Remote Employee Management: How To Manage Remote Employees?

Remote Employee Management How To Manage Remote Employees

Remote workers are people who do their jobs from places other than the usual office. They use apps or software to connect and get work done by working from home (WFH).

If you’re used to managing people in an office but now have to manage remote workers, you need to think about the good and bad sides. It can save money, but it also has challenges.

These challenges include making sure everyone knows what’s expected, keeping good communication, and making the team feel connected even though they’re not together in person.

Also, dealing with different time zones, work styles, and ways of communicating can be tough for managers who are used to everyone being in the same place.

The COVID-19 pandemic made more people work remotely, and experts think this will keep going until at least 2025. So, managers need to learn how to handle remote teams well.

If managers don’t do a good job with remote work, it can mean:

  • Less work gets done
  • Employees aren’t as happy
  • More people quit their jobs
  • It’s harder to reach the company’s goals

That’s why managers need to focus on good ways to manage remote employees to avoid these problems and keep the work environment positive and productive. Important things for managing remote teams well are:

  • Making sure everyone knows what’s expected
  • Giving the right tools and resources
  • Keeping communication open
  • Building trust among team members
  • Encouraging people to be responsible and flexible

Also, some challenges of managing remote workers include:

  • Problems with communication
  • Feeling lonely or isolated
  • Finding it hard to balance work and personal life
  • Worrying about employees getting too tired from work

So, to deal with these challenges, it’s good to:

  • Talk a lot
  • Have regular check-ins
  • Make time for socializing
  • Take care of employees’ well-being
  • Give training and support for remote work skills

Let’s dive deeper into managing remote employees.

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What Is Remote Management?

Remote Employee Management

Remote management means leading teams of employees who work from different places, not just the office. 

It involves using tools like video conferencing calls, different employee management software, and messaging to make sure everyone works well together. 

Expectations When You Are Managing Remote Teams

While starting to lead a remote team, you can face certain issues. Therefore, to avoid major setbacks, here are ten tips to reduce problems.

1. Identify WFH Challenges

When leading a team working from home, the problems that come with it include issues like;

By resolving these issues early, leaders can work on ways to make them less of a problem. This might mean making sure;

  • Everyone can talk easily
  • Giving them what they need to work with
  • Checking in often to keep the team together
  • Making sure everyone has a good balance between work and life

Similarly, making a culture where people support each other and feel included can help with the difficulties that come with working remotely. 

2. Set Clear Remote Work Standards

In the beginning, establish clear rules for how work gets done. For example, agreeing on things like when people are expected to work, how they’ll communicate, and when tasks need to be finished is beneficial.

Moreover, make sure everyone knows when they should be available and how quickly they need to respond to messages. 

3. Identify and Provide The Right Tools

best collaboration software for Remote Teams

The right tools can do the job in a shorter period. First, figure out what your team needs and how they work. You can use platforms like Slack or Microsoft Teams for easy teamwork. 

To stay organized, try project management tools like Asana or Trello. Moreover, use Zoom for virtual meetings and to keep your team connected. 

Similarly, don’t forget secure file-sharing tools like Google Drive or Dropbox

And especially invest in a time tracking and employee scheduling tool for effective remote workforce management. This will ensure employee accountability and help you practice transparency even in remote work environments. 

Pick tools that fit your team’s needs to boost productivity. Check-in regularly to see if the tools are working well and ask for feedback to make sure your team has what they need to succeed.

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4. Set Specific Time For Team Meetings

Setting specific times for team meetings is vital for effective communication and collaboration. By establishing regular meeting schedules, you create consistency and provide clarity on when team members should be available to discuss projects, share updates, and address any challenges. 

It helps remote workers organize their time effectively and ensures everyone is aligned on priorities and objectives.

5. Follow Up With Your Team Regularly

Stay in touch with your team regularly. You should communicate regularly to check progress, deal with problems, and give support when needed. 

By scheduling regular meetings, like daily or weekly catch-ups, you can make sure everyone’s on the same page, clarify what’s expected, and ensure everyone’s doing their part. 

6. Create A Video Or Tip Sheet With Remote Employees

The tip sheet serves as a comprehensive guide outlining set expectations, communication protocols, and best practices for remote work. 

In the video or tip sheet, address key topics such as;

  • Setting clear work objectives
  • Utilizing collaboration tools effectively
  • Fostering a supportive remote work culture. 

Likewise, you can provide practical tips for maintaining productivity, managing time efficiently, and staying connected with team members. 

7. Build Strong Personal Connections

Personal Connections

Hold regular team meetings to keep everyone informed and build team spirit. Try fun online activities like games or cooking classes to bring the team closer.

Keep communication open for sharing work insights and personal experiences. Recognize good work and celebrate team achievements to boost morale.

8. Trust Your Remote Staff

Trusting your remote employees creates a positive work environment and helps them take ownership of their work.

To build trust:

Encourage independence and let employees make decisions, showing them you trust and support them.

9. Focus on Team Collaboration

team Collaboration software

Take team collaboration seriously. Set up regular video meetings, virtual brainstorming sessions, and use project management tools.

Involve everyone and make sure they feel valued by sharing their ideas. Clear communication and collaboration keep everyone connected to the team’s goals. 

10. Keep Face-To-Face Meetings

Video meetings help everyone feel connected and work better together. They let you see each other’s faces and have more personal conversations, which is hard to do over email or messages.

Having these meetings regularly lets you talk about problems, make sure everyone knows what to do, and celebrate successes together. These meetings also build trust and friendship among team members, which is very important for remote teams.

11. Regular Check-Ins

Regular check-ins keep communication clear, offer support, and make sure everyone is on the same page.

By scheduling check-ins daily or weekly, managers can quickly address problems, give guidance, and celebrate wins.

Listen carefully to team members during these sessions, recognize their efforts, and give helpful feedback. Check-ins also help managers see if workloads are fair, spot any problems, and move resources if needed.

12. Seek Feedback and Ideas

feedback

Getting regular feedback and ideas creates a team environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

Managers should make sure communication is open for sharing ideas, concerns, and suggestions for improvement.

Listening to feedback shows respect for everyone’s opinions and helps us get better. Acting on feedback can lead to new and better ways of working and make the team feel more positive.

13. Set The Example

Managers should follow company rules and set an example. Be on time for virtual meetings and respond to messages quickly. Share your schedule and encourage others to do the same for transparency.

Stay positive and flexible with remote work challenges. Listen to your team, address concerns quickly, and give helpful feedback.

Recognize achievements to build a culture of accountability and appreciation. Learn and use remote tools effectively to show their importance and encourage team use.

Maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life and promote breaks for everyone’s well-being.

As a manager, you must maintain a healthy balance between work and personal life and promote breaks for everyone’s well-being. 

14. Encourage Socialization

Encourage your team to chat and hang out online.

Organize informal meetings like virtual coffee breaks or fun activities. Create separate chat groups for non-work topics. Building these social interactions helps everyone feel connected and boosts teamwork and morale.

15. Create Accountability

employee accountability

Set clear rules and expectations for accountability. Let team members work independently but ensure they know how success is measured.

Check in with them often to offer support and track tasks.

Encourage honesty and openness so people feel comfortable sharing progress and problems. Celebrate successes and praise individuals and the team.

16. Respect Time Zones

Considering time zones means being mindful that team members work in different parts of the world. Schedule meetings and communication times to accommodate everyone’s time zone, so nobody has to wake up too early or work too late.

Respecting time zones shows you care about your team’s work-life balance and treat everyone fairly.

Using scheduling tools in communication apps can make it easier to coordinate across time zones and keep everyone connected without causing too much trouble.

17. Do Virtual Team-Building

Managers should focus on virtual team bonding activities for your remote workers. 

It includes things like playing games, virtual escape rooms, or having GIF battles. These activities break up the remote work routine, and everyone indulges in fun.

Regularly organizing these virtual team-building sessions allows team members to connect and strengthen their relationships, even if they’re far apart.

To enhance the experience, consider incorporating video call sessions where team members can interact face-to-face, even if virtually. This helps new team members get acquainted with the company values. It’s especially important for new hires to feel connected from the start. 

Encouraging team members to send Slack messages can also foster a sense of community. Provide templates for common messages to make communication easier and more consistent.

Promoting a healthy virtual work environment can be achieved through offbeat activities like a virtual off-site event where everyone participates in fun challenges from their laptops. Emphasizing the importance of telecommuting and setting clear boundaries between personal and work-related time is vital. 

Additionally, encouraging employees to maintain a dedicated workspace at home can improve productivity and work-life balance. 

18. Document Processes

Managers who write down everything create a good learning and improving atmosphere. It helps everyone understand their tasks, even if you’re not in the same place. 

Writing things down makes a guide that makes work easier and reduces mistakes. It’s also helpful for new team members to learn quickly how things work. 

Moreover, when there’s a problem, having things written down helps you solve it by yourself. So, always ensure you have a good system for writing down all the necessary work your team does to keep things running smoothly and everyone on the same page.

Buddy Punch | Best Remote Employee Management Tool 

Buddy Punch is a useful tool for tracking your employees’ work hours. It’s easy to use on computers (Windows or Mac) or mobile phones (Android or iOS), so your team can clock in and out from anywhere.

The majority of businesses use Buddy Punch to manage their remote workers. It helps them track hours worked, avoid overtime, and handle time-off requests all in one place.

Managers can easily view and approve time cards, track employees with GPS, and get alerts if someone is working overtime or not following their schedule.

Unlike old tracking methods that can make mistakes and waste time, Buddy Punch does everything automatically. It ensures paychecks are correct and saves time using its built-in payroll system.

It’s easy to use and has different pricing options, so even small businesses can manage their team better and get more done.

1. Real-Time Time Tracking

You can eliminate manual time tracking and data entry errors with Buddy Punch. Its automated system ensures accurate records, saving you valuable time and effort.

Adding a new PTO Accrual Rule in Buddy Punch

Moreover, it offers features like PTO accruals, job costing, and overtime alerts, empowering you to manage your team efficiently. 

Whether you’re overseeing a small team or a large enterprise, Buddy Punch adapts to your needs with flexible pricing options.

New Notifications: Alex Wizard working overtime Walker inc

2. Employee Scheduling

Buddy Punch removes manual scheduling headaches with advanced automated efficiency. You can create, update, and distribute schedules in minutes with it. 

Moreover, drag-and-drop functionality makes it easy to adjust shifts on the fly, ensuring adequate coverage of your team.

Assign all punches inside the geofence to: Location or Department

Furthermore, from tracking time off requests to monitoring overtime, Buddy Punch has you covered. Similarly, geofencing and GPS tracking ensure your remote team members stay accountable and productive.

GPS Setting: Allow GPS Tracking

3. Monitor Overtime

This tool offers real-time insights into your employees’ hours, ensuring you stay on top of their workload without micromanaging. 

You can set daily and weekly overtime thresholds and receive notifications with customizable alerts. This proactive approach helps you adjust schedules accordingly while avoiding costly overtime expenses.

Moreover, it also offers other time-tracking options, allowing you to effortlessly manage attendance, time off, and overtime in one centralized platform. 

Whether your team works remotely or in-office, Buddy Punch ensures accurate time tracking and payroll processing, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.

4. Employee Accountability

This tool helps businesses keep track of employee work hours, handle time-off requests, and process payroll accurately. 

Employees can easily clock in and out from any device, giving managers instant updates on their hours. 

Another great thing about Buddy Punch is its strong reporting. It offers detailed timesheets and custom reports on overtime and time off.

Moreover, it links with popular payroll systems like QuickBooks and ADP, simplifying payroll and reducing mistakes. 

Buddy Punch doesn’t just track hours—it also promotes responsibility. Automatic break deductions and overtime alerts help manage costs and rules.

5. Manage Time Off Requests

Timecards > Add New > Time Off

With Buddy Punch, employees can easily submit time off requests from any device, whether they’re working from their home office or on the go. Managers can quickly review and approve requests, ensuring smooth scheduling and staffing.

6. Manage Time Cards

Buddy Punch erases the hassles of manual time tracking. This intuitive software simplifies time tracking, allowing employees to clock in and out from any device with just a few clicks.

Buddy Punch keeps all your time records in one accessible location, removing the need for multiple systems or departments. It neatly organizes everything, from vacation time to sick leave.

7. Employee Reporting

Buddy Punch automates the employee reporting process, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. 

Collect Employee Timesheets Without Chasing Up

With integrated payroll systems, you can easily track hours worked and ensure compliance with wage and hour regulations. 

Moreover, Buddy Punch offers customizable reports, allowing you to gain valuable insights into your team’s productivity.

Furthermore, it offers features like geo-fencing, GPS tracking, and webcam images for added accountability. You can ensure your team stays productive and compliant with automatic break deductions and overtime alerts. 

8. Integration With Other Tools

This user-friendly software easily syncs with popular business systems, allowing you to combine your data and streamline your operations.

Whether you use QuickBooks, Paychex, or ADP, Buddy Punch covers them all. Its integrations ensure smooth data flow between your time tracking, payroll, and accounting systems, saving you time and reducing the risk of errors.

Furthermore, it offers customizable reports and flexible features like QR codes, empowering you to customize the software to your unique business needs. Plus, with its mobile apps for both iOS and Android, your team can easily track their time from anywhere.

9. Payroll Option

Buddy Punch’s payroll system ensures accurate and timely processing of wages, reducing the risk of noncompliance with wage and hour regulations.

Moreover, from automated break deductions to customizable reports, Buddy Punch has everything you need to keep your remote team organized and efficient.

With Buddy Punch, you can easily track vacation time, sick days, and company holidays while allowing your team to submit PTO requests from anywhere. 

Buddy Punch’s Online Reviews

As of the writing date, Buddy Punch has 4.8 out of 5 stars and 976 reviews on Capterra.

Below, we’ll list just a few reviews that speak to Buddy Punch’s ease of use and great customer support service. (Click here to explore the full list of reviews.)

“We needed a new solution for timekeeping and Buddy Punch came through! Onboarding and integration was so easy. Once I figured out all the setting options, it’s really easy to customize exactly what you need. Employees love using it because it’s so straightforward to use.”

Click here to read full review

“Overall this platform has been a time saver and wonderful addition to our payroll and time management. Staff can clearly see their hours and submit for approval after they review. It allows for accuracy and transparency.”

Click here to read full review

“BuddyPunch has been very helpful and I am glad my organization made the switch from our previous tracker to BuddyPunch. As mentioned earlier, the ease of use of BuddyPunch is what separates it from a lot of competitors.”

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If you feel that Buddy Punch might be the right fit for your business, sign up for a 14 day free trial (no credit card needed). You can also book a one-on-one demo, or view a pre-recorded demo video.

Must-Have Traits for a Remote Manager

Operations Managers

Here are the essential traits a manager needs to effectively manage a remote team:

1. Self-Awareness

A self-aware remote manager knows their own strengths, weaknesses, and habits. This helps them adjust their management style. They can recognize when they need more training and seek help to improve.

2. Empathy

Empathy allows a manager to understand and relate to their team members’ feelings and challenges. This helps them connect on a deeper level and recognize individual needs and concerns.

3. Leadership Presence

To be an effective remote manager:

  • Show confidence and authority.
  • Set clear goals and keep the team informed.
  • Be open to feedback and approachable.
  • Lead by example with professionalism and dedication.
  • Use technology to stay connected and support the team.
  • Create a positive culture by celebrating achievements and making everyone feel included.
  • Be flexible and resilient, earning the team’s trust.

4. Thorough Understanding

A remote manager should understand the ins and outs of remote work, including challenges and opportunities. This means:

  • Knowing the necessary technology for communication and teamwork.
  • Clearly communicating expectations.
  • Being aware of issues like isolation or stress.
  • Continuously learning new strategies and methods for remote work to improve.

5. Trust Building

Trust is necessary for managing remote teams. A remote manager needs to:

  • Set clear expectations.
  • Provide regular feedback.
  • Communicate and make decisions reliably.
  • Be honest about company goals, rules, and performance.
  • Encourage team members to speak up and listen to their input.

These qualities will help you effectively lead your remote team and achieve success.

What Should The Workflow Be For Onboarding Remote Employees?

Improve Employee Onboarding

Onboarding remote employees effectively is necessary for their success and retention. 

The process should be structured and comprehensive to help new employees understand their roles, integrate into the company culture, and get up to speed quickly. 

Here’s a simple and effective workflow:

  1. Set Expectations: Clearly define job roles, responsibilities, and goals from the start. This helps new employees understand what is expected of them.
  2. In-Person Welcome: If possible, arrange for an on-site visit during the initial days. This helps in building a personal connection and makes new employees feel valued.
  3. Human Resources Introduction: Have the HR team explain company policies, benefits, and workflows. They should also provide an overview of the company’s work model and work policies.
  4. Employee Engagement: Encourage employee engagement through various initiatives. This can include virtual team-building activities, mentorship programs, and regular check-ins to make new employees feel part of the team.
  5. Communication Tools: Introduce the new employees to the communication tools used in the company, such as email, video conferencing, and the Slack channel. Ensure they are comfortable using these tools to stay connected with their team.
  6. Discover Company Culture: Help new employees discover the company culture through informal interactions and social activities. Virtual coffee breaks or a dedicated water cooler chat on Slack can be very effective.
  7. Best Work Practices: Share best practices and guidelines that help employees do their best work. This can include tips on time management, collaboration, and productivity.
  8. Metrics and Performance Tracking: Explain how performance will be measured. This includes key metrics that will be used to assess their contributions and progress.
  9. Work Day Structure: Provide a clear outline of a typical work day, including meeting schedules, project timelines, and deadlines. This helps new employees manage their time effectively.

Retention Strategies: Implement strategies to improve retention. Regular feedback sessions, opportunities for professional development, and recognizing achievements can keep employees motivated and committed.

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