Managing Remote Employees: Challenges & Best Practices

In the past few years, remote working has become the norm in our modern business world.

However, many companies and businesses now know that managing remote workers isn’t easy. According to ExpressVPN, a virtual private network provider and cybersecurity company, remote workers have found it difficult to separate between work and personal life.

In its survey, ExpressVPN found that multiple remote employees have spent a certain amount of time each day checking and responding to personal emails, running errands, and browsing social media. While these figures might be problematic to some companies, it’s perfectly understandable that remote workers do this, considering that they work from home and have multiple responsibilities to juggle. Parents who work from home might have to tend to their children when they get home from school, which makes sense.

Companies need to learn the challenges remote employees face to better understand, protect, and manage their employees to be more inclusive.

Given how they’re not working in an office or meeting their colleagues daily, remote workers can feel lonely and might find it challenging to connect with their teammates or even their managers. One of the best ways to counteract this is for companies and managers to implement weekly check-ins where they can catch up and discuss issues that might be bothering them. In addition, companies could make it a point to celebrate their employees during special occasions.

For example, for Christmas, companies could send out gift baskets to their employees to recognise their work. This initiative also shows employees that they’re appreciated. 

One other challenge that remote employees might face is that there might be concerns about their career paths and progression. To ensure transparency, companies should develop clear and well-documented career paths and goals for their employees so they can follow them. These paths should be similar to the career paths of employees that aren’t remote as well to ensure that it’s fair for everyone. This could also prevent remote employees from comparing their status in the company with others around them.

Lastly, remote employees must know that they’re essential to the company and its growth. Besides remembering significant days, companies can empower their employees and foster an inclusive work culture by creating avenues for them to voice their opinions and share feedback. Establishing open communication channels, such as virtual town hall meetings, designated discussion forums, and regular team meetings, can provide remote workers with a platform to express their thoughts and ideas.

Moreover, promoting a culture of active listening and empathy within the organization is vital in showing remote workers that their voices are valued and respected. By implementing these measures, companies can ensure remote employees feel heard, engaged, and involved, contributing to a more collaborative and innovative work environment.

It is also worth providing training for people managers of remote employees on ways to engage and improve the relationship with their direct reports. Learning how to manage remote employees and make them feel valued and respected are soft skills that require time to learn and improve upon. 

Ultimately, while these initiatives will require some work and effort by companies, prioritising these efforts can help improve the remote employee experience and satisfaction in the company.

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