Ensuring that Distance Doesn’t Come Between You and Your Remote Workers

4 Tips on Effective Handling of a Team of Remote Employees

One recurring concern for businesses when they are confronted with the possibility of remote working is how to stay in control of remote workers without employee detachment. It's understandable given that remote employees are usually scattered in different locations around the world, and you may never see them face-to-face during your working life. But this is not the real picture.

There are several documented instances where small businesses, not to mention their larger counterparts, met with success following their association with remote workers. It speaks of successful management acumen while working with dispersed workforce. These enterprises experience full freedom of outsourcing when they are able to align their strategic business goals with the performance of a remote team aided by advanced communication technologies.

Here, we lay bare 4 powerful measures you can take to build a cohesive remote team:

  1. Install proper communication tools: Working with remote employees doesn’t have to be an 'out of sight, out of mind' experience. Utilize appropriate communication tools and insist on bridging any communication gap. Day-to-day contact should be a seamless affair with workflow management and feedback taking place in real time. Collaborative tools should work for all members. Traditional modes like e-mails and telephone as well as modern ones such as Skype and videoconferencing are equally effective in these situations. The bottom line is to keep all communication channels open and remove any cultural inhibitions. Stay connected and remain accessible for any direction or clarification.
  2. Include all during celebrations: It should never be only job assignments with remote workers or simply the proverbial 'all work and no play.’ Involve these offsite employees during congratulatory moments. Make them feel that they also count when it comes to the matter of business growth. Celebrate every milestone with them and convey your appreciation for their contributions. Never treat them as second-class workers; instead build a rapport. Let them partake in camaraderie and be a part of every moment.
  3. Get more organized on the employee engagement side: Take a structured approach to your work relationship with offshore virtual employees. Be clear on their role and what is expected of them now and in the future. Engage employees on such a level that they understand what they are supposed to deliver. Put emphasis on minimizing undue distractions. Make consistency in performance a priority. Remember you can never bring out efficiency in a remote work arrangement in the absence of a systematic approach.
  4. Be flexible: When you work on different time zones, all stakeholders are expected to be more flexible as it relates to working hours. Remote working offers you the opportunity to carry out business operations with flexitime. A high level of collaboration is impossible if you remain adamant with your work timings. A flexible work arrangement takes into account the convenience of both sides – service provider and service buyer – to calibrate the time factor for greater productivity. A flexible approach to business is a sign of maturity and professionalism.

A mere lack of face time should not be a reason to jeopardize what could have been a healthy offshore relationship with a remote workforce. It’s all in your power to handle remote workplace-related challenges constructively. Don’t panic at the mention of the word ‘distance;’ it’s not worth the attention considering the manifold benefits inherent in offshore outsourcing.