Remote work has become an integral part of the modern workforce, and as we approach 2024, it's clear that it's here to stay. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work, and according to a study by Forbes, 12.7% of full-time employees are working from home, while 28.2% work in a hybrid model as of 2023. As remote work continues to evolve, effective management of remote workers is critical for businesses to thrive. In order to stay ahead in this environment, we'll discuss six essential steps to effectively manage remote workers ahead of 2024.
- Establish Clear Expectations
Remote workers need clear guidelines and expectations. A study by Buffer found that 32% of remote workers struggle with unplugging after work, leading to burnout. To mitigate this, managers must set clear boundaries and expectations regarding work hours and availability. Use project management tools to outline tasks and deadlines, ensuring everyone is on the same page.
- Invest in Technology
Technology is essential for remote work success, and staying ahead of trends is key moving into 2024. A survey by Gartner revealed that 87% of organizations are investing in technology to improve their remote work capabilities. Providing your remote workers with the necessary tools and software not only boosts productivity but also fosters a sense of connection and efficiency.
- Foster Communication and Collaboration
Effective communication is a cornerstone of all work, especially so when your team is spread out remotely. According to Owl Labs' State of Remote Work report, 44% of remote employees say the biggest struggle is communication and collaboration. To address this, invest in video conferencing tools, chat applications, and project management software. We use Teams regularly in our office during remote days. Zoom is another common program. Encourage regular team meetings and one-on-one check-ins to maintain a sense of connection.
- Prioritize Mental Health and Well-being
Mental health is a growing concern in the remote work landscape. If your organization is lacking on points 1 through 3, then you will find yourself having to play catch up here. Feelings of burnout or being on an island will be commonplace. Managers must actively promote mental health and well-being by encouraging breaks, offering employee assistance programs, and fostering a supportive work environment.
- Evaluate Performance Objectively
Performance evaluations should be based on measurable metrics rather than face time. A study by Prodoscore found that remote workers are 35% more productive when their performance is measured objectively. Use key performance indicators (KPIs) and data-driven insights to assess remote employees' performance fairly. Do not get caught in a trap of just assuming the work is getting done. The next generations of the workforce thrive on consistent feedback, and beefing up your evaluation system now can save you headaches in the future.
- Build a Strong Company Culture
Maintaining a strong company culture in a remote work environment is challenging but crucial. A survey by Remote.co found that 85% of remote companies actively work to cultivate their culture. Organize virtual team-building activities, celebrate milestones, and encourage employees to share their experiences to foster a sense of belonging. Not all cultures or businesses can implement remote work effectively, and that is okay. Take the steps to evaluate what can be done, if anything, to move towards that model in the future.
As we approach 2024, the management of remote workers is pivotal for business success. As remote work continues to grow, adapting to this new landscape and effectively managing remote workers will be essential for businesses to remain competitive and retain top talent. By implementing these six steps, your organization can thrive in the evolving world of work ahead.
HR Advisor, HR Services
Alex obtained his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a focus in Human Resource Management from The University of New Orleans. He has worked in a variety of industries, including not-for-profit organizations, Telecommunications/IT, and Solar/Renewables. In his career, he has focused on human resource and legal compliance for companies operating in multiple states, Professional Development and employee trainings, employee engagement, onboarding, offboarding, and conflict resolution. Alex believes the best part of HR is helping companies create pro-employee cultures, increasing retention and reducing recruiting costs. Alex loves tackling new challenges on behalf of his customers at empact and Crescent.
His personal philosophy is “The obstacle in the path becomes the path. Within every obstacle is an opportunity to improve our condition.” – Ryan Holiday