4 key tips for virtual workforce leadership

How are the remote workers in your office managed?

Remote workers need just as much attention and direction, if not more, than workers actually in the office.

Remote workers need just as much attention and direction, if not more, than workers actually in the office.

Managing employees in the office can be difficult at times, but managing a completely remote workforce can prove to be even harder, with its own list of issues and problems that may arise.

Remote employees are increasing throughout numerous industries, with many businesses searching for the best talent across the globe. As the walls of offices break down, and the world through technology becomes a singular workplace, it’s important to keep efficiency and productivity in mind.

Although there are known benefits to hiring a remote workforce, many issues can occur, such as communication difficulties due to differing time zones, measuring productivity and fostering team spirit.

Leadership and management must take the appropriate steps to ensure that their remote workforce is happy, engaged and productive throughout the work week. How can this be done? Under a major umbrella term, effective leadership is essential. Without this, a remote workforce will quickly fall apart.

Keep the following four tips in mind for the best remote leadership possible:

  • Build trust: Trust is an important aspect of an office. Remote workers are often left with only a verbal promise or written agreement that work will be distributed, or feedback will be given at a certain time. If this information falls through, or there is a lack of real understanding, trust will be eroded.
  • Communicate: Remote workers must be kept in the loop at all times. When communication breaks down, there will be a lack of engagement, productivity and sense of appreciation, which can create resentment and eventual turnover.
  • Keep clarity in the forefront: Remote workers should have access to the same type of training and development as in-office employees. Be sure that training is offered to all workers, no matter where their location may be. If remote workers are confused by certain information or changes, take the time to explain it in a different manner, or communicate through another channel such as a video chat or phone call. Often, information can be lost through email or lack of face to face contact. Keeping different channels of communication open is vital to the success of these teams.
  • Track progress and projected goals: Remote workers should be able to understand and view how their work contributions are being used in their office. By tracking contributions and creating goals for remote workers, a better understanding of their role can often be achieved.

Leadership is a vital part of any workforce, especially for employees outside the office. By offering development courses and tracking projected goals for these workers, retention rates can be increased, as well as engagement and productivity.

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