With new technologies hitting the market, it’s becoming easier for employers to allow for a more flexible work-from-anywhere policy. While this new found freedom is great for employees and even better for the company’s bottom line, it can be somewhat of a challenge for managers. Managing a flexible workforce can lend its own set of problems for managers who are not equipped for such a task. Basically, there are managers who can excel at the opportunity and there are those who might need a bit of coaching. It takes a certain skill set to be the type of manager who is able to manage a work-from-anywhere workforce. Let’s highlight a few below.
First and most important, the manager needs to ensure a solid foundation of trust between them and their employees. It’s one thing to have an unwavering sense of trust with an employee you see on a daily basis, but that can’t be the case for an employee who works remotely. A solid foundation of trust can result in a happy, healthy work relationship between the manager and their employees. It’s a win-win for everyone.
Once you have a baseline of trust, you should make sure your employees have clear and concise guidelines of what you expect of them. It’s never any fun to guess what someone wants from you. Right off the bat you should outline what you expect from your employees and what they can expect from you. Do you have an average email response time? What are the hours they’re expected to be online? It’s helpful for every party involved and can make for the most productive work hours.
Being easily accessible is essential to managing a remote workforce. Managers who can be reached anytime during the workday via phone, video, or chat, are going to aid their employees’ productivity. Staying connected through video communication can help build relationships with employees who may otherwise just be a voice, rather than a face.
If the right manager is in place, the remote employee can be just as engaged and productive as they would be if they were in the office.
BONUS: We have a great infographic on this topic. You should check it out!