How to Manage In-Office Workers When You’re Remote
When you think of a remote work situation, you might imagine that most (or all) of the staff is working remotely. But what if it’s you as the manager who is telecommuting, while your team toils away in a traditional office? Do you know how to manage in-office workers when you’re away?
Manage in-office workers when you’re remote with the below tips.
1. Make your presence known.
Think back to the times when you were a regular employee and your boss called in sick for the day. How did you feel? Happy? Relieved? Workers tend to relax a bit (and let’s face it, slack off a little, too) when their bosses aren’t in the office with them. But you don’t want to have a frat house feeling in the office all the time simply because your own office is hundreds (if not thousands) of miles away. That’s why you need to make your presence known and felt just as if you were in a regular office. Schedule frequent video meetings and check-ins so that your team cannot only hear you, but they can see your face, too. That can help sustain the feeling that you’re in the office—even when you’re not—and help improve remote workforce management.
2. Be available.
Let’s say that one of your employee’s productivity has started to slump. Instead of issuing a pink slip, take time to talk with him. You might find that he’s having a hard time balancing his work life with his personal life, or he may feel that he’s being underutilized in the company. Whatever the reason is, being available for urgent issues as well as more personalized check-ins can help you better manage your in-office workers when you’re remote. Sharing your schedule on the company’s calendar can also help your team know when to reach out with a question or simply chat with you.
3. Share information.
One of the cornerstones of remote work is the accessibility and dissemination of information to your workers. So if you find out that your company plans to redesign the company’s website or add a new product to the existing line, for example, it’s in your best interest to share that information with your team as soon as possible. Explain how this news will positively impact the company and what it means to the members of your team. By sharing information in a timely fashion, you’ll stay connected to your team and they, in turn, will feel connected to you.
4. Be flexible.
Even though you were hired to work full-time from home, there may be times when you just need to go into the office. And while it can get cushy working from home/your local coffee shop/a beach in the Bahamas, it’s important that you let your own superiors know that you can (and will) commute into the office should the need arise. Whether that means hopping on a bike—or hopping on a plane for a 12-hour flight—you should let it be known that you’re willing to make that effort. That, in turn, will be comforting to your team because they will feel as though you truly have their back and they can count on you when they need you most.
5. Empower your team.
As much as you try to manage in-office workers and keep close tabs on your team, there will be instances in which someone on your staff needs an answer ASAP—and you’re unavailable. That’s why it’s important to empower your team to make decisions when you can’t. Of course, super important decisions should only be made by you, but smaller issues can be managed by your team or by a point person selected by you. Giving your employees some autonomy to make decisions in your place can make them feel like valued and respected members of your team and enhance collaboration among them.
In today’s high tech work world, there really is no reason for employees and managers to have to share the same office space. By staying in touch with your team, being flexible, and empowering them, you can manage in-office workers from anywhere in the world without missing a beat.
By Jennifer Parris | Categories: Remote Management