Leadership and Management
Remote Work and the Future of Management
by Carlos A. Vázquez   |   June 8, 2020   |     4 min read
  • To survive in the new normal, managers need to adapt and learn how to manage remote employees.
  • The key is to be flexible so that quality employees will want to continue working for your company while becoming even more productive.
  • There are ways of monitoring employee work habits remotely.
  • One thing you will want to establish early on is the remote-work policies for your company—state what is and is not permissible, along with what will be required of employees.
  • Transparency will ensure you are managing remote workers optimally.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way many things are done. That is why “the new normal” is likely a phrase you’ve heard thrown around. When it comes to the workplace, there have been some significant changes. Given the outright ban on all non-essential workers going into a physical office or work location, many jobs have shifted to being remote. This has caused some challenges for some managers who were attached to the idea of managing in person. However, to survive in the new normal, managers need to adapt and learn how to manage remote employees. 

Many managers, VPs, Directors, and C-Level professionals have realized that they need to adapt. The key is to be flexible so that quality employees will want to continue working for your company while becoming even more productive.  

 In many cases, productivity has been found to go up after people began working remotely. This correlation should ease the anxiety of managers everywhere. Most people find it less distracting to work remotely. 

How to Manage Employees Remotely 

There are ways of monitoring employee work habits remotely. One thing you will want to establish early on is the remote-work policies for your company—state what is and is not permissible, along with what will be required of employees. Setting the expectations is key for remote work.

  • Another option for effective remote management is to set deadlines for specific tasks. All monitoring activities should focus on a single outcome, rather than the way workers reach it. Setting a deadline will keep them focused on their tasks.
  • Transparency will ensure you are managing remote workers optimally. This includes having a clear workflow, as well as transparent goals. Communicate your expectations to your entire team and be open to feedback. They are living the remote work life firsthand, so they may have insights into how to optimize it that you cannot see from your position of awareness.
  • Check-in with your employees regularly. Have them submit an end-of-day report, summarizing their daily accomplishments. This report can assist you in identifying what opportunities exist for improvement. Also, you will be able to discern whether there are potential issues that need to be resolved. A report can also identify what steps your team will have to take to achieve goals or overcome challenges.
  • Don’t forget about personal interaction. Sure, reports and emails are ways of communicating and interacting with your team, but these are missing an integral dimension to staying in touch with the needs of employees. Your team will still want to maintain access to your support and communicate with you. Hold video calls with them periodically, to show that you are supportive and in touch with their needs.

You Must Adapt to Survive  

To adapt to the new environment, you will have to adjust your management to fit the context of the “new normal” in the workplace. With a quarter of jobs already being remote before the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a significant number more that have joined the ranks, staying as remote jobs for the foreseeable future. This will be something that will be in more demand and used as a litmus test by employees as to whether they should either continue or start working for you. 

 If you want to survive in the new normal, you need to adapt. Otherwise, all bets are off. If you are still unclear as to how you should go about managing a remote team, I have an excellent ebook called The Ultimate Guide to Build and Scale a Tech Team in Mexico. You can remove the uncertainty and doubt from your mind and build an all-star remote tech team. Discover how you can both recruit and manage employees, as well as who you should partner with. 

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