With a great deal of companies now switching to a remote workforce, and many employees having to work from home for the first time, there is an emphasis on getting employees up to speed with their new remote work environments.
However, for many business owners, this is also their first time being away from the office. Managing a workforce remotely is a whole different process than managing employees in the office environment, and there aren’t a lot of resources out there to help business owners adjust to this change.
In this guide, we will discuss how business owners can effectively lead their employees from a distance.
Location, Location, Location
If you don’t create a proper environment for yourself to work in, you are going to have an extremely difficult time effectively leading from home. It doesn’t seem like a huge deal, but your home office set up can have a huge effect on your performance as a leader.
Home offices should be free of any distractions like a television, and should be well organized to promote a clear mindset. Clutter tends to have an opposite effect, as a disorganized office leaves you feeling disorganized yourself.
Another thing concerning your home office that seems insignificant, but in reality can make a huge difference, is your office chair. If you are not comfortable where you work, you are going to be a less productive leader. Choose an office chair that supports your backs, and is comfortable to the point where you could sit in it for the entirety of the workday.
Use the Right Tools
Communication will be one of the hardest tasks when managing your employees from home, but it is arguably the most important aspect of remote work. You don’t have the luxury of simply walking by a desk and explaining a task to your employees, and things tend to get lost in translation when communicating through text or a phone call.
Fortunately, there are some great tools available to business owners that can make life easier when running your company from home.
- CRMs – Customer Relationship Management systems are one of the most useful tools you can utilize as a business owner. With a CRM, you can track the flow of progress with clients/customers, assign tasks to your employees, and much more. There are a ton of different CRMs with various features, so it is a good idea to test a few out before you decide which one is right for your team.
- Video Conferencing Software – Another great tool to utilize when leading a team from home is video conferencing software. Using video to get your point across is much more effective than a message or phone call, and provides a visual aid to help you explain yourself. Most software allows you to share your screen, so your employees can follow step by step.
- Voice Messaging Apps – For those times where you have a lot to say, but don’t necessarily want to have a meeting, voice messaging apps are the perfect middle ground. Most voice messaging apps also have a desktop version, so you can work from both your computer or your phone.
Whatever mixture of communication options you decide to go with, just be sure your team is comfortable using them. If it makes sense to you, but not your employees, your communication efforts will be useless.
When you can’t go around the office and tell your employees what needs to be done when, scheduling becomes more of a priority, and requires more detailed attention. As a business owner, you will have to plan weeks in advance so your employees are not blindsided with work they did not know was coming.
I suggest utilizing one of the CRMs (mentioned above) to schedule tasks, but a regular virtual calendar can also get the job done. However, remember to prioritize tasks based on their deadlines and importance. Tasks that need to be done right away should be labelled as such, and you should make clear to your employees that there is a strict deadline.
Final Thoughts on Leading Your Employees Remotely
Remote employee management comes with its own set of difficulties and obstacles, but there are actions you can take to help yourself.
By creating a good working environment, utilizing the tools available to you, and scheduling with your employees in mind, your company can thrive as a remote workforce.
With proper communication and planning, you can lead your remote employees just as effectively as you would in your office.
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- How Business Owners Can Lead From Home Effectively - August 24, 2020