March 19, 2020
By Andrew Smith

4 Tips for Successfully Managing Remote Employees

Thanks to COVID-19, managing remote employees has quickly become a reality for many companies around the world. If your office staff is tackling telework for the first time, here are a few tips to help you get off to a good start.  

Schedule Regular Communications

Communication is key for a successful remote work environment. Decide on a cadence and method(s) of communication that works best for your team and stick with it. Here are a few possibilities:  

  • 10-minute morning meetings (same time every day) to review each person’s plan for the day and how the previous day went.
  • Request an end of the day email from each team member with an overview of their day
  • Speak with each team member daily – either via phone call, Slack or text message
  • Weekly one-on-ones
  • Have two weekly 30-45-minute meetings (Monday Friday). Come prepared to discuss relevant topics such as:
    • How are we performing against goals?
    • Upcoming and current projects
    • Group training
    • Motivation
    • General housekeeping

Build a Remote-Friendly Culture

Even with all the tools of modern technology at our disposal, it can still be challenging to continue to build a positive company culture once you remove the face-to-face element. But not impossible!

  • Keep it personal. Use the first few minutes of your one-on-ones and team calls to catch up on the weekend and other things going on outside of work.
  • Create a channel for employees to socialize. We utilize Slack to give our team an area to chat about sports, pets, holidays or other events.
  • Establish a process and agenda for meetings and provide updates so everyone can follow along.
  • Assume positive intent! Context and tone can sometimes get lost in a digital space so always assume your colleague is coming from a positive place.

Make Sure You Have the Right Tools

The proper tools are critical! In addition to a WIFI connection, make sure your team is set up with the necessary equipment such as monitors, keyboards and a mouse. There are a plethora of communications tools that will go a long way in easing the process of working remotely. A few that we utilize include Slack, Basecamp and Zoom.

Set Goals

It helps to establish set goals for the team to work towards. They don’t have to be big, but attainable and reportable goals will help with alignment. You can set daily, weekly and/or monthly goals. Goals can have hard deliverables associated with them or status updates that you review on your team calls.

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