Crowdsourcing websites like oDesk make it simple to hire people for remote work, but managing that workforce can be difficult. It’s very difficult to have face-to-face contact, and there’s no real way to monitor their work. To effectively manage a remote workforce, you’ll need to change your mindset, or you’ll end up paying more in the long run. Below are some great tips for managing and motivating remote workers.
- Put your expectations in writing. Once someone is on your team, ensure they understand what they’ll be working on. For instance: if your new hire is doing voice-over work, write a script, tell them what tone you want and provide examples of what you’re looking for.
- Offer bonuses for work that goes above and beyond your requirements. This can include work that’s turned in early, and it’s a great incentive for those in creative fields. You can offer a 10% bonus for every day before the deadline the work is submitted; you’ll get faster turnaround times and higher quality.
- Start and end each work day with a short video chat. If you and your team are working on a months-long project, you’ll need to work extra hard to ensure that you all remain on the same page. A five-minute Skype session is an ideal way to keep up with your project and to identify small problems before they become big ones.
- Handle problems right away. The slightest issue can bring remote work to a stop, and it’s important for you to take whatever steps are necessary to solve or work around the issue. In addition to your daily video meeting, ask workers to contact you right away with questions or concerns.
- Set a work schedule. If your project warrants it, a working schedule will help your team feel more as if they’re ‘at work’. 9 am to 5 pm is a good place to start; a standard work day can increase productivity, and it makes it easier for you to communicate with your workers. Some people are at their best during certain hours; ask your team members when they’re at their best and try to schedule accordingly.
- Separate larger projects into more manageable components. Separating huge projects into more attainable milestones will keep your remote workers on track and let you know of any problems before they get out of hand. Have a team-wide check-in at each milestone, and you’ll have an easier time of tracking and measuring progress.
- Speaking of measuring….you’ll need to track certain performance indicators. Tracking these indicators works for in-office staff, and it can be equally effective for remote workforces. Before assigning a project, find a few of these indicators to track success on a regular basis.
As we said above, managing a remote team can be difficult—but it doesn’t have to be impossible. With the tips given here, you can schedule projects and work hours, monitor progress and let your workers know just what’s expected of them, all without setting foot in an office.
Written by the team at Whitefields Document Storage.