5 Ways to Manage a Business Remotely
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have had no choice but to operate remotely this year, with 46.6% of British employees working from home at the height of lockdown. There are many pros and cons to homeworking, but completing management duties remotely can be especially challenging. From organising the workflow to communicating with your team, you’ll need to adapt your work style to suit the change in circumstances.
If you’ve struggled to complete management tasks effectively while homeworking, here are five tips to help you succeed.
1) Online communication tools
One of the top complaints from homeworkers is feeling isolated and lonely, so maintaining close communication with your team is vital.
While emailing will likely remain prevalent, it shouldn’t be the sole means of communication. To replicate the casual conversations that your employees would usually have in the office, use an online communication platform such as Microsoft Teams, Workplace, Slack, and Google Hangouts. Many companies are turning to these apps to hold virtual client and internal meetings too.
For more personal and formal interactions, arrange regular phone or video calls with each staff member to offer your support and address any concerns. However, you want your employees to feel trusted, so don’t enforce too much communication that’ll make you appear suspicious of their behaviour.
2) Set expectations
Employees need to know where they stand and what to aim for to stay motivated, especially without the in-person supervision of a manager. So, it’s important to set clear goals and boundaries to encourage your team and to avoid miscommunication. These targets may involve the volume of workload, milestones, and work performance.
Although, you may need to remain flexible if you find the goals are unrealistic, overly restrictive, or too relaxed once put into practice. The company priorities may also change over time.
3) Invest in software
There are various types of management-specific software to help you stay organised and keep track of your duties online.
Scheduling platforms, such as Trello which is a list-making application, will help you assign, organise, and update the upcoming workload clearly.
If the company buys or sells goods internationally, you can manage practically every aspect of the global business strategy with ManSys, a trade management software. Using this platform, you can improve customer service, produce smart documentation, and boost profitability without reducing cost or hiring additional staff.
To ensure your team is fulfilling their usual work hours, you can use a time-tracking program such as Jibble, uAttend, and Clockify. Workers can use these platforms to sign in and out for the day and lunch.
Instead of manually producing a spreadsheet or using physical forms to manage employee absences and holidays, use software like People HR to enhance efficiency.
4) Acknowledge achievements
It’s often difficult for homeworkers to remain positive without the company of others, especially during these strange times. To help boost your employees’ moods, celebrate any successes they’ve achieved. This praise will show they’re still appreciated and hopefully inspire them for future tasks.
You could even nominate an employee of the month or create a monthly newsletter containing company updates.
5) Online documentation
It’s much easier to access shared documents when they’re online. Having to mail physical versions or print and scan files is time-consuming and unnecessary in this digital age.
If you only have a paper storage system which is kept in the office, consider converting them to online versions. Then use an online storage platform such as Google Drive, OneDrive, and Dropbox to organise the documents into folders and adjust accessibility settings. It’s then easy to store any future files digitally.
You can also use electronic signature programs, such as Signable and Adobe Sign, if you commonly produce contracts that need signing.
While managing employees and fulfilling your usual duties remotely can be difficult, implementing these tips will allow you to remain organised and complete tasks conveniently. An improved management strategy could even result in increased productivity, cost-savings, and better communication, compared to before homeworking began.