With the rise of new technologies that allow the global economy to thrive at a healthy state, more companies are taking advantage of skilled people around the world at a lesser cost.
Some budget-conscious entrepreneurs operate their businesses in different territories. They would have their accounting departments in India, their marketing people in the Philippines, and their quality control staff or manufacturers in China. As for these entrepreneur’s main offices, you’d be surprised to know that most of them are keeping things in check within the comfort of their homes.
According to Mark Mortensen, an associate professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, remote managers have the misconception that handling virtual teams requires a whole different skill set.
“But you shouldn’t think about them in a fundamentally different way. They are still people working in an organisation to get stuff done. Treat them as such,” Mortensen said.
With that managers should change their perspective on remote staffing and put in extra effort to create a dynamic team. You have to be proactive, but at the same time trustful to your employees. Here are four things to help managing staff easy:
Whether it’s a planned Skype call or an impromptu small talk, it’s crucial that you make conversations happen to know the state of your business or employees. You as the manager should make the time to create relaxed moments with your outsourced crews.
Communication is vital to work around things, especially when it comes to language barrier and time difference. Rapport is what will help your team be more productive and connected. This also sends off the message that your employees are important to you.
Get to know your employees beyond work. Knowing what they’re up to lately and where they’re from demonstrates that you care for them.
It’s better if you can set your expectations with your remote staff early on. Tell them how often you’d like them to check in by email or phone. Be as clear and deliberate as possible and make sure to establish ground rules for anything you want done, especially when it comes to interactions.
You should set up clear lines of accountability from the outset of the working relationship. Establish monthly, quarterly and yearly goals and what hitting each goal would mean to the company. The metrics should be the same to the rest of the team so members won’t feel that you’re treating each one of them differently.
Make Use of Technologies
Technology is the number one factor that makes working with remote employees always successful. Take advantage of cloud applications and software to improve collaboration.
Your employees should be able to access files through cloud storage platforms. This will make it easy for them to get what they need whenever and wherever they are working.
Fostering collaborations is possible with the use of teleconferencing, online meeting, and file-sharing services. Just make sure that you’re using secured cloud technologies so as not to leave your sensitive data right into the wrong hands.
Go the Extra Mile in Spreading Company Culture
With your employees scattered across the globe or overseas, having a company culture is quite difficult. However, going above and beyond in making it possible is good to strengthen the morale and engagement of employees. It also improves the alignment of everyone’s goals.
The first thing to do is to accept the remoteness and treat remote interactions like they’re actually happening in an office setting. You can host fun events at which your employees can easily participate through teleconferencing.
You can also create a company manifesto or share content like blogs and articles that directly relate to the company’s goals. Some managers even go as far as sharing humorous Gifs that correspond to certain aspects of the company.
Having remote employees as part of your in-house team presents unique challenges. It can be tricky to supervise people in different locations and time zones if you’re new to outsourcing. However, once you’ll figure things out and do the right thing, remote workers can save you a lot of money on office costs.
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