Remote offices are becoming far more common in the workplace. From employees who work from home to outsourced employees, remote workers now comprise a large portion of many businesses.
Managing a remote office effectively is an art form all on its own. The good thing is it doesn’t have to be difficult. We have our own remote employees, and while managing them is different, it’s helped our business to grow.
Utilize Collaboration Tools
With 70% of people worldwide working remotely at least once per week, it’s hard to deny that remote offices are the way of the future. For businesses with remote workers, it’s important to make them feel like they’re still part of the team.
Collaboration tools, especially cloud-based tools, allow employees and virtual assistants to stay in contact with the main office on their own schedules. They can all talk, video chat, make to-do lists and much more as if they were physically in the same room.
Stay In Regular Contact
Sometimes the remote office strategy fails because no one stays in contact. We’ve heard of businesses giving up on the strategy completely because they never know what’s going on. Communication is key.
Even when businesses try an open office arrangement, employees still prefer to work remotely. Managing those remote employees is as easy as setting a contact schedule. Employees must check in and give status updates at set times or on set dates. This is where collaboration tools can also help.
Use Time Tracking Tools
We know businesses worry about productivity, but with time tracking tools, it’s easy to manage how much time employees are taking on different tasks. These tools can be built-in to cloud-based apps to track how long an employee uses them. Of course, businesses can also stick with cloud-based time sheets to let remote employees log in to track their time and submit it automatically.
Clearly Communicate Needs
Poor communication can ruin a business, even without trying to manage a remote office. The annual cost of bad communication within a business is now $37 billion globally. Large organizations lost as much as $62.4 million annually.
Whether an employee works inside or outside the office, always communicate needs clearly to avoid wasted time or misinterpreted directions. We can’t stress enough how important this one element truly is.
Keep Track With Project Management Tools
Along with collaboration and time tracking, invest in a project management tool. We use them ourselves to keep track of projects, allow employees (wherever they might be) to collaborate and ensure deadlines are being met. They might seem like simple tools, but they’re an incredibly powerful way to manage remote offices.
Want to learn more about the tools and support businesses need to manage a remote office? Contact us today to find out how we can help.