How to Manage Employees Remotely

As of 2017, nearly half of the employed Canadian population reportedly worked away from their company’s office for half of the week or more. Moreover, Global Workplace Analytics reported a 159% increase in remote work from 2005 to 2017. Working remotely comes with multiple challenges, from a lack of structured routine to fewer professional interactions. 

Although there was a spike in the number of employees working remotely, this was seen as a slow trend that was taking its time to be adapted in the workplace environment. However, current global circumstances have caused a drastic increase in the number of employees transitioning into this new remote routine. Implementing the right human resource management policies to support your employees can help ease the transition to working from home. Without proper support, a rapid change in the work format can be detrimental to productivity and results if not managed properly. 

What Are Some Challenges of Working Remotely?

1. Digital Miscommunication

Communication can be misconstrued, as employees respond differently to online interactions. Some people take longer to respond, some keep their responses brief, and others write essays. Transitioning to a work-from-home model increases the chance for misunderstandings to occur, as it is often difficult to detect emotional expression in digital communications.

2. Distractions

Pets, family, phone notifications, and personal business are distracting factors that can affect an employee’s productivity when working from home. Furthermore, the lack of accountability compared to an office space might be one of the main causes of distractions when working remotely, as employees relax when they feel they’re not being constantly supervised. 

3. Lack of Social Interaction

Isolation can be a big challenge for employees. They’re not able to easily communicate with co-workers and have the daily interactions they otherwise would have. The lack of interaction can affect team dynamics and keep your coworkers from building professional relationships. 

4. Lack of Structured Routine

Without scheduled breaks or a fixed work schedule, employees may have difficulty managing their time. Some employees may feel drowned in their work, while others may constantly give themselves a break. With freedom, comes the challenge of learning how to handle it. 

The Benefit of Remote Work for Employers

Human resource management can be challenging in the office, let alone when employees are not on site. However, if you are an employer managing a team, working remotely can be useful for you. Here’s how: 

  • Cost Savings

Companies can expect a significant reduction in their water, energy, and internet bills. Although some companies provide their employees with internet benefits for working remotely, the overall savings in office spaces can be significant.

  • Employee Retention

Employees are more likely to carry on their work despite personal life occurrences, such as maternal/paternal leave or moving physical addresses. Working remotely comes with flexibility, allowing your employees to balance the demands of daily life and maintain a productive work output. 

  • Less Absenteeism

Absenteeism due to commuting problems or other issues is a common occurrence in the workplace. Less commuting time can prompt employees to start work earlier and also takes away the lost workdays that would have happened due to absenteeism.

The Benefits of Remote Work for Employees

  • Flexible Lifestyle

Working remotely allows your employees more freedom to choose to work during their desired hours, as well as choose their place of work. They spend less time commuting and have their own private space, which allows for increased productivity.

  • Improved Health & Wellness

A better work-life balance has increasingly been a priority for employees, and has become essential in increasing employee productivity and happiness. Working remotely increases the available hours in employees’ days, and gives them freedom to practice daily routinessuch as exercising and eating healthythat they wouldn’t have otherwise.

How Can Imagine Better Solutions Help You Manage Your Employees During Social Distancing?

With HR experiences from a multitude of industries, we leverage our comprehensive understanding of people and culture to customize the best-fit solution for your organizationbig or small.

We can create a blueprint for success by assisting you with: 

  • Adapting company policies & employee handbooks 
  • HR advisory
  • Performance & compensation management
  • Turnover reduction
  • Career navigation support 

Contact us today to get started!