COVID-19 might have been a catalyst for widespread remote work. Even so, the employment industry would have adopted flexible work conditions sooner or later.
74% of participants in a Growmotely study agreed that the work-from-home model would soon become the standard work method. In addition, an Owl Labs survey reported that 23% of respondents were willing to slash their pay by 10% if it would get them to telecommute permanently.
The traditional work environment won’t be sustainable in the long run, especially for eCommerce businesses. These startups tend to grow fast. At that point, the need to hire customer service representatives, marketers, content creators, developers, and more arises. Going remote is the best way to get the best talent, reduce cost, and run a well-oiled machine.
However, it doesn’t end there. While building a virtual workforce is right for your business, managing it is a different ball game. If you don’t do it right, you might start to rethink your decision to choose a work-from-home staff.
Don’t fret. You need some tips to point you in the right direction. So, how do you manage remote employees effectively? We’ll cover all the necessary pointers in this article.
Stay in Touch
It’s easy to lose sight of communication in a virtual office. In-person meetings are among the main things you don’t get to enjoy in a remote workplace. Besides, some issues can be resolved by simply walking over to a colleague’s desk.
There’s also that concern about physical touch. Social connection is one of the most valuable aspects of working in a traditional brick-and-mortar office.
A Twingate study that surveyed more than 700 employees who transitioned to remote work reported that 45% of participants missed social, face-to-face office interactions.
However, having a remote team doesn’t mean you can’t build a collaborative environment. So, while you can’t shake hands and clink coffee mugs, your virtual team can enjoy engaging interactions and share ideas.
Use tools such as Slack and Zoom to boost communication. Schedule regular meetings and teleconferences. Make sure team members are encouraged to hit the dial button whenever they have any issue or question.
It would help if you also gathered feedback from your team or department heads about communication in the virtual workspace. This way, you get to keep everyone in touch and build a more cohesive team.
Trust is one of the critical ingredients in building and managing an effective remote team. You have to show your employees that you’re confident they can do their jobs. If you choose to micromanage every single process in a project, they could end up second-guessing their abilities. Of course, this could affect productivity.
So, please encourage them to reach out whenever they’re stuck—schedule check-ins and meetings where you can discuss workflow and get progress reports. And importantly, make sure you stick to the schedule and give them enough breathing space.
Remote employees expect flexibility. If you can, allow them to define their hours.
According to Buffer’s 2020 State of Remote Work report, more than 32% of employees cite flexibility as the biggest benefit of working remotely.
It’s difficult enough to maintain a work-life balance while working from home. So, collaborate with them and make sure they have a say in their work hours. They will perform better if they work during hours that are convenient for them.
This would be especially helpful when you consider time zone and cultural differences. In addition, you can manage the situation better by plugging in other workers to fill in spaces.
Leverage Remote Work Tools
Using the right tools alongside engagement-boosting strategies will help you achieve success in a remote eCommerce team. In addition, you have different applications and solutions that facilitate productivity and fast-track projects at your disposal.
Project Management Tools
Working with a remote team means you have to adjust to different work schedules. As we mentioned earlier, most WFH employees like to choose their hours. Some would prefer working at night while others are more efficient during the day.
More so, you have to deal with the reality of time zone differences.
All this can make keeping everyone in sync a challenge.
However, you can easily use project management solutions like Asana to boost collaboration for your remote team. These tools allow you to assign tasks and check milestones. In addition, your workers can share documents and update work progress on the go.
Project management tools are designed to synchronize everyone’s workflow in real-time. This way, it won’t matter if your team is scattered across different time zones.
It would be best if you went for a solution that suits your business processes. Look for one you can easily customize. What’s more, it should offer practical and easy communication features.
Time Management Tools
Every hour counts in eCommerce, primarily when you work with a remote team. As such, time management is critical to the success of any project.
You don’t want team members to fall behind and derail a task.
With the right tool, you can save the day and increase efficiency. It could also help you mitigate procrastination and beat deadlines.
Time tracking apps like Traqq can help your remote workers use their time efficiently. The tool can boost productivity by showing activity levels and the apps and websites most used. This time tracker also simplifies the payroll process by automatically recording time and providing accurate reports on billable hours.
Your eCommerce business won’t survive if your remote team can’t communicate properly. Communication tools allow your team to share ideas, update each other on every project’s progress, and keep them connected throughout a task.
Platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack allow you to easily set up and manage meetings with your remote team.
With most of these tools, you can record entire meetings for reference purposes. There are also security features that help you keep things private.
Sharing and Storage
With file-sharing tools like Google Drive and OneDrive, your virtual employees don’t have to work in isolated environments. Instead, they can edit, share, and save documents where everyone has access.
Managing a virtual team can be challenging, but it’s doable. With these tips and tools, you no longer have to ask, “How do I manage employees online?