The 6 Challenges of Managing a Remote Workplace and the Best Ways to Conquer Them

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Elisa Mayers10
Head of Customer Feedback
April 21, 2024 at 7:25AM UTC

An essential sign of a company's health and capacity for growth is its workplace culture and management. A lively and dynamic corporate culture makes it simpler to recruit and keep talent, achieve goals, adapt, innovate, and develop. The importance of offering work flexibility to your team is essential for a long list of reasons. This does not include just people who live close to your office; there are cases in that companies have a distributed workforce

Many businesses wish to make significant changes to their operations and employee relations by managing a remote team to improve culture, staff morale, and long-term success. Along with the benefits that come from working remotely, there are moments when it can be challenging to manage.

This article will guide you through some of the many challenges in managing a remote workplace. 

1. Building trust within the workplace. 

It might be challenging for remote managers and team members to develop trust. Employees worry about various things, including whether they will be paid on time, while managers worry that workers aren't finishing the work (or at all, in some cases). Being open and honest can increase trust between both parties, particularly while working remotely. Being open with a remote team will help you establish trust. 

Consider setting in place some of the topics mentioned below:

  • The working hours and scheduled deadlines.

  • Project objectives and goals.

  • Pay rate.

  • Payment schedules.

  • Constant dates on project status.

2. Engagement and team morale.

Meetings with just one person are essential for morale. This kind of meeting, also known as one-on-one meetings with each remote team member, can seem like a burden, but they help employees feel appreciated and allow them a chance to provide feedback on their performance. If these meetings are routinely arranged or are postponed, remote workers may feel connected to the business and confident about their position.

Due to the many various ways that communication can affect working remotely, managing remote employees can be quite tricky. Communication has many different aspects, each with its difficulties and solutions. To avoid the most common ones, make sure to:

  • Have regular meetings with the team. 

  • Be straightforward and respectful. 

  • Make sure everybody on the team shares their accomplishments of the day or week. 

Many positive factors within the company can increase morale. The company culture does have a significant amount of importance on engagement. 

3. Company culture.

Like any other project or initiative, developing a positive workplace culture with a remote team representing your company's values calls for a plan. How the manager or business owner deals with staff is where it all begins. For instance, remote team members must have virtual "open door" policies that allow them to speak with everyone, even the CEO if you want to promote a culture of open communication. Try planning pleasant get-togethers, giving staff gift cards so they can go bowling together, or holding a virtual movie night if you want to foster a fun workplace atmosphere.

4. Keeping track of the workflow.

Knowing someone's productivity when working remotely might make it easier to tell if they are underutilized or not doing their share of the job.

For this reason, remote managers must set up systems to monitor every employee's productivity. This may involve establishing metrics for how much work is expected to be done each day, like:

  • Establishing and managing blog content.
  • 20 social media posts each hour are planned.
  • Per shift, making 150 cold calls.

The metric indicators you decide to use to measure remote workers' productivity should likewise be applied to office workers. This ensures that there are clear expectations in place regardless of how and where your team works.

5. Daily distractions and disturbances.

Keeping your team as productive as possible when they aren't physically collaborating and being held accountable in an office setting can be one of the most challenging aspects of managing remote workers. In a perfect world, remote workers could designate a peaceful, uncluttered area of their home as their home office. Despite a worker's best efforts, disruptions from roommates, family members, pets, and kids are likely to occur. Inform workers that you want to help them maintain a schedule so they can take care of both their professional and personal obligations. Please encourage them to develop effective techniques for their specific situations so they can stay focused and on target while working.

Your team members should be able to critically consider how to reduce these distractions while working because they will likely already be aware of their biggest sources of distraction. Although this will appear different for each team member depending on their work styles, personality, and at-home arrangements, some practical recommendations include promoting productivity tools or providing a package or stipend for a productive remote office.

6. Constant recognition.

Leaders are becoming more aware of how critical appreciation is to employees. It's crucial to thank team members for their hard work in ways that mean something to them. Team members can quickly lose faith in your organization, team, and roles if they work extra hard or put in long hours that go unappreciated.

Even as remote work has become more common, people still want feedback and appreciation. However, one of the difficulties of managing remote workers is that it can be more difficult for many leaders to comprehend the tasks their team is working on fully, what is needed for those tasks, and how well they are doing. A simple thank you can boost the employee's morale. 

Learning as much as possible about improving your hybrid remote managing skills is always the best course of action. But occasionally, we could all use a little more support. Asking for others' opinions and advice is a healthy choice to make your workflow easier. 

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Elisa's combination of curiosity, strong communication skills, and empathic nature which has helped her throughout her career in HR & Recruitment over the 5 years. She currently works as a Head of Customer Feedback at Incognito Apps.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for managers working remotely? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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