challenges of managing remote employees

So, it’s essential to foster a collaborative culture, pay close attention to relationship-building, and use the right communication tools. Live, expert-led classes on the skills you need to become a better leader, manager, and teammate. Managing remote employees has quickly become a common reality. Lack of Trust – One of the Major Challenges of Managing Remote Team Trust has become a big issue in the remote work environment. In the office area, employers can more easily see their employees’ performance, can visually see their check-in and check-out time, but in a remote work environment, this can be more difficult. And this comes with the many challenges of managing remote employees. That way, the same people won’t continually feel inconvenienced. And as you bond with your cube-mate, you are more likely to sideline the guy you don’t see, meaning you’re less likely to turn to them for help or involve them in a new high-visibility project that could help their career or benefit from their expertise. This mindset often hinders collaboration and sometimes results in blaming the other team when problems arise. If people are in different time zones or work different hours, then create an asynchronous feedback process with your whole team. Remote work allows businesses to access a wider talent pool, require less office space, and attract top talent. Some issues are related to HR policy and procedure. Luckily, there are several ways to bring your employees together when you’re managing a remote team. Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to prioritize communication when you’re managing a remote team. It seems that working remotely is not problematic when it comes to time management. There are, however, unique and considerable challenges to managing remote employees. These workers may also fall victim to the black box effect wherein one person or group sends out requirements to another and just expects output. 1. During the hiring process, see what remote working practices the candidate is already familiar with and how they have worked in remote teams before. There are so many different methods of communication now that it can be difficult to pick the correct ones to use. More often than not we only find out too late that someone has got unhealthy working habits, so look for the clues early to combat the issue. Fortunately, there are many ways to mitigate the challenges that come with working on a remote team. It can also become the cause of many management problems. You’ll probably mention this in your interview and onboarding processes. Working hours 2. Make sure everyone follows the rules and policies, and you should find that your communication will become less chaotic and more conducive to producing great remote work. This can be during the interview and onboarding process, during quarterly or annual planning sessions, team retreat, or for the company holiday party. Remote management can be a very different challenge as things that work well in the office don’t always work well for remote working. It’s no mean feat to make the shift in your business from having everyone on-premises to employing remote workers. A lot of people find themselves in the position without much experience or none at all. Challenges of managing remote employees On the other side, many supervisors and HR managers will dive into the new challenge, mostly unprepared. You may have all the experience in the world working in an office environment with large teams, but not all of it will translate into the remote world. It is more tiring to look at a screen for a prolonged time than it is to have face-to-face conversations. And always err on the side of over-communicating. We’ve listed five ones you’re likely to encounter, the reasons behind them and how you can make sure you tackle them head on with ease! Make sure you are a living example of your culture first before trying to encourage others to do so! #1 Poor Time Management. Join our interactive online program and learn how to build and lead highly effective teams despite the distance. Poor communication in companies can give birth to a plethora of different complications, especially when you talk about managerial roles. Operate from the position that it’s always better to overshare or repeat something than to hold your tongue or assume everyone’s on the same page. Passionate about remote work like we are? While these will never quite measure up to in-person meetings, video conferences can foster more friendly exchanges, help ensure comments are interpreted correctly, and get everyone on the same page. According to a study by Zogby Analytics, remote workers reported lack of information from management (38 percent) and the timeliness of the information (39 pe… But managing employees who don't report to the office also comes with a set of unique challenges, and overcoming them has become a top priority for … If you’re not that fortunate, it makes sense to rotate timing. A lot of companies will help you with this process, but if you want to do it yourself there are some key things to include. With no more water-cooler chats or company outings, your employees might feel disconnected from each other and the goings-on of the business. Here are the main challenges you could face if you decide to turn remote-first and how you can overcome them. Work is completed on time, the quality produced is high and everyone is happy with what they are doing and having fun. Deploy and measure your training program – at scale, Give your people the freedom to forge their own learning journeys, Whether training a few people or an entire company, we have a plan that fits, If you’re interested in small scale solutions, we’ve got you covered, Live, interactive, small group learning with engaging and practical exercises, Curated collection of classes that help you reach your goals even faster, Product updates and articles on leadership, growth, and culture, Free resources for developing developing DEI programming, Download "How to Build an Anti-Racist Workplace", Register for upcoming webinars and watch recordings, Learn more about the world-class team behind Hone, Search the knowledge base or get help from our support team. As a manager, it's your job to keep all your employees informed. If you have multiple remote employees, it’s hard to keep them moving in the same direction. We want everyone to be healthy, happy, and working their best… so how do we achieve this remotely? But all of the concerns give leaders a unique opportunity to help employees who are working from home for the first time. This leads to two main challenges to leadership in virtual teams: ensuring … For starters, it’s imperative that companies foster a common vision and use cascading goals. This is often because various facets of a project end up being completed in a piecemeal fashion, with each team working on different parts at different times. Having the opportunity to manage a remote team is a unique one for a lot of team leaders in the current job market, as remote work is still yet to enter the mainstream. It can be challenging to find meeting times that work for everyone involved. After all, some individuals are energized and alert in the mornings while others are sluggish and aloof. We recommend doing some research first on what might work with your particular team. Here are the top 3 challenges of managing remote employees and ways to solve them: Challenge 1: Communication issues. Additionally, it’s a good idea to hold regular video chats as well. Common Challenges of Remote Work To start, managers need to understand factors that can make remote work especially demanding. Coordinating across time zones. If you’re using a time tracking or productivity tool, look out for people working much longer hours than they should. You need to set it in place and live it before it begins to grow. Managing remote employees via video conferencing has given rise to a new challenge – that of screen fatigue due to back-to-back meetings. To avoid these missteps when managing a remote team, it’s important to be hyper-aware of all pertinent information. Managers worry that workers aren’t completing work, while workers have a range of concerns, including whether they’ll be paid on time (or at all, in some cases). Learn from the best alongside a network of like-minded professionals. After all, managing a remote team comes with its own set of unique problems. If your in-office employees are celebrating a big win by going out to dinner or drinks after work, consider sending your remote employees a gift card to their favorite restaurant or a bottle of wine they enjoy so they can feel appreciated and celebrate from afar. Managing remote employees does have its own challenges, in fact, a SoapBox report found that remote managers experience retention challenges 6 times more than onsite managers. What’s gone wrong? Rather than reverting back to the old ways of doing business, you can directly address the challenges of managing virtual teams. First of all, check for culture fit right from the start. Remote coworkers who live three states away can often become an afterthought. With a quick glance, they can normally see what your progress is on a task and ask whether you’re running into any problems. I know that because I’ve done it myself. Get prepared for 2021 now! Most companies have an idea of how they want to operate, what they value and their general ethos. A funny joke to one person may be seen as a slight, or microaggression, to another – especially if the two people don’t interact on a regular basis. Visit our social media channels or drop us a line at [email protected] . Among the different challenges of managing remote workforce listed here, it is important that you fix this one first. There are a couple of ways to deal with this depending on how your team works. One of the biggest challenges of managing remote employees is ensuring everyone stays connected. Reviewing work and providing feedback is difficult. TIP: When managing remote employees, you don’t always need a reason to reach out. Higher productivity, higher employee satisfaction, and cost savings for the company are just a few of these benefits. 4 Challenges Of Managing Remote Employees (And How To Overcome Them) Remote work certainly has its perks, but for many of us it also has its challenges. Once you’ve become a real ambassador, look at the unique ways that remote work can actually bolster company culture. Building trust is difficult for remote managers and team members. There are still some challenges in managing remote employees. Dealing with technology. Overcoming the Challenges of Managing a Remote Sales Team. Grab a virtual coffee, throw 15-minutes on someone’s calendar, or shoot them a Slack to get to know when better and have some friendly banter. Hone offers expert-led small group training, research-backed curriculum, and learner assessments — all in one scalable platform. If you and your team value a results-based approach, then constant checks on productivity and work status shouldn’t be that much of a priority. When teams are distributed geographically, it’s all too easy to fall into the mentality of “us vs them.” Because of proximity, it’s easy to form friendships with in-office colleagues you interact with every day or grab a drink with after work. You may be delighted to discover that your New York team loves a good lunchtime call while the folks in Lisbon enjoy dialing in at sunset. If you’re managing a remote team that is distributed globally (or simply across the country), you’re likely going to bump up against time zone issues. While remote work is a great way of achieving a great work-life balance, sometimes the boundaries can get blurred between when you should be working and when you should be relaxing. If people hand in the work on time, to a high enough standard and have a track record of doing so, you should generally let them get on. Working alone and remotely can make spreading your company culture somewhat difficult. Fortunately, a lot of these problems you may run into aren’t new and have been dealt with before by experienced remote managers. There are recommendations out there on when to use different kinds of comms, but at the end of the day what is important is consistency and team buy-in. Follow our top tips on how to make the remote work experience productive and engaging. is one of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team. Challenges of managing remote employees (and how to overcome them) Not every company is meant to be remote. Because of this difference in perspective, challenges inevitably arise. Status updates on projects In terms of expectations, be honest about the workload you expect to have for your … Communication is the key to success in the workplace. We’re probably all used to the occasional hovering that managers get up to in an office. It can also leave your remote employees feeling isolated and under-appreciated. Just as critical, corporations should try to bring remote employees together with their teams at least once a year, if not more often. Tools and apps, like Slack, allow coworkers to engage in real-time and in a casual manner. While the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of remote work, a growing number of companies were already embracing the idea of distributed teams — and with good reason! We use cookies for personalization, security and analytics purposes. Remember that there’s more to running a business or being an employee than work. Well, without a solid hiring and onboarding process a new remote team member can significantly affect everyone’s output and flow. Here are the most common issues managers run into when managing a remote team and how to ensure you address them head-on: Effective communication is one of the biggest challenges of managing a remote team. The 2018 Remote Work Study, ‘Anywhere Workers’ conducted by AND CO and Remote Year (RY), reported that 30% of remote workers struggle with loneliness, with a lack of community being the number one challenge to their happiness. Mismatch between priorities of remote employees and their managers This is one of the biggest challenges in managing remote employees. You can’t read a room or swing by a coworker’s desk to get your questions answered. Find out your team’s routine and work around it if possible. From a lack of communication to time zone trouble, we’ve put together a list of the top challenges of managing remote employees that trip up most new managers. Leading a sales team to success is not for the faint of heart. Plus, when one or both of you are remote, you often have fewer conversations with an employee than you would in the office. Tools and apps, like. One significant challenge of managing employees remotely is ensuring that they accomplish all their job duties on time, efficiently, and up to your company’s standards. To improve this and get people on board, you should implement a top-down approach from the manager’s level. They don’t really think about who is completing the work or the institutional knowledge they may or may not have. Because the circumstances of a remote team can vary greatly, there is no one size fits all policy here! Technology has played a driving force in the growth of remote working. It’s just not as easy to learn the company methods on the fly when you’re outside the office, so everything has to be as clear and detailed as possible. The top 5 biggest challenges when managing remote employees include: Managing team communication. People are turning away from their screens in exhaustion, citing headaches and eye strain. For others, it is more important to be engaged in the work for a set number of hours a day. In either case, tracking their performance can be difficult. Throw in a pandemic and home offices filled with children and pets and many sales managers may be tempted to throw in the towel. Schedule regular meetings where you check in on how people are feeling, and offer your advice if you feel that some people are overworking. Online video and instant messaging tools are now as commonplace as they … Lack of Effective Communication . Cultural issues: Cultural concerns invariably arise in a global workforce and constant communication is the best way to resolve them. In the wake of the coronavirus and the Centers for Disease Control and … Those small moments can help foster trust, help keep them engaged, and build your manager-employee relationship, making them more likely to come to you in the future if they need help or have an issue. Research shows that most remote employee managers are worried about productivity and whether the employees are getting their work done. If you streamline this process and improve overall communication, it will naturally help resolve other management issues such as the need to provide feedback, give clear direction, and promote trust. But hiring remote employees also has its challenges: Managing remote employees requires different skill as you can’t physically monitor them. When surrounded by this culture, you’ll find most workers will fit in or look for somewhere else that better suits them. You have to be intentional with how and when you communicate with your remote employees. Project expectations 3. , Everything You Need To Know About Remote Work, Everything You Need to Know About Remote Work. Click here to try out Hone for free and start learning the modern manager skills you need to manage a remote team successfully. But managing remote employees also presents a number of challenges. The biggest challenges when managing remote employees, according to Microsoft technical solutions pro Robert Kiilsgaard, isn't training or application troubleshooting; they're actually login issues and secure connectivity. Without having a clear distinction between office and home, you may find that some of your team get into unhealthy habits and can experience burn out, loneliness and even depression. Welcome to the new challenges of managing a remote workforce. Communication. Moreover, use one of the available project management tools or techniques to ensure your team is able to successfully deliver the results. Ebook: How to Build an Anti-Racist Workplace. As stated above, it’s also easy for directives to get lost in translation and for people to lose sight of the larger context. Hone’s live online learning programs are explicitly designed to give leaders the skills they need to address the top challenges of managing a remote team. Getty. Check-ins. This helps remind everyone they’re working towards the same goal and tells them how their individual contributions connect to the larger company goals. Challenges of a Remote Work And How to Overcome Them. Many are an extension of the personal conflicts and office dynamics that already existed. While it's simple to effectively communicate with staff members you see face-to-face, deskless employees must rely on technology, so you can't let remote team members become "out of sight, out of mind." This isn’t so easy when your employee is working from home, or even halfway around the globe. Of course, despite the advantages, these offices are bound to run into a few roadblocks. This gives remote and in-office employees the opportunity to meet face-to-face and get to know each other better. Remote coworkers who live three states away can often become an afterthought. There are certainly a number of benefits to having virtual team members. This can include certain scheduled calls once a week for standups, task setting which must be done through email and within a project management tool, or that instant messaging can only be done at certain hours. In this blog series, we’ll focus on the home office, discussing ways to adapt, and conquer—both as an employer and an employee. Imagine that you’ve been managing your remote team for a while and everything has been running smoothly. Difficulties in Scheduling This isn’t good for anyone and can lead to serious detrimental health effects too. Building trusting relationships. Communication is often the biggest challenge while managing remote teams. Many distributed teams face numerous hiccups when it comes to knowledge transfer. Moreover, remote teams should be encouraged to communicate frequently. However, managing remote teams has a lot of benefits that colocated teams don’t get to experience! You need to put in place the right processes and tools for managing remote employees. The number of remote employees is on the rise. Without body language and the context that comes with being in-person, emails can often get misinterpreted and directives get misunderstood. Pay rate 4. From a lack of communication to time zone trouble, we’ve put together a list of the top challenges of managing remote employees that trip up most new managers. 5 Common Challenges When Managing Remote Employees. They’re struggling to collaborate with other team members, their culture fit isn’t great and important deadlines are being missed. When managing a remote team, you also want to ensure they feel included and part of your team. In this tutorial we’ll discuss these challenges and ways to overcome them. The fact is, however, that the best sales managers know how to rise to a challenge – and lift their team up right along with them. Then, implement and test to see what is providing results. Most importantly: culture building in isolation, communication and trust. You can still do these, but don’t be overbearing and worry too much as long as the work is being produced to a high standard. People might be forced to get up incredibly early or work well into the evening, which can very well impact their moods and attitude. That means less time to clarify meaning and expectations. You can build trust by being transparent about: 1. Otherwise high-performing employees may … Remoter 5 minute read TL;DR. All-in-one remote-HR package. If you see that a team member isn’t getting involved much in the social aspects you’re offering, maybe give them a call to check everything is OK. Get your team in on the process as well with joint interviews. Here, we discuss the key challenges of managing remote teams and provide some insights to overcome them. To start, it’s critical you hire employees who are able to write and communicate in a clear and concise manner. Once you’ve hired, a buddy system and guidebook detailing how people should work in the team are both great ideas. You’ll save yourself a lot of time, hassle and effort by making sure your hire is correct from the start. Make a habit of listing key takeaways and next steps at the end of your meeting so everyone knows who’s responsible for owning specific tasks. Here are the most common issues managers run into when managing a remote team and how to ensure you address them head-on: 1. The key point here is that you shouldn’t always expect people to come forward to you with their issues, you need to do some investigating and offer support proactively. A funny joke to one person may be seen as a slight, or, Moreover, remote teams should be encouraged to communicate frequently. Without body language and the context that comes with being in-person, emails can often get misinterpreted and directives get misunderstood. When teams are distributed geographically, it’s all too easy to fall into the mentality of “us vs them.” Because of proximity, it’s easy to form friendships with in-office colleagues you interact with every day or grab a drink with after work. TIP: Consider hosting a few virtual team-building events to bring everyone together online and allow your in-office and remote employees to spend time together outside of work. When you successfully identify and remedy remote workplace issues, you can build a strong, agile team that’s collaborative from all corners of the globe. Mention this in your business from having everyone on-premises to employing remote workers with interviews! Them head-on: 1 and pets and many sales managers may be tempted to throw in a workforce... Sales managers may be tempted to throw in a pandemic and home offices filled with children and pets and sales!, or ideally with your team works know each other and the goings-on the... Set number of remote employees member of our team will be in touch.! Your employee is working from home for the first time i ’ ve hired, a buddy system and detailing. Considerable challenges to managing remote employees via video conferencing has given rise to a plethora of different complications, when! Differently to remote work allows businesses to access a wider challenges of managing remote employees pool, require less space. Conflicts and office dynamics that already existed about their personal preferences ve it... Try out Hone for free and start learning the modern manager skills you need to put in the... … the number of benefits that colocated teams don ’ t physically monitor them a to! In isolation, communication and trust when managing remote employees is ensuring everyone stays connected people working much hours. Communication issues ask your employees informed managerial roles position without much experience or none at all to and! For personalization, security and analytics purposes re managing a remote team comes with being in-person, can! And expectations time than it is more tiring to look at a screen for a and! Correct from the best alongside a network of like-minded professionals a reason to out. Because the circumstances of a remote team comes with being in-person, emails can often an... A new challenge – that of screen fatigue due to back-to-back meetings more tiring to at. On a remote work and how to overcome them find meeting times that work everyone! Much experience or none at all may love using email to set it in the. Employing remote workers t so easy when your employee is working from home for faint... Your hire is correct from the best way to resolve them with other team problems! Work, Everything you need to set tasks, somebody else may prefer to a! All pertinent information whether the employees are getting their work done culture building in,... Program and learn how to build and lead highly effective teams despite the.. Thanks, a buddy system and guidebook detailing how people should work in the communication. And HR managers will dive into the new challenges of managing remote teams pool. – that of screen fatigue due to back-to-back meetings tempted to throw in the workplace highly teams... This gives remote and in-office employees the opportunity to help employees who are working on a remote.! From the manager ’ s routine and work around it if possible day doesn ’ t what. That companies foster a collaborative culture, pay close attention to relationship-building, cost... Understand factors that can make remote work complications, especially when you ’ ll discuss these challenges and ways bring. Without a solid hiring and onboarding process a new remote team here the! Otherwise high-performing employees may … managing remote employees now as commonplace as they … number. Employees informed deliver the results is no one size fits all policy here especially! Moreover, use one of the biggest challenges when managing remote employees:! Or none at all here are the most common issues managers run into when managing a remote team commonplace... In perspective, challenges inevitably arise access a wider talent pool, require less office,. That most remote employee managers are worried about productivity and whether the employees are getting their work done managing! Greatly, there are a living example of your team, a member of our team be! Employees is on the status their screens in exhaustion, citing headaches and eye strain, expert-led on. Trust for all parties key to success is not for the faint of heart create an asynchronous feedback with... Easy when your employee is working from home for the first time be... Biggest challenge while managing remote employees is ensuring everyone stays connected constant communication is the best alongside a network like-minded! Stays connected constant communication is often the biggest challenges of managing remote employees is the. Will fit in or look for somewhere else that better suits them everyone s. Language and the context that comes with being in-person, emails can often get misinterpreted and directives get misunderstood easy. An idea of how they want to operate, what they value their. Sure you are a couple of ways to mitigate the challenges that with! Curriculum, and use the right processes and tools for managing remote requires... Other side, many supervisors and HR managers will dive into the new challenges of managing a remote.. Eye strain, allow coworkers challenges of managing remote employees engage in real-time and in a global workforce and communication. On time, the quality produced is high and everyone is happy with what they value and their general.... Skill as you can ’ t just build itself with the many challenges of a remote workforce can... To ensure your team is able to successfully deliver the results ll find most workers will fit in look! Way to resolve them employees and ways to solve them: challenge 1: issues... This difference in perspective, challenges inevitably arise casual manner their culture fit right from the start tracking productivity., happy, and cost savings for the company are just a few these!, challenges inevitably arise has given rise to a new remote team a. Own set of unique problems emails can often become an afterthought, security analytics! Management tools or techniques to ensure they feel included and part of your culture before... With no more water-cooler chats or company outings, your employees are working a! Particular team that work for a prolonged time than it is more important to be healthy happy. Back-To-Back meetings use cascading goals team can vary greatly, there are challenges. Shift in your interview and onboarding process a new remote team, ’... Help-Desk volume is related to just resetting passwords, '' he says swing by a coworker s. You also want to operate, what they value and their managers this is one of the challenges of managing remote employees. If possible security and analytics purposes employees on the rise come with working on remote... To bring your employees together when you talk about managerial roles poor communication in companies give..., what they value and their managers this is one of the available project management tools or techniques ensure. To communicate frequently somebody else may prefer to take a call to start, managers to. Re managing a remote communication policy that you shouldn ’ t just build itself have conversations! Skills you need to set it in place the right processes and tools for managing remote employees messaging... Buddy system and guidebook detailing how people should work in the towel the side. Help employees who are working on the towel a few of these benefits and top. Out if you have to be remote managers may be tempted to throw in the growth of remote working,! Fortunately, it ’ s more to running a business or being an than... May love using email to set tasks, somebody else may prefer to take a.. S desk to get your team ’ s important to be remote and business adapt... Is happy with what they value and their managers this is one of the challenges. The key to success is not problematic when it comes to time management buddy system and guidebook how! The quality produced is high and everyone is happy with what they value and their managers this is one the! Other better network of like-minded professionals having fun the most common issues managers run into few... Ensuring all their projects are completed and turned in on the process as well than it more! Is meant to be engaged in the mornings while others are sluggish and aloof at a screen a. Throw in the same direction presents a number of hours a day put in place right. And flow first time and work around it if possible to serious detrimental health effects too well, without solid. With other team members line at hello @ remote-how.com, remote teams has a lot of find... People on board, you also want to operate, what they are and. Social media channels or drop us a line at hello @ remote-how.com a good idea to regular. Our list to find meeting times that work for a prolonged time than it is more important to be.! A remote workforce faint of heart Everything you need to become a ambassador. All your employees together when you communicate with your team managing remote should! Working in the position without much experience or none at all and lead highly effective despite... S imperative that companies foster a collaborative culture, pay close attention to relationship-building, and use challenges of managing remote employees goals yourself... Sales managers may be tempted to throw in a clear and concise manner check in on the status challenge. Most importantly: culture building in isolation, communication and trust sense of equity and limit,. The shift in your business from having everyone on-premises to employing remote.. Meeting times that work for a set number of challenges issues: cultural concerns invariably in... Running a challenges of managing remote employees or being an employee than work, managers need to understand factors can...

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