The sudden rise in remote workers due to coronavirus (COVID-19) has forced many employers to change how they manage their workforce.

But with such little time to prepare this leaves many companies ill-equipped to adapt to the unique challenges that come with leading a remote team.

From setting clear expectations and choosing the right workforce management software through to conducting meetings and retaining employee satisfaction.

Yet, by following these simple steps, running your business from afar can be just as efficient and rewarding as being onsite.

1. Provide cross device communication

Have your team sign up to a workforce management software that lets them stay in touch on a single platform through any device – be it a smartphone, laptop, desktop, tablet, or even two-way radios.

Not only will this make it easier for the team to collaborate, share ideas, resolve disputes and customer complaints, but also help you assign tasks to individual staff and approve them on the fly.

2. Protect your lone workers

You must treat your remote workers the same as you would a lone worker. That being people who work by themselves without close or direct supervision. There are steps you can take to ensure each home is suitable for work purposes.

For instance, undertake a risk assessment of each worker’s home environment. Do they have access to an extinguisher in case of fire? Is their office furniture fit for purpose and ergonomic? Do they have a stable internet connection? And much more.

From there, put in place a remote monitoring system that makes it easy for remote workers to stay in touch, submit incident reports, and alert yourself (plus the team) to potential hazards with minimal effort.

3. Set clear and fair work expectations

Just like being onsite, be sure to set fair, reasonable goals that your remote workers can achieve on a consistent basis. And make sure those goals align with your short and/or long term business objectives. Don’t lose sight of the bigger picture!

However, where possible, be flexible with your deadlines, as some workers may need more time to complete tasks and report in due to unavoidable commitments – i.e. parenting duties.

More importantly, your remote team will appreciate the flexibility, as it enables them to work efficiently in a manner that suits their lifestyle.

4. Reward outstanding work – and swiftly rectify issues

Choosing the right workforce management software is vital to tracking team progress and rectifying issues.

Use the software to give each remote worker a unique profile. This allows you to assign specific tasks, monitor their individual performance goals, and relate it back to your overall strategic goals.

Arrange weekly, fortnightly, or monthly one-on-one meetings with remote workers – either audio or video – to give them a fair, objective overview of their current performance. Be sure to reward outstanding performance, but don’t be afraid to raise any issues and give them steps on how to improve.

As a result, your remote workers will know what they’re doing well, where they can improve, and how their efforts contribute to the overall success of the business.

If you’d like to better manage your remote team and improve the delivery of your services, click here to see a demo of UniGuard in action.