The modern business will thrive on the ability of its’ workforce. Many businesses are relying on remote employees, meaning the need for effective communication is key.
Of course, since they’re remote, it’s not as easy as just walking down the hall to their office. They could be in another town, another country or another continent. As such, improving your infrastructure will go a long way toward smoothing business operations.
Make Sure You’re Available to Help
The disadvantage of working remotely is that you can’t always get feedback, quickly. Even if you’re busy managing your business, try and find the time to offer help and support to your remote workers. After all, you are their boss!
Ensure that every single off-site worker has multiple contact details for you. Email, mobile and office phone are all good places to start. If they’re working on a project that they need advice on, it’s a good idea to be available quickly to get the work done sooner.
Don’t Hesitate to Utilize Modern Tech
Skype, HipChat and Google Hangouts are all fine and functional, but they’re basic, and are limited in certain areas. A system like the Samsung OfficeServ, for example, is purpose built to provide remote workers the same abilities as your in house team. Remote workers won’t always notice emails or messages straightaway, so you have to grab their attention fast. It’s far too easy to miss Skype notifications!
Hand Them a Manageable Workload
Just because they work remotely, doesn’t mean they have all the time in the world. If you hand them a 5,000 word project and expect to have it turned around in three hours, forget it. You have to give them the same amount of work you would if they were sat right next to you, for a few reasons.
One, if they have too much work to do, this reduces communication time. Even a simple five minute Skype chat can feel like a waste of time. Two, a lot of work equals more stress, and their future correspondences with you may seem harsh, or frustrating. You can easily manage their workload using a project management tool like Trello. This allows your remote workers to always be aware what needs doing.
Be Blunt, and to the Point
You don’t have time to sugar-coat things, or provide false hope. If a job needs doing differently, be sure to point it out quickly. If the worker was sat right next to you, it might be easy for them to read your body language and sense your disapproval. Remote workers don’t have this luxury, so you have to simply come out and say it. Holding this back wastes time that could be better spent improving the work.
Any and all businesses rely on the hard work of employees, be they remote or in-house. Of course, in-house workers are privy to more effective communications than remote ones, but don’t neglect the latter. Focus on streamlining the workload and communication process, and you’ll be golden.
If you’re new to the business world and are looking for more information, have a read of our thoughts on the right time to build a company!