Thursday, February 16, 2012

How to Manage a Remote Workforce

Just because a business has been deemed as “small” doesn’t mean they can’t take advantage of the same remote workforce that the big players tap into. Thanks to innovations in Internet technology, it is a lot easier (and often more profitable) to utilize the services of a remote workforce to handle a business’s many tasks. Even your own company roster could benefit from flexible hours by completing their work tasks from home. This type of scheduling goes a long way to increase productivity and promote company loyalty. Although your workers might be “off-site” and online, that doesn’t mean they still won’t require decisive and strong management. What follows are some helpful tips to help your small business manage a remote workforce.

Put It In Writing

If you are hiring a new remote worker you should create a clearly defined list of goals for the project they are working on. These guidelines should leave nothing to doubt as they will serve as a vital template for the project. It’s also helpful to provide examples of just how you want the work completed.

Tap Into Technology

While it is true that the bulk of your communication with your remote workforce will be handled through email, there is no reason why you can’t utilize other forms of communication. Today most savvy remote workers have access to web cameras and headsets which allow for video conference calls via services like Skype. It could be beneficial to schedule a weekly Internet conference call to check on the progress of an ongoing project. This is also the perfect method for providing power point demonstrations as training for new remote workers. What’s great about this for a small business is that many of these conference services can be set up for free or at a minimum cost.

You can also set up a common communication area through a project management system where all the remote workers will have access to upload their projects and share comments or questions.

Set Deadlines

Just as you should provide your remote workforce with complete guidelines it’s important to provide them with a thorough schedule of when their work needs to be delivered. For your own sake, you should pad these deadlines with extra time. As a small business it is vital that you build a solid reputation with your clients for dependability. Although a remote worker can promise to meet the deadlines, sometimes they end up faltering. You should never put your own business at risk.

Tackle Problems ASAP

In a typical office setting, a worker who has a question about a particular project can simply walk down the hall to their manager and get an answer. A remote worker will have the same type of questions that can be related through email. It’s your responsibility as manager to answer those queries as soon as possible. You don’t want to bring a remote project to a grinding halt due to a lag response time. 

If you small business plans to active a remote workforce, treat them as you would your own immediate staff with proper instructions, deadlines and support. You might just find that with the help of a remote workforce, your business can expand faster than you’ve ever imagined.

4 comments:

  1. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you



    PPI Claim

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's really awesome blog dear. i get lot of information. i also share some information. Hope you like it. Thanks for sharing it.

    Human Resource Management

    ReplyDelete
  3. I appreciate the tips, they are certainly useful. Managing a remote team needs more than just a tool for communication or project management systems. I have been working remotely for about 3 years and apart from those tools you mentioned, I have learned the need for productivity or time tracking tools to ensure accurate tracking of employee performance. This tool does not only help the employer but it also aids employees in measuring their own productivity. Looking forward to more of your future posts.

    ReplyDelete

We encourage and welcome your comments