In today’s tech-savvy world, the workplace can take many different forms … your living room, a quiet corner of your local coffee shop, a rented desk in a co-working space – so long as you’ve got a solid internet connection, you’ve got yourself an office. As a result, roughly four million Brits now choose to work from home, avoiding commutes and restrictive nine-to-five days for the freedom of clocking in their office hours virtually instead.
Whilst it gives them a lot more autonomy in their careers, it’s not good news for everyone.
Looking after your remote workers
With the traditional office space in gradual decline, managers and supervisors of remote-based workforces have a much more difficult job on their hands. Because when your employees are spread across the country, or even across the globe, how do you make them all work together as a team? Although it’s definitely a challenge, it’s not as impossible as it sounds.
We’re sharing four ways you can look after remote staff and help them feel included in the team, no matter where they’re based. Take a look.
#1: have weekly virtual team catch ups
To keep your remote workers involved in the day-to-day buzz and flow of your business, establish a standing weekly conference call with the entire team.
As well as giving everyone a chance to talk about any issues they’re having, it’s also a simple way for them to get to know each other and have a more general catch up.
Skype is free and super easy to use, and it will have a big effect on collaboration. Just make sure everyone has a good internet connection – fuzzy, hard-to-make-out phone calls will soon start to grate.
#2: treat them fairly
Whether you see them in the office every day or once every six months for big meetings, you’re determined to treat all your workers fairly. Remote or otherwise, they all have rights that you need to respect. But despite your best intentions, keeping track of paperwork and admin for such a widespread team can end up being time-consuming and difficult, leading to clumsy mistakes.
We recommend investing in HR software from a company like SD Worx. Designed to take care of everything from time tracking to global payroll, their range of solutions will let you easily stay on top of things like wages and holiday entitlement.
#3: turn to the cloud
Want your in-house and remote employees to work together on key projects? Then you’ve got to give them the right tools to easily share their thoughts with each other. That means turning to the cloud and installing online collaboration software, like Google Docs or Asana. There are lots of different options, so do your research and find the right one for your business. Google Hangouts is also a great communication tool for widespread workforces (especially in light of new changes set to come its way soon), so encourage everyone to make good use of it.
#4: schedule face-to-face meetings
Even if it’s only once a year, occasional face-to-face meetings with your remote workers are essential for staying in touch with them and keeping them in the loop. So that the cost of their travel isn’t a complete waste of money, try to schedule their office visits to tie in with key deadlines or project milestones. But remember that since they normally miss nights out or team-building events, having them join you in person is also a great excuse for everyone to socialise and have a little fun together outside of work.
With the numbers of remote workers continuing to rise, getting to grips with our top tips now means you’ll be perfectly equipped to handle your future team, no matter how widespread they end up being.
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