5 Challenges To Overcome When Managing A Remote Business
The COVID-19 pandemic has put a strain on many companies, forcing them to adapt to new ways of conducting business and keep afloat in the current economic climate. Whether you’ve just decided to take the leap and switch to a remote working schedule or are a company conducting business with employees from all over the world, there are certain challenges that come with managing a business where everyone isn’t in the same office or even country!
While a remote set up for any business reduces costs and allows for a flexible and versatile setup, there are also certain obstacles. With a variety of challenges, it definitely isn’t smooth sailing in the beginning until you find your footing and set up the right work processes for your team.
1. Resourcing your team
It is always difficult to find the right employees for your company, whether full-time or remote. A couple of meetings is not enough to understand the thought process and work ethics of people. Doing that just over Skype or a video call seems even more difficult. Strengths and weaknesses become more evident as you work together over time and thus, allowing your new hire a chance to make mistakes and learn from them is necessary.
Research your candidates –
When looking for employees for your remote business, always do your research before you reach out so you know if the candidate’s expertise meets your requirements and if they are a good fit or not.
Check testimonials and referrals –
Past work reviews and testimonials can give you an idea of how the candidate is in their work ethic. Check testimonials from previous clients or employers as well as sample work if available.
Think local –
Just because you have a remote company, doesn’t mean your employees or team members can’t be from the same city. Since no one is working from the office, they could literally be in the building across from you!
Use social media websites –
Most creative and budding professionals these days harness the benefits of using social media platforms to showcase their work. Always check their profiles on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to see any relevant information and work.
Agreement of terms –
Once you have zeroed in on your candidates, make sure you set up terms you are both comfortable working with. This will help both you and the employee understand what is expected from the other.
2. Maintaining productivity
As a remote workforce, maintaining productivity and ensuring your team stays motivated always comes as a challenge. It is important that your employees be proactive and self-motivated to complete their tasks in a timely manner. Without this, your company’s growth can be stunted and you can incur losses.
Clear communication –
Stay aligned on tasks and work by constantly being in touch with your team. Schedule regular calls on a daily basis to touch base and ensure clear communication procedures. Read more about communicating clearly below.
Set objectives –
Make sure to set clear objectives for each team member that contributes to the growth of the company as well as their personal and professional development. Communicate short term and long term goals in advance so each member understands the scope of the work and how they can achieve milestones.
Understand your team –
Understand what drives each team member and pushes them to do better. Some people benefit from an incentive-driven process while others do well with positive encouragement. Many people also do well when you use Gamification as a way of motivation and competition.
To know more about how Gamification can help in the workplace, read our blog – Use Gamification to increase employee engagement.
Being flexible in a remote job comes with the territory. This is why you must respect everyone’s varied productivity peaks. As long as they are self-motivated and delivering the work on time, how and when they do it should not be a problem. Try to maintain a structure and cohesiveness when it comes to aligning on flexibility.
Monitor progress –
As a team leader or manager, effective project management is one of your top priorities and monitoring the progress of tasks is important. Tracking progress against expectations is a big part of understanding how each team member is doing to ensure all processes work smoothly.
3. Communication within the team
It cannot be stressed enough that communication is the key to a perfectly working remote business! Without open communication amongst your team, it is impossible to stay on the same page and work together. Staying in touch and being updated on tasks is of utmost importance, and so is communicating expectations for each task.
Plan in advance –
Make sure to plan your communication in advance and intimate the required parties to be there. Plan slots for each day and week as a way to touch base on what has been happening and how each member is moving along with their tasks.
Use tools –
There are several tools available for free or paid that make collaborating with your team seamless and easy. A must-have for businesses of any size is a Customer Relationship Management software that is a cloud-based system and can make communication and coordination between various people much simpler.
To know more about CRM and its advantages, read our blog – 9 Advantages Of Cloud Computing For Remote Working.
Reporting and overview –
Maintain a standardised process for task reporting so you can get a view of what is happing on a daily or weekly basis. This also pushes teammates to meet targets and helps in increasing morale and motivation. As a team manager, you will also be able to easily identify skill gaps and achievements in the day to day work.
Refine communication channels –
Too many communication channels can leave you open to missed messages and unread notes. Minimise and refine your primary source of communication and stick to that platform so nothing is left unnoticed or forgotten.
Manning a remote company comes with its own challenges, but when handled properly, a remote setting can become extremely beneficial. In the next edition, we discuss how to set efficient work processes in place and handle team morale and motivation when working remotely!
If you’re looking for a cloud-based CRM that can efficiently help you handle work remotely, get in touch with our FIVE CRM experts to know more.