Remote working is much more common than before and is here to stay. Communication technology such as Zoom, Slack, and Teams have become commonplace in the workplace, and many of your full-time employees may even be working in a different state. Nevertheless, many people still find that remote work results in more communication difficulties than on-site work. Here are some tips for solving common issues that may come up with employees.
Establish Clear Expectations from the Beginning
When working in a remote position, clarity is vital. It is essential to state what the expectations are as clearly and as directly as possible. What hours do you need them to be available to work? What means of communication do you want them to use? All these little details may need to be spelled out. Establishing expectations right away will help you avoid a lot of miscommunications going forward.
You’re more likely to check in regularly with on-site employees because you are seeing them in person. It’s often more challenging with remote workers because they’re out of sight, mainly if they perform well independently. The problem is that studies have shown that these little check-ins help build relationships and rapport. To maintain a strong relationship with your remote employees, check-in with them regularly. While you can still use email, checking in occasionally, either by phone or video call, helps a lot.
Give Lots of Feedback
If remote employees don’t receive enough feedback, it creates all kinds of problems. Employees will feel less motivated if their work is never recognized. In addition, without consistent feedback, employees won’t improve their performance, and they may stagnate.
Annual performance reviews are a thing of the past. Employees need regular and frequent feedback. Along the same lines, you also need to incorporate performance rewards. Recognition is another challenge when it comes to remote workers. With on-site workers, it’s more convenient to say “thanks” or “keep up the good work.” You might buy an employee a cup of coffee when they’re doing a standup job. Recognition is just as important online.
With more and more jobs moving toward remote work full-time, there is an entirely new set of challenges for the employer-employee relationship. Communication is especially hard. You need to make employees feel like they’re a part of the organization even if they’ve never actually stepped in the door. Small steps like clear instructions, regular check-ins, and giving consistent feedback can make a significant impact.