The benefits of switching to a remote workforce convince many employers to consider the transition. A remote work model allows employers to hire the best talent, regardless of location. It eliminates the high operational costs of leasing office space. It also allows employers to build an engaged workforce that’s happier, healthier and more productive.
But, employers often hesitate about this decision mainly because of some concerns that such work brings with it. We’re talking about lack of physical contact and face to face communication with you as a manager and other employees. How will you know your employees are working if they aren’t near you? And so on.
To even consider letting your employees work remotely, you need to ease your mind about these concerns and reassure yourself that such way of working is better for you, as well as for them.
How to Determine Your Remote Employees Are Working
When people are working in the office, it’s seems pretty easy to establish who’s working and who’s not. Since they’re sharing once space, it’s pretty easy to notice if someone uses their phone too often.
On the other hand, remote workers are usually hard to supervise. They might watch TV when they’re supposed to work or spend their time scrolling down Instagram or Facebook. Studies have shown that employees are only productive for 5 hours of every 8-hour work day. They spend 3 hours on unproductive activities mentioned before. Now, this isn’t only the case with remote workers. In office employees aren’t immune to this issue as well. And it certainly isn’t effective and cost friendly to hire just one person to constantly look over every single employee and what they work on throughout the day. What’s more convenient though is adopting some tools that will help you as a manager to monitor computer activity remotely.
Tools for monitoring employees on networks lets managers keep a close eye on what are their employees working on. From tracking their time with the help of easy time tracking app to monitoring their activities and the sites they visit, such a tool will do all the work for you. Yours is just to relax, let your workers do their jobs and act accordingly if the software suggests that something is wrong with the way the work is being conducted.
If you have cloud based employee monitoring software as your helping hand, you can always have a proof of work from your remote workers.
Communication and Collaboration Suffer
Another common concern you may have is that your remote workers will struggle with communication and collaboration with you, as well as with other employees. When you’re in an office you can just tap someone's shoulder and ask them a question but that’s not how things work when you’re working remotely.
Thankfully, with the help of modern communication tools, you can easily overcome this issue. The market is flooded with such - just think of Slack, Skype or HipChat to name a few. And as for the collaboration aspect, you’re covered there as well. Google Drive, Docs and other file sharing tools go hand in hand with project management ones such as Trello or Asana.
You really don’t have to worry about not being able to communicate and collaborate with your remote team as with the help of all programs mentioned above will make it feel like they are near you.
Also, what should be mentioned is that remote access monitoring software goes really well with all these tools and often has some of them integrated on its own.
Company Culture Suffers
Company culture plays a big role in satisfaction of your employees and their work. Whether they feel friendly and pleasant in their work environment has a direct impact on their productivity. Your task, as a manager, is to build a company culture which reflects your company’s values, interests and goals.
Building a culture when everyone works remotely is difficult but not impossible. Some companies organize yearly gatherings, or fly their remote workforce to the HQ office from time to timeIt’s a great way to strengthen the bonds between everyone on the team, in personal and professional way.
Some managers also like to conduct online team buildings as it’s a great way to divert thoughts from work for a second and have a little fun.
With a little creativity and budgeting, building a strong and positive company culture that boosts engagement among remote workers is absolutely possible. But it won’t happen on its own. Company leaders must commit to finding innovative ways to bring employees together, inspire positive relationships, and encourage advocacy.
So, if you thought that letting your employees work remotely is hard, now you know it won’t be if you just follow some simple rules from this article. Find a good online computer monitoring software and since we can’t really pinpoint the best employee monitoring software out there you need to pick the one which works best for you. Add on that a quality communication platform and nourish your company’s culture. And you’ll have a whole package for successfully managing a remote workforce.