Tips for Managing Remote Employees in 2021

Halley Grover
October 1 2021
Stories

After a year and a half of remote working policies, employees still aren’t ready to give up WFH’s benefits anytime soon. Aside from the convenience and cost-effectiveness the setup has given, it also allows employees to better structure their days, leading to increased productivity.

Similarly, the benefits that remote work brings your company are boundless, too. For example, you save up on overhead costs. A study by Harvard Business also discovered that the option to WFH entices employees to stay longer, thereby decreasing turnover rates.

However, facilitating a remote workforce can be a challenge — especially on the employer’s side. You and your employees often have different understandings of how a remote team should function. When the expectations of both parties fail to align, it can lead to workplace conflict, delays, and waste of resources.

Fortunately, things don’t have to be this grim. Here is a quick rundown of how you should be managing your remote employees in 2021.

Establish expectations


As mentioned earlier, your expectations should align with your employees’, and that includes being clear about the workplace setup. By letting your employees know what you expect from them, they will know what tasks to perform and when and how to perform them, even with minimal supervision.

Articulate what you want each member of your team to achieve in a day, for instance, and remind them as the deadline approaches. Let them know when they are expected to be online and if they must track their time.

Communicate constantly


An essential part of setting a successful remote management style is setting constant communication with your remote team via communication tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams. Maximize one-on-one feedback video calls, for example, to pinpoint their strengths and points of improvement. Listen to their concerns. Host team calls for updates and brainstorming sessions. If you have extra time, you can also check in with them once a week to see if they need help with anything.

Besides, frequent calls and messages make remote work less isolating and stressful, which will increase your employees’ engagement.

Stay in touch with your remote team, but be careful! While some employees may love check-ins, don’t overdo it to the point of micromanagement.

Move your company's processes online


A huge part of transitioning to remote work is a process called dematerialization, or transferring in-office solutions, communication, and data online. There’s only one technology that can accommodate this shift: the cloud.

Cloud software, including the data that it stores, can be accessed anywhere and at any time. For example, project management tools are available and allow employers and employees to track their tasks for the day. Customer relationship management software is also a good example of the cloud’s application.

To efficiently manage your employees remotely, you will also need an HR software (also hosted on the cloud) to streamline many of your employee processes. Folks HR is an online HRIS software that organizes your employee records, performance evaluations, and absence management into one convenient platform. We even offer “self-service” for employees, allowing them to log in their hours and make requests autonomously.

Managing remote workers has never been more simple with our intuitive modules!

Do you want to discover our solutions for remote management?

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Provide equipment that will encourage off-site productivity


Although your employees are staying within the comfort of their homes, not all of them have access to the standard workstations they had in the office. In fact, according to a 2020 survey conducted by ServiceNow, one in three Canadian employees reported feeling less productive with an ‘improper’ work setup.

If you’re going to be providing them with equipment, you have to make sure that they encourage off-site productivity. For example, an ergonomic chair can improve their posture and provide comfort. It’s much easier to focus on work if your back isn’t in pain.

Meanwhile, a 2016 study from Texas A&M University found that employees who stood between work hours were more productive. To encourage this behaviour, another thing you can hand out is a standing desk converter — a type of office equipment that allows them to shift their position from sitting to standing and vice versa at any time.

Encourage them to switch positions every hour or so, as sitting at a desk for too long only leads to restlessness.

Host remote social events


With this WFH setup, however, employees have no way of physically unplugging from work during breaks or even after the day is done. Additionally, the pandemic has made it difficult for people to meet up outside safely. As a result, they might be dealing with isolation, anxiety, and even loneliness. Company values are no longer shared, and remote employees’ morale and productivity suffer from this lack of human interaction.

As employers, the responsibility to remedy this falls on you — for both the company and your employees’ sake.

To help with that, organize simple and effective team building activities that will benefit newbies and tenured alike. You can go for virtual team lunches, game nights, happy hours, online concerts, remote pizza parties, and group film viewing. Your creativity is the only limit! Be sure to avoid shop talk and just enjoy the moment.


Remote working has its perks, but it also poses some challenges such as miscommunication. However, by incorporating these useful practices into your team’s remote work environment, you will surely see improvement in employee engagement and productivity levels.

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