Small Business Tips: Avoiding Common Issues When Managing Remote Employees

  • Communication is essential when managing remote teams, requiring regular video and audio calls and a dedicated communication channel.
  • Project management tools can help you divide tasks fairly and track progress.
  • Building trust with your team is critical to avoiding micromanaging behavior.
  • Invest in the right tools and software, provide adequate training and support, consider outsourcing tech tasks, and establish secure systems.
  • Invest in team-building activities to keep employees engaged and motivated.

Small businesses have steadily transitioned to remote working scenarios over the past few years, and the recent pandemic has accelerated the process quite a bit. While shifting to remote work has many advantages, business owners face unique challenges when managing remote teams. This post will look at the most common issues businesses face while managing remote employees and the strategies you can use to avoid them.

1. Communication Issues

Communication is a challenge for many businesses when they switch to remote teams. Communicating in a physical office is easy; you can quickly check in with your team members. However, with remote work, communication becomes more vital than ever. It requires a deliberate focus to ensure that everybody feels connected and productive.

To avoid communication gaps, make sure to have regular video and audio calls with your remote team members, always respond to emails promptly, and have a dedicated communication channel, such as Slack, for fast communication within the team. This will ensure everyone is on the same page and can quickly get feedback when needed.

People on a video call on a laptop

2. Work Division Complaints

Because remote teams cannot actively monitor each other, it can be difficult to divide tasks effectively. This can lead to some employees feeling like they’re taking on too much work or not enough. You can use project management tools such as Asana or Trello to ensure assignments are distributed fairly to assign tasks and track progress. This will help you track who is doing what and ensure everyone has a fair workload.

You can also consider working with a professional employee organization or PEO to ensure tasks are divided fairly and efficiently. PEO services can help you manage payroll, taxes, and other HR-related functions while taking the workload off your shoulders. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your business.

3. Trust Issues

Lack of trust is another common issue in the remote work scenario, and it could lead to micromanaging your remote team members, which can diminish their productivity. To avoid micromanaging behavior, focus on building trust by committing to giving your remote team members clear goals and deadlines that they can meet independently and deliver work that meets standards. Avoid being too hands-on approach and trust your team to deliver quality work.

4. Tech Problems

Technology issues and a lack of adequate resources are also common issues in a remote work scenario. Because you cannot physically check the computers and equipment of your remote employees, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone has the right tools for their job. To avoid tech issues, consider these tips:

a. Invest in the right tools and software for your remote team.

You want to ensure your team has the right equipment and tools to do their job effectively. For example, investing in a cloud-based document management system is essential if your remote team needs to collaborate on documents.

b. Provide adequate training and support for your remote team.

Ensure you provide adequate training and resources for your remote team members so they know how to use the provided tools. You can also consider hiring tech support resources for your remote employees, so they can get help with any technical issues quickly.

A person using a phone and laptop with media icons

c. Consider outsourcing tech and IT tasks.

If your team is not equipped to handle technical issues, consider outsourcing tech and IT tasks to experts. Outsourcing tech tasks will ensure that any problems are resolved quickly and efficiently.

d. Invest in secure systems and processes.

A secure system is essential for remote work, as it will help you protect your data from any malicious attacks or unauthorized access. Make sure to invest in the right security protocols and processes that will protect your data and resources.

5. Engagement and Retention Problems

With remote work, it’s easy for the team to feel isolated, and employees could begin to feel unmotivated, leading to a high turnover rate. To keep your team engaged, ensure team members feel heard and valued, and invest in team-building activities. You can hold virtual events, have lunchtime chats, and allow team members to connect in a relaxed setting. This will help your team to bond and stay engaged with the work.

By taking proactive steps to avoid the common issues of remote work, you can simultaneously support your team and keep productivity high. With a strong focus on communication, trust, task division, and employee engagement, you can ensure that your remote team is well-equipped to succeed.

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