The year 2020 has completely changed all of the common paradigms in terms of employees’ attendance in the office.
As COVID-19 spread, long lockdowns have been enforced, which forced workplaces to adjust in order to enable employees to continue to work full time from their homes. In order to manage remote employees, there are a few basic principles worth knowing.
What are the challenges of remote employees’ management? How do you keep up with a time management routine when working remotely? How to conduct a meeting when working remotely?
Keep reading to find the answers!
What are the main challenges of working remotely, and how to overcome them?
Working remotely completely changes the employer – employee relationship, and it requires adjustment to the new reality we are currently in.
In order to manage your remote employees, you must address the following subjects comprehensively:
Communication between employees
Instead of seeing each other face to face, the conduct between employees has been transferred to different digital solutions. It is important for every company to come up with alternative solutions for each formal and informal form of communication – from work meetings to small talk in the hallway.
Working remotely requires creating an organized framework for allocation of tasks, follow up, sending updates and so on. In the past, getting all of the employees into one meeting room in order to keep everyone up to date and make sure everyone is working was possible.
Nowadays, it is recommended to work with management and task monitoring systems, that can be operated remotely, in a way that is convenient and clear to everyone.
Measurement and feedback
When working remotely, the focus shifts from measuring the attendance in the office to measuring work output. This aspect has many advantages, since it gives the employees a sense of independence, and on the other hand, it enables the managers to trust their employees are doing their tasks even though they are not physically in the office.
It is recommended to create measurement and feedback mechanisms to ensure all of the employees are working effectively, and to provide guidance where progress should be made.
Separating personal and work life
There is quite a strict separation between the personal life and a work life for employees who go to a workplace – they work in the workplace, and rest at home. Working remotely creates a blend of the two, in a way that may cause great difficulties to the employees.
It is important to help the employees create a healthy balance between their work life and personal life, to avoid burnout. For example, one should adjust his new working space to eliminate distractions, by finding a quiet room that is not interrupted.
In addition, since many employees have families that stay around the house during the working hours, which causes the efficient working hours to shift – it is recommended to allow remote employees to manage their time in their preferred hours.
Working remotely creates physical and emotional distance between the employees. It is important to create platforms for personal conversations to cope with issues such as burnout, maintaining boundaries between work and home, having friendly relationships between employees, etc.
The most significant challenges today are the form of managing the day-to-day issues in general, and the management of work meetings in particular. In order to cope with these challenges in the best possible way, it is recommended to make sure the managers are receiving the best training to cope with remote management.
Adecco Israel can help your company to make the managerial changes, from the conventional management of pre-COVID, to a hybrid model of efficient remote employee management. Adecco operates in 66 countries around the world and provides business solutions to a variety of companies in Israel and abroad, in any area your company may need.
Among Adecco Israel’s services you may find business solutions such as recruitment and placement services, payroll services, CFO consulting services, financial management, market surveys, employment and placement of executives, human resources management, and so on.
These services are offered to companies that are interested in expanding their activity in Israel or overseas, with a legal and regulatory guarantee. Adecco also helps companies that do not have a legal entity in their target country.
How to keep up with a time management routine while working remotely?
Working from home requires changes in the management methods that have been common until now. Nowadays, it is important to maintain a management routine to create order for the employees.
It is recommended to give special attention to the following aspects:
It is recommended to hold one or two team meetings each day, where the team members can report where they stand in their different tasks.
You can ask each team member to report as follows: what they worked on yesterday, what they are working on today, and finally – what are the expected challenges for the task. The last part creates an opening to have a cooperative discussion and helps to consolidate the team.
It is recommended to schedule personal conversations between the employees and the team managers once every two weeks. The conversations enable the team manager to give feedback on the conduct of the team members, receive feedback on his conduct as the team leader. Beside increasing the team’s efficacy, this helps to create personal, healthy bonds.
Coping with employees’ hardships
Working from home is a strange environment to many people, and therefore it is imperative to know how to cope with the employees’ inefficiency and hardships. There are many explanations as to why employees are unable to carry out their tasks.
For instance, it is very possible that a task has not been defined well enough, and the remote communication makes it difficult to understand, or maybe the work environment at home makes it hard for the employees to focus, and so on.
Another reason for the importance of personal conversations is realizing the challenges the employees are facing and helping them to find solutions for the different problems.
Frequency of communication between managers and employees
Working remotely creates a challenge when it comes to monitoring the progress of the employees’ tasks. Many employers have dealt with this issue by flooding the employees with messages and emails. This conduct affects the employees’ efficiency.
It is important to remember that every minute an employee spends on reading such a message, is a minute that could have been spent working. It is recommended to keep a moderate frequency of communication and give the employees the independence they need to perform their tasks in the best possible way.
How to conduct a meeting when working remotely?
Conducting meetings remotely raises new challenges to managers. For example, it is hard to maintain eye contact since everyone is behind a screen, and it is hard to tell the state of the participants since it is not possible to see their body language, it is easy to lose attention and concentration in such a meeting, and so on.
In order to have an effective meeting while using a digital solution, it is recommended to pay attention to the way the meeting is conducted in the different parts of it:
Prior to the meeting
- Make sure the managers and the employees know how to operate the systems they are using, and how to proceed during the meeting. For example, it is important to know how to share your screen, send files, mute participants, deal with delays and technical difficulties, etc.
- The hosts of the meeting must explicitly define the purpose of the meeting, the goals, and the proceedings of the meeting from beginning to end – who will be talking and what time, which part, and what subject.
- The hosts of the meeting must prepare ahead of time everything that will be needed during the meeting – presentations, files to be shared, announcements, etc.
- In case it is not a daily meeting – it is important to send all of the participants an invitation that includes the agenda of the meeting.
- It is recommended to have the hosts enter the meeting a couple of minutes before it starts. If one of the participants wants to ask a question before everyone joins – that would be a good opportunity. Entering early allows maintaining human relations via a digital “hallway call”.
During the meeting
- It is essential to start the meeting at the designated time. Sitting in front of a screen increases the employees’ impatience, and therefore you should avoid delays as much as possible.
- Matching expectations – it is important for the host of the meeting to explain to the participants how the meeting will be conducted – the subject, the agenda, time allocated for questions, etc.
- In order to keep the participants engaged and alert, it is recommended to address them personally with substantive questions.
Working remotely has created many new and significant challenges for the workplace. In order to manage your remote employees efficiently, we recommend you contact Adecco Israel – a business solution management company. With the help of Adecco Israel, you can make the quickest, most effective transition to the digital era we have entered.
Adecco Israel operates in 66 countries worldwide, and provides consulting and business solutions to companies, as well as companies without a legal entity. Contact us and we will help you to cope with this new era in the most efficient way! We would be happy to be at your service!