We’ve been living in strange times, with the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe, and forcing businesses that would usually fill bustling office spaces to adapt and work from home. This is all well and good because the majority of processes can be completed remotely, but it doesn’t necessarily bode well for managers. Their job is difficult enough when they have a full visual of their team and can closely monitor employees who need it. Instead, everyone is separated and it becomes a lot harder to be part of one team working towards a shared goal.
Even though there are COVID-19 vaccinations sweeping across the country, lighting the end of the tunnel for national lockdowns, there is a large chance that the normal of today will become the optimal normal – with businesses being able to implement new technologies and save a fortune on expensive office spaces.
Once upon a time, you were a lot younger and the things that you know today were taught to you by somebody. With the rate at which the world around us modernises, there are always new things to learn to help you on your way. Did you know that you can take an MSc Management in a Digital Economy that will help propel you forwards to the business world of today? To get onto the course, you will need to make sure that you have a good level honours degree or equivalent, and as standard for most sectors, at least a C grade at GCSE or equivalent in maths and English. As well as these qualifications, you will also need two quality written references (with at least one being an academic reference). If you are studying the course with English as your second language, you will need to provide official documentation proving you are proficient in the language.
Completing a course like this will not only equip you with improved decision-making skills, heightened critical analysis, and much better problem-solving skills, but it will prove your craft mastery on paper to the world.
The most obvious challenge you will face when managing your remote workforce is the lack of normal communication. Of course, you can all email each other back and forth, but this takes a very long time and can be extremely formal. To connect people and re-strengthen your workforce communication, you need to bring them together, apart. There are countless tools out there that you can use to collaborate. Your workforce will feel less isolated and have access to real-time communications. In turn, you will have overcome a challenge and you can watch as your team’s productivity increases.
Don’t worry, we’re not here to talk about the tool used to keep track of your whereabouts. We’re here to talk about the challenge of not being able to track your workforce’s productivity in ways that you would have before. When you can’t see your team physically, it’s extremely difficult to see how effectively they are using their time. For example, one person might be going above and beyond, and another barely scraping by because they’re spending more time checking their Twitter account.
To combat this, although you would normally have a collective target for your workforce, you need to implement new and specific KPI metrics to measure individual performance. For the worker who goes above and beyond, you can leave their own devices, but for the person that spends half the day on Twitter, you can flood them with tasks to keep them motivated.
Back in the olden days of Friday nights at the pub or office karaoke at the weekend, it was easier to create a culture for your business and stay connected. However, now it’s that little bit harder. Whatever the usual lifestyle of your office, both inside and outside of work, you will have to implement some innovative methods as the manager. For example, to get the best out of your team during the office hour grind, you could reward them by running weekly remote quizzes or playing games with rewards. Your team will feel more connected, and they will know that you still know how to kick back and have a good time – meaning that your job will be easier. The more things that you can do to help your remote workers to feel as connected as possible, the better the productivity levels when you need it.
Another challenge that you may face as the manager of a remote workforce, is issues involving mental wellbeing. As you might know, it can feel very lonely and overwhelming being stuck inside and not having the routine of leaving for work and coming back home. Throughout your business, adopt an open-door policy so that your staff know that they can approach you about their worries. You could put some time aside each day outside of hours where you will be available for employers if they wish to reach out – this way you won’t be overwhelmed yourself. Just remember to look after yourself on this one.
Leading on from the last point, as the captain of your ship, you can face low levels of morale within the ranks of your remote working team. To combat this, as well as putting on team events, put some time aside to have a one-on-one meeting with all of your workforce. Even though it may feel like a tedious task, it will do a world of good for staff morale and will let your crew feel valued – allowing their captain to live life in calmer tides.
Although there will be other challenges to consider, hopefully this will give you enough of a foundation to put yourself in the right direction. Remember, the main way to combat remote working challenges is to make your workforce feel as though they are connected, not only to each other, but to the company as well.
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