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How to effectively manage your staff remotely

Working from home or remote working is a top career aspiration for employees when searching for a new job opportunity - with over half of the South Africa's current workforce working from home at least once or twice a week. With the rise of remote working, businesses need to ensure that their managers and team-leads are well geared up to ensure successful remote management that drives productivity in their remote workforce.

With remote working being a very attractive solution for attracting top talent, Robert Walters offers tops tips as guidance for management looking to adapt to the modern working lifestyle, overcome concerns around flexi-working and to better manage their workforce remotely.  

Changing from behaviour-based to outcome-based assessment

On a day-to-day basis, managing remote working requires a move from behaviour-based monitoring to outcome based mindset. Instead of solely assessing performance according to what an employee is seen to be doing, managers should take their output or other deliverables into account and establish an environment of mutual trust.

Devising innovative alternatives to face-to-face communication

Flexible working can create communication challenges, as employees may feel less connection with each other. This can lead to a lower sense of belonging. Apart from specifying a set time of the week when the team can get together, we also advise managers to use alternative tools such as instant messaging and virtual meetings to foster communication.

It is vitally important that with the growth of a virtual workforce comes the need to maintain to make time to get in those online face-to-face catch ups. If managers do not take the time to carry out face-to-face online catch ups the silence can become very loud and dangerous with remote employees second guessing their performance. Take the time to schedule in video catch ups to reassure and guide your workforce to ensure maximum productivity. 

Create an open culture of flexibility

Companies should also create a culture where employees do not feel they will be disadvantaged by flexible working arrangements. Some new joiners may struggle to learn if their manager or team members are not around. Managers are strongly recommended discussing flexible working arrangements openly with all team members to ensure that everyone is treated equally.

Beware of ‘burn-out’

With the use of mobile devices, the line between work and private life is blurring. Managers are advised to conduct reviews to ensure remote working employees are not working excessively as this can lead to high stress level and ‘burn-out’. Signs to look out for are a reduction in productivity/output, uncharacteristic detachment and increased cynicism or complaining.

Robert Walters offer expert hiring advice to our clients looking to attract and retain top professionals whilst accommodating the needs and demands of the modern workforce. Contact us today at south.africa@robertwalters.com for your latest recruitment needs. 

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