Don’t Make These Mistakes When Managing Remote Workers

The pandemic has forced many companies to shift from in-person work to remote work. Workers were already seeking more flexibility before the first toilet paper run hit. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 5.7% of workers were already working remotely in 2019, and the number was slowly increasing. Remote work has major benefits, including higher employee satisfaction and increased productivity. However, managing remote workers requires a different approach than managing in-person workers. In this article, we will explore common mistakes managers make when managing remote workers and how to avoid them.

Workers were seeking more flexibility even before the pandemic

The general trend of workers seeking more flexibility and autonomy in their work was on the rise before the pandemic hit. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report, the number of American workers working from home or remotely had grown by 2.4% between 2017 and 2018 alone. This means that the pandemic response, although rapid and widespread, was a reaction to a shift in the workforce and not the sole instigator.

5.7% of workers were already working remotely in 2019

Remote work is not a new concept, and the number of remote workers has been steadily increasing for years. Before the pandemic, 5.7% of workers were already working remotely, and this number was slowly increasing. The shift to remote work has only accelerated this trend.

Major benefits of having remote workers include

Remote work comes with several benefits, including increased productivity, access to a wider talent pool, and higher employee satisfaction. According to a study by Owl Labs, remote workers are 13% more likely to report being “very happy” at work compared to their in-office counterparts.

Forgetting to establish clear boundaries and expectations

One of the most common mistakes managers make when managing remote workers is forgetting to establish clear boundaries and expectations. This can lead to confusion about what work needs to be done and when it needs to be done, which can result in missed deadlines and increased stress.

The importance of communicating availability and scheduling break

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to establish clear boundaries and communicate them to your remote workers. This includes letting them know when you’ll be available to respond and reminding them to take regular breaks and stick to your agreed-upon schedule. It’s also important to encourage your remote workers to communicate their schedules and availability to you.

Neglecting technology

Another mistake that managers make when managing remote workers is neglecting technology. Remote workers need reliable technology to be able to perform their jobs effectively. This includes access to fast and dependable internet, video conferencing software, and project management tools.

Micromanaging your remote workers can be a death sentence for productivity and morale. Remote workers need to feel trusted and respected in their work. Micromanaging can create a sense of disempowerment and frustration.

Leaving employees out of company events

Remote workers can often feel left out from company events and culture, which can lead to a sense of isolation and disconnection from the company. Managers need to make sure to include remote workers in all company events and culture to avoid such feelings.

Giving special treatment to in-person employees

Managers may inadvertently give in-person employees special treatment, which can lead to resentment and division among workers. Depending on the situation and your state’s laws, this could even be seen as discrimination, and your company could face major consequences.

Possible consequences of discrimination

– Decreased productivity and morale among employees who experience discrimination
– Legal action and financial penalties against individuals and organizations who engage in discriminatory practices
– Damage to the reputation and image of an organization or community that is perceived as discriminatory
– Economic inequality and limited opportunities for individuals or groups who are discriminated against
– Negative impact on mental and physical health for those who experience discrimination
– Social unrest and tension between different groups in a community.

Discrimination can lead to a toxic work environment, low employee morale, and even legal action. Managers need to be aware of the unintended consequences of their actions and ensure that all workers are treated fairly and equally.

Managing remote workers requires a different approach than managing in-person workers. Clear communication, trust, and technology are essential. Remote work has significant benefits, including higher employee satisfaction and increased productivity, but managers need to be aware of the common mistakes and pitfalls that can hinder remote worker success. By avoiding the common mistakes outlined in this article, managers can help their remote workers succeed and thrive in their jobs.

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