Managing remote employees is challenging – how do you stop them from slacking off?
So you’ve been adapting a work from home arrangement set up or are considering transforming your business into an ecommerce platform which allows you to operate work from home.
Here’s the thing which might bother some employers the most, how do you stop your employees from ever slacking off?
The traditional way might be to use Time Doctor or other apps which monitor their performance on screen or perhaps forcing them to deliver you the goods on a sharing platform such as Asana. A newly remote team may need to make adjustments if they’ve been used to working fully fledged as an in office team. But as a remote team, the ways which your workforce operates on accountability shouldn’t change.
Even if you used Time Doctor there is still a way for them to play Mobile Legends on their phone or do things that you otherwise wouldn’t see.
Here’s the thing – you can’t control it.
Of course there are other positions such as customer support which require real time metrics and KPI’s at which point it won’t even be an issue, but the one thing that keeps many remote teams productive as with on site engagement is to make sure they know your bottom line.
1st secret – Make sure they know your pipelines and quotas.
If they have a functional idea of what you’re trying to achieve in the next few weeks to the next few months, they will be proactive and they will also engage in the work sufficiently. They’ll take each part and parcel of your operations – digital marketing for example and they’ll work with precision on each part of the job until it’s done timely and effectively.
Both employers and employees need to communicate on your timelines on a regular basis.
This is where you get a lot of benefits from Zoom calls or Slack or simply keeping an open line between you and your remote staff. They receive real time feedback, but at the same time they’re focused on the nuances of the work that they simply don’t have time to slack off because there is an achievable chunk of work in a certain segment of the week – or the month they’re trying to achieve.
So that is the first secret. It’s really that simple, if they have something to work with within a given timeline, they will work on it – assuming you hired the right people – and assuming you’ve given them sufficient instructions.
In Covid-19 quarantines come in phases, so in that way you can think of project management as something that comes in phases as well. They won’t be confused what they’re gonna be doing the next day or the following day or the following week because you’ve given them a workable plan which is easy and manageable.Here is an example of 3 phases you can work with
- Planning and digital marketing strategies
- Product testing, QA and implementation of content marketing
- Product launch
Those phases can take any number of weeks or months but if they’re working on a specific phase of the project and a specific portion of one of the phases and further down a specific nuance of digital marketing or lead generation for example, then won’t have to micromanage them because again – assuming you hired the right people, they have a clear picture of what needs to be done.
You can also opt to call them on a regular basis for Face to Face calls, this can be done daily such as what most remote managers are doing in Covid-19 or you can do it weekly if you’re busy. The great advantage of giving your team an entire package to work with is you don’t have to contact them all of the time.
The larger aspects of your project whether it’s software development, digital marketing, SEO or maybe web development needs to be overseen by you personally. You can hire a project manager or a digital marketing specialist to take care of these needs for you, but if you lay it out in a systematic way where your remote employees are able to follow through on it, then it’s a lot easier to dissect in smaller chunks.
The reason employees slack off is if they feel their work is insignificant or not contributing enough any way to warrant any sort of engagement or hard work on their part. But since remote teams are people you cannot manage on an in office basis, the communication is all the more important for your remote work to pay off.
Outsource remote staff
It’s certainly an option for you to manage your in-house staff by yourself using the remote working tools which are available. But for saving operational costs, you may consider the option of outsourcing them to reliable partner.
You don’t have to go the freelance route nor do you have to spend time and money training people through opening an office back home.
You can retain your in-house staff and grow them and expand your business through considering the option of outsource managed remote staffing.
Here’s the 2nd secret – pay your employees well.
Or if you outsource, make sure your partner has the means to pay them and compensate them well.
If you want to stop your employees from slacking off the first secret is pipelines and telling them what you need – the 2nd is hiring a highly competent and highly motivated team to begin with.
You don’t go down the route of freelance which is yes, cheaper but you don’t have to spend on training and opening another office there back home either especially if you’re inclined to working remotely.
While economies are starting to reopen from the coronavirus, remote staffing is here to stay. If you outsource managed remote staff, this can be the perfect balance between hiring freelancers who basically dictate their own time and don’t conform to your needs, or opening an office yourself.
At iSuporta we provide you the Remote employees, the desk space, the equipment and the on site supervisors you need to make sure your tasks are being accomplished the way you want them.