Companies can sometimes face difficulties in managing remote workers. Especially for the ones with the hybrid work model, finding a balance between on-site and remote workers, and establishing a well-structured organizational model can be challenging.
The dynamics of the remote work model are still fresh and they’re in a constant transformation. Each company has its own way of applying a remote work model and the conditions of the remote workers can differ from business to business.
Although the differences between companies should be respected, there are expected to be observed some common grounds for remote work models. Here in this article, we are going to lay out a general framework for companies to manage their remote workers.
1. Quit Location Limitations
Although the remote work model is solely based on the freedom to choose the location to work, there are companies that expect proximity from their employees to some degree. Some companies expect their remote workers to remain in the same city, while some expect them to be at home during office hours.
These kinds of practices are remnants of the in-site work model before the pandemic and it’s not extraordinary to see managers having trouble with switching to the complete remote work philosophy. However, for companies that have switched to the remote work model to some extent, setting location rules should be quit.
In the first place, expecting remote workers to remain in a certain place is in stark contrast to the remote work model because it is basically creating an office in a different location. Although it’s still remote, staying in one place is not so different from working on-site.
Having remote workers remain in one certain place is also carrying through the lack of trust towards the employees. It’s rooted in the mentality that people don’t work as much when remote and it’s detrimental to the remote work model practice.
2. Leave Time Management to Remote Workers
Another common practice in companies with the remote work model is enacting office hours for remote workers. Just like the limitation for location, setting a time framework is not suitable for the remote work model.
Sure, there are some situations in which expecting remote workers to work during certain times of the day is natural. Online meetings, projects with hard deadlines, and tasks that require collaboration with teammates can create time-bound conditions for remote workers and that’s only typical.
But when there’s no need for a time framework, the control of time management should be left to the remote workers. 77 % of remote workers report being more productive when working from home and there’s a good reason for it. Leaving employees with the freedom to choose what time to work is giving them the chance to become the most productive at whatever time of the day.
3. Organize Online Gathering Events
As much as providing flexibility for remote workers is fundamental, companies should also pay attention to keeping people feeling belonging to the company. The remote work model comes with the side effect of feeling isolated or drifting apart from the business and it’s a possibility that shouldn’t be neglected.
If the feeling of belonging lessens for remote workers, it can actually cause them to be less productive and contribute to the business. To prevent it, managers should organize regular online events for their remote workers.
In addition to the necessary online meetings, “extra-curricular” activities can actually strengthen both the bonds between remote colleagues and the bond employees feel towards their company. There are countless team-building activities online, from playing games to taking online courses, and each manager can choose the most suitable option for their team.
4. Highlight the Work Done
Although remote workers report being more productive and there’s no decrease in overall work done after switching to the remote work model, lack of appearance is still a big problem that remote workers experience.
When working on-site, the effort and time put into a certain task are easily observable. Spending hours at a desk naturally gives the impression of a hard-working employee and the output is valued accordingly.
But when a days-long task is performed remotely, only the output becomes visible to the managers, and how much effort and time spent on it can easily be overlooked. In fact, there is a tendency to think that it’s easier to perform a task while working remotely and remote workers face the risk of being undervalued.
To avert that, managers should pay attention to giving credit to remote workers based on the output they performed. As long as the work is quality, the question of how much time is spent on it should be irrelevant keeping in mind that the effort remains the same.
5. Be Clear About the Expectations
As it’s mentioned at the beginning of this article, each company has its own way of practicing the remote work model and it should be respected. However, it should be noted that when acquiring a new remote worker for the company, both parties should be clear about what they expect from each other.
Naturally, a remote worker would probably expect the standards that are mentioned in this article but there should be enough space for compromising. If the company expects its remote workers to abide by certain locations or time constraints, it should be clear from the start.
Likewise, remote workers should be informed about to what extent they are expected to be involved within the company and the remote framework should be formed clearly at the very beginning.
If both parties can find a middle ground as to their expectations, most of the problems to arise in the future can be prevented.
The remote work model and its future are still a blurry area in the business world but by paying attention to these points, companies can provide the optimum experience for their remote workers.