Thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic forcing many companies to change the way they do business, more and more companies are seeing the benefit of allowing their employees to work remotely. According to reports from experts in various fields, there is little pressure on companies to force their staff to return to the office should they have shown themselves capable of meeting the company’s goals while working from home. However, this shift in attitude does come with its own set of challenges as many companies are being forced to adapt to a new style of management.

Whether a company’s staff is all based in the same city or they are spread out across the globe, navigating remote employees can be tough. The good news is that there are some tips that companies can follow to make the process more streamlined.

Have a Solid Work Plan and Set Clear Goals

For a company to run efficiently, there needs to be a solid work plan in place so that all employees understand what their role is in the process, as well as what is expected of them. This is even more important when staff are working remotely as there will not always be someone available that can provide guidance when an employee is unsure of what they need to do.

Luckily for employers, there is a huge range of tools available that can assist in managing staff remotely.

Choose the Right Tools for the Job

With the pandemic forcing many companies to explore their remote work options, there are now more resource management software options available than ever before. Many of the tools available specialize in different aspects of remote work, so companies must do their research to find the right tools for their purpose.

A media company, for example, would need to focus more on collaboration between various individuals than a plumbing business would. Resource management software such as Trello, which doubles as a teamwork and collaboration tool, would be a great solution for the media company as team leaders could assign tasks to team members and then track their process in real-time. A plumbing business, on the other hand, would be better off using software that allows them to assign jobs to a team, track the entire team’s progress, and then invoice the client straight from that same platform once sign-off has been given. 

Have the Right Staff in the Right Roles

While many people can adapt to the remote work lifestyle, there will always be some people who are not capable of managing their own time or meeting their goals without being in an office. That is why companies must employ the right staff in the right roles if they want their business to run seamlessly. This is especially true if a company is looking to hire personnel in foreign countries to work in their remote offices.

Thanks to technology opening doors that previously didn’t even exist, companies are no longer limited to hiring staff within their own country. However, labor laws and best practices regarding human resources differ from country to country. For this reason, many companies who have remote offices in foreign countries choose to make use of the services of a professional employer organization, or PEO.

PEOs can be seen as human resources companies that provide other companies with employee management services. Global PEO services give companies that are based in one region the ability to expand into other countries without having to worry about compliance with local labor laws as the PEO partner will handle all the paperwork and red tape for them. Companies such as New Horizons, global PEO specialists whose headquarters are based in China but who have regional offices in North America, Europe as well as elsewhere in Asia, can provide end-to-end legal, human resources, tax, and immigration solutions for small to mid-sized businesses looking to expand into the global marketplace. Visit nhglobalpartners.com for a more in-depth look at the services offered by New Horizons.

Keep Employees Engaged

Keeping employees engaged has several benefits, including increased productivity and better staff retention, so investing in employee engagement is essential if a company wishes to succeed and especially for companies with remote employees. Employees who are engaged are typically more productive, more willing to go the extra mile for their employers, and are more likely to stay with a company, even through tough times. Companies are more likely to run seamlessly if they can retain the right staff in their roles, so engagement is even more critical for companies with remote staff.

Companies can keep remote employees engaged by hosting regular meetings and casual hangouts online in order to foster closer relationships between staff and instill a sense of company culture in them. Asking for and giving regular feedback is also essential to make employees feel appreciated and engaged so companies should ensure that managers schedule regular one-on-one meetings with their remote staff.

Remote office culture can take a while to settle into, but the benefits of allowing employees the freedom to work from their home far outweigh the teething pains related to streamlining the process.

Photo credits: eOffice

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