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Remote Workforce Management – How to Manage and Engage Your Remote Teams

Since 2020, the everyday routine for a huge percentage of office workers around the world has transformed. Where previously, spending five days a week with your peers in person went without saying, many of those in the workforce today now work in either a hybrid or remote capacity – logging on from home either full or part-time.

While some businesses in highly-regulated sectors are calling for a complete return to the office, statistics from Forbes in 2023 show that a huge 28.2% of full-time employees are still working to a hybrid model, and 98% of workers want to work remotely, at least some of the time.

But what does this new working landscape mean for team management? Today, team leaders and managers are still learning how to adjust, often navigating complex projects with teams spread nationwide, or even further afield. Having proper remote workforce management measures in place, and investing in the right software and technology, can make a huge difference to the performance and contentment of your team. Keep reading for our recommendations on successfully managing a remote working team.

Remote Workforce Best Practices

Whether you’re new to managing a remote team, or you’ve been doing it for a while now, it’s well worth having a set of best practices to refer back to when you need them. Here are some of the key principles to observe when it comes to remote workforce management:

  1. Show Your Team You Trust Them

    Good remote workforce management starts with trust. Ideally, there should be no need to surveil the productivity of your team – their outputs should speak for themselves. This way, you can allow employees to enjoy the additional flexibility that remote working provides – while still being aware of their levels of engagement and availability more generally.

  2. Organise Regular Catchups

    Despite its many advantages, remote working can also be isolating, particularly for professionals in roles that involve solitary rather than collaborative projects. Scheduling regular, casual check-ins as well as the formally required meetings can help everyone stay on the same page, and gives team members the chance to raise concerns, ask questions and get to know each other better.

  3. Invest in the Right Tech

    When your team aren’t in the same building, investing in the right remote working technology is vital. That could mean signing up for a collaborative platform Microsoft 365 or Google Workspace, using third-party project management tools, or ensuring that everyone on your team as the right audio visual technology for calls and meetings.

  4. Set Clear Expectations

    Most people work best when goals and deliverables are clearly outlined, but when your team is remote, you can’t rely on them reading between the lines. Explicitly communicate your expectations about the necessary outputs, and encourage your team to share their progress, so you can make sure everyone on the same page, without falling into the trap of micromanagement.

The Challenges of a Remote Workforce

A fully remote workforce poses a whole different set of challenges – after all, your team might be spread across several continents and time zones – so it can feel hard to support everyone’s professional needs. Here’s a few of the most common snags that remote workforce managers have to deal with:

Time Management Challenges

Working from home can be very different from person to person – those living alone might have no trouble with productivity, whereas working parents could be juggling work with childcare, or those with flatmates may find it harder to focus. Encouraging your team to block out meeting-free time is a good place to start, but if you’re really worried about time management, you can look into remote workforce management software.

Issues With Communication

There’s no shortage of communication issues that can crop up when managing a remote workforce. From overcommunication – like helicopter management via direct message – to miscommunication, or even accidentally omitting a team member from a call or email chain. It can be hard to strike the right balance, but setting out your preferred channels of contact should help to avoid this.

Struggling to Build Rapport

One of the biggest problems with a fully remote team can be actually making employees feel like a team. It’s easy to take the camaraderie, trust and solidarity that comes with sharing a physical office for granted. If your workforce is remote, you should actively make time for team members to collaborate, socialise and get to know one another.

Benefits of the Remote Workforce

Despite the challenges we outlined above, remote working is an increasingly in-demand arrangement in forward-thinking businesses, and for good reason. It offers huge advantages – particularly to employees who have considerable responsibilities outside of work – and eliminates the need for a commute, or a costly office space. Take a look at some of the biggest benefits:

  • Increased Flexibility

    Flexibility is perhaps the most significant benefit enjoyed by remote workers – with no commute, increased comfort, and the possibility of conveniently fitting a range of other activities around your working day. This often leads to a more content, rested team, who feel trusted and empowered to do their work independently.

  • Improved Productivity

    When sharing a room with colleagues, many professionals find themselves pulled onto other tasks simply because they’re around to ask, but at home they’re left uninterrupted. Similarly, working from home enables people to stay in control of factors like sound and light in their physical environment, which can help maintain focus.

How UniAV Can Help

Universal AV has over 30 years’ experience in consulting, designing, and integrating audio visual solutions – including those built specifically to cater to remote workforce management. Our experts are here to advise on setting up the ideal audio visual solutions for your remote team, with experience that spans many different industries, plus highly-regulated sectors like healthcare.

We can help you shape a unified communications solution tailored to the needs of your remote workforce, which is flexible enough to support BYOD (bring your own device) meetings and training, while our audio visual consultancy service is ideal if you’re likely to be running functions or events.

To find out more about how Universal AV can help, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team – we’ll get back to you soon to discuss our services.

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