At RevaHealth.com, we depend on teams at remote locations to gather a lot of our information for us. The challenges presented by both the time differences and the geographical distance have led us to put together a fool-proof, 5 point plan to help us successfully manage our remote workers.
Before remote workers can start doing their job, itâ€™s up to us to have everything well prepared for them. We have to create, gather and distribute all the initial data that they will need, and make sure whatever software theyâ€™re going to be using works. Processes need to be documented and explained so that we can communicate clearly and quickly with our remote workers.
We have to provide very explicit training based on our documentation; including screen shots of a step-by-step process helps a lot. The workers will often print out and read the instructions while we explain the task over the phone or via email, making notes as they go along. Providing every bit of detail, down to the smallest part of the task, is essential. We have to remember that something that is obvious to us may be completely foreign to someone else. So, by explaining each part of the task step-by-step in a logical order, we are more likely to get positive results.
It is vital to give remote workers the chance to ask questions. Communication is the key factor when it comes to managing remote teams. Take all questions seriously and answer them as quickly as possible. Providing feedback every day lets workers know that their job is important to us and that we appreciate their efforts, and, of course, this encourages them to work harder.
Scheduling is very important, both in terms of what times we can communicate with each other and also in terms of setting deadlines and goals. It may be necessary to have the person responsible for remote worker management come in earlier or later than other members of staff, so that communication lines are open for longer. We also have to set up realistic and deliverable goals and deadlines for the individual tasks that we set. Repeatedly asking your team to do the impossible will most likely result in not a lot getting done!
Technical problems will invariably arise, forcing us to change what our remote workers are doing. Thatâ€™s another reason why communication is essential in every situation. Always have some back-up work ready to go so that if the project youâ€™re focusing on has to suddenly stop, youâ€™re not left paying for workers to sit idle. If we provide enough information about what is happening on our side, our remote workers understand and can move on to the next task.