Remote work is becoming widespread, and with good reason. First of all, it’s a solid way to increase job satisfaction and productivity, as well as to encourage a better life-work balance for employees. Additionally, it allows employers to find experts in a wide range of fields, without being limited to a geographical location.
But despite these perks, remote work does have its downsides. It’s been shown that remote employees are more likely to feel detached and isolated due to the lack of human contact. Furthermore, they can feel left out of company life, which leads to a sense of not being equal to their in-house colleagues.
As a manager or employer, it is your duty to ensure your team is functioning at the highest possible level. Often, this means ensuring you’re treating everyone equally. And it doesn’t take much – just a bit of patience and flexibility.
This is the key to a successful team, no matter whether your working environment is real or virtual. A good manager needs to be able to talk to their employees so that they can catch any potential problem early on. But with remote workers, this can be a challenge.
Seeing that you don’t share physical space with them, your exchanges are bound to be mostly written, which can open up room for misunderstanding. To prevent this, it’s best that you follow these tips:
If your team includes people from foreign countries, you might find that there’s a language barrier. Their knowledge of English may not be bad, but they could be self-conscious about speaking in a language that’s not their mother tongue. In these cases, and especially if you’re committed to keeping them on in the long-run, you should give them opportunities to improve their conversational skills.
A great way to do this is to encourage them to take a standardized test of English language proficiency, such as IELTS. These tests focus on grammar, writing, speaking, and listening. The vocabulary for IELTS covers a wide range of topics that can be used in a number of settings, including business communication, which is sure to come in handy.
One of the areas that remains hard to navigate when managing an organization is making sure everyone gets the same opportunities. Ask yourself, are your remote employees as likely to get a promotion as those you see on a daily basis? Do they enjoy the same benefits in terms of social and health security? Are their effort and time valued the same?
Ideally, you’ll want the answer to all of these to be ‘yes.’
Additionally, you’ll want to ensure your workers are getting the acknowledgment they deserve. And not just in the form of a raise (which is great, but not always the best motivator), but also in the form of perks and public recognition.
One of the top ways to create a healthy company culture is to get to know the people you work with. By paying attention to their preferences, habits, and interests outside of work, you’re opening up room for better understanding. And who knows, maybe you’ll find that you share more than just virtual office space.
If and when possible, management should encourage real-life meetings, brainstorming sessions, educational trips, or team-building get-togethers. This will strengthen the bond within your group and will give everyone a welcome change of scenery. Plus, these are sure to boost everyone’s enthusiasm, which is always welcome.
To achieve stellar results as a business, you will need to take a committed approach to helping your team operate at their peak. While this may be difficult when your coworkers are scattered all over the world, it’s not impossible. And who knows, you may find that your most valuable employee turns out to be someone you’ve never even met in the flesh.
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