Last Updated 4 weeks by Emily Standley-Allard
When you are running an online business, it is likely that you will need to employ a few remote team members to keep things moving and to support you in your entrepreneurial efforts. However, managing remote employees can be more difficult than you might expect, and this can be an entirely different experience than if they are in the office with you. Then, here are some of the steps that you should take to ensure that you can manage remote employees effectively in 2024 and beyond.
Create an Employment Contract
Do you have employee contracts? This is one of the first elements that you should consider when you have decided to take on remote employees. Although this is not a requirement, an employment contract can ensure that you are all on the same page and that your staff know what is expected of them.
Not only this, but an employment contract can be useful if you need to define a particular role and dish out responsibilities, and you might even find that you need to refer back to this contract if there is an issue that you are struggling to overcome with HR.
In this employee contract, you should discuss the position, the pay, and the hours that your employees will take on. It might also discuss the terms of their resignation if they decide that the job is not for them.
An employee contract can ensure that there are ironclad terms to their employment and that they are linked to you and your firm no matter how far away they are.
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Stay in Communication
To ensure that you can manage remote employees seamlessly and stop your staff members from feeling adrift throughout the working day, you should try to maintain good communication channels with them.
This communication should be two-way. They should be able to come to you with any problems they have, and you should be able to contact them whenever you need to during working hours to check progress and delegate tasks to them, as well as to tell them what is happening within your business.
You can communicate much easier than you might have expected with remote employees.
You only need to download communication software, such as instant messaging apps and video conferencing software.
These apps will ensure that you can host meetings and get through to them within seconds. Some of these messaging apps are also encrypted so that you will be able to share sensitive data and business information with them.
You can also increase the communication through your company by creating a monthly newsletter.
Within this, you can put reminders about upcoming events and business news that might be important for all your team members to know. At the very least, this can help them to feel as if they are connected to your brand and that they know what is happening.
Create a Company Culture
Although you might believe that company cultures are reserved solely for the office, this is not the case, and it is possible to create a company culture for your remote workforce.
For instance, you should encourage collaboration and teamwork through apps that allow you to share and edit documents in tandem, and you might also regularly ask for employee feedback on your plans and ideas that can help your company progress.
Even though your business is remote, this is no reason why you should not be developing policies that can help your employees feel safe and respected within your company, such as anti-bullying policies.
It is also important to share the values and mission of your business with your employees and prospective ones so that they can check that your company is a good match for them and that your ideals align with their own.
Managing remote employees can be difficult when you can no longer see their faces or react to them in person every day, and you may end up feeling incredibly distant from your staff and the work they are doing.
Or perhaps you might struggle with your own management duties, knowing what everyone is doing without resorting to micromanaging people and reducing morale.
However, it is possible to keep your workforce under control, and you can do this through good communication, using the right technology, developing an excellent company culture, and creating an employment contract that will enable your team members to know where they stand, which they can refer back to at any time.
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