Six Mistakes that Destroy the Efficiency of Your Remote Workers

Choosing to work remotely was on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic, and now it has become much more than an option. For many businesses, it is THE option.

That said, transitioning to an effective remote environment isn’t always as easy as it may appear. Before you venture into the remote work arena, consider these six mistakes that many managers make that destroy their remote team’s efficiency.

Not Choosing Who Should Work Remotely Wisely

Not everyone is right for remote work requiring a manager to pick and choose wisely who to place on a remote team. Some questions that need to be answered before placing an employee on a remote team include:

  • Is their role appropriate for remote work?
  • Do they have proper collaboration tools?
  • Do they have space, childcare, and other factors needed to work effectively?
  • Do they know their fellow workers well enough, or do they need more time?
  • Are they better suited for being in the same room as their team members, or are they self-starters who work well alone?

Failing to Give Your Team the Option of Working Remotely

In this brave new pandemic world, there may be no choice but to work from home. But where you need both on-site and remote workers, don’t assume your workers aren’t right for the change. In fact, when removed from the distractions of an office, some of your average workers become exceptional when working from their own personal workspace.

Assuming All Managers Know How to Lead a Remote Team

No matter how much traditional business training a manager has, there is a good deal of additional training needed to effectively manage a remote team. Timely communication and respect for remote workers’ efforts are essential. Yes, you can send an instant message, email, or even make a phone call, but expecting the immediacy of knocking on the door is unreasonable.

One thing those managing a remote team often overlook is one-on-one time with the remote worker. In an office environment, feedback around the water cooler or in the parking lot in common. Managing remote workers requires more intentional interaction.

Depending On Old-school Interaction Tools

As with the previous point, a manager must be more creative in finding ways to have the face time needed to connect truly. The old ways (email, etc.) still work, but they can’t be the only tool in a remote manager’s toolbox. The use of instant collaboration tools like Slack, Trello, Google Suite, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams fosters an atmosphere of working side by side when various team members may be in several time zones and away from each other physically.

Focusing On Personal Rather than Professional Benefits

There are many personal benefits to those who work remotely. The Royal Society for Public Health in the UK found that by eliminating their commute, and freeing remote employees to work in a setting that they’re comfortable in, employers find they have less stressed-out workers who enjoy their work more.

While the personal benefits of working remotely are attractive, remote work can have unexpected professional benefits. Remote Year® reports that remote workers are more productive save the company money and are more personally invested in their success.

Not Setting Clear-cut Expectations and Goals

A manager must find ways to keep remote employees connected to their company’s overall mission and goals.

The most important thing to remember in forming a remote team is that relationships are the key to working together effectively. Collaboration builds those work relationships.

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