished
  • Enabling for communication and collaboration across the remote workforce

If we set up a remote workforce for success, we are more likely to eliminate these challenges, or address them early on as they arise before they begin to impact the remote workforce’s ability to meet their goals.

One of the biggest challenges, which really leads to many of these issues noted above, is in engaging the remote workforce. Engaged remote workers are more productive and tend to collaborate and communicate more effectively across the organization.

We don’t want our remote workers to feel isolated. One way to reduce/break through this isolation is through:

  • Enabling for regular collaboration among and between remote workers via a collaboration portal (internal site)
  • Scheduling and holding:
    • one-on-one weekly or bi-weekly virtual meetings with each remote workers
    • monthly all-staff/all-team meetings via a virtual platform
    • as-needed sub-team meetings for groups of remote workers working on smaller initiatives

Additionally, you can address many challenges by having clearly defined processes and procedures for how:

  • remote workers will collaborate
  • work will be shared
  • problems will be solved and decisions made
  • conflicts will be managed

Celebrating remote workers’ specific events – such as birthday or anniversaries – and celebrating successes as a team (for example when remote workers collaborate to complete a project) is a great way to acknowledge the work that they do and shows that you value them. While we tend to naturally celebrate successes and achievements when we are co-located, it takes a concentrated effort to do so for remote workers.

Need to better manage and engage your remote workforce? Ask us how we can help you train your managers in leading remote workforces more effectively. Check out our training offerings related to the topic of virtual teams/remote workers.

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