Remote agencies, also known as virtual agencies, are going mainstream these days. Why? Because it obviously benefits both employers and employees. Employers get to eliminate office costs and increase employee productivity while employees themselves get to work whenever they want and from wherever they want.
However, the general public still doesn’t look favorably upon remote workers. When remote employees start discussing their working lifestyle, people usually just nod, smile, and wonder what they are talking about. This is because working at your own schedule, and without needing to visit the workplace still comes off as an alien concept to most people.
Business owners are smart individuals and have quickly grasped the advantages of letting some or most of their employees work remotely. But even if they do believe in the concept, employers still hesitate because they fear for overall employee work ethic.
In this article, we’re going to discuss seven useful tips from experts that can help you manage a remote agency.
1. Track remote employees’ productivity
Most remote agencies pay by the hour so it makes sense to track employees’ work hours. They can’t physically see most of their employees so it is essential that they have some tools that can observe their daily progression.
Use employee monitoring software to gauge worker productivity and obtain powerful insights regarding your workforce.
2. Leverage screen sharing tools
In a remote agency, it’s not enough to just know employees’ productivity. You also need to see their screens in case they face unforeseen problems. In an office, you could just stand over an employee’s screen and observe their screen but remote agencies obviously can’t do that.
3. Don’t forget video conference technologies
Employees in a remote agency are aware of their decreased visibility. Since they can’t see their managers or supervisors, they are afraid their presence won’t be felt by the company. Use video conference technologies to regularly have face-to-face chats with remote employees and let them feel as if they’re part of a team.
Marcus Tullius Cicero, the Roman statesman, orator, lawyer, and philosopher, said:
“While there are two methods of contending, one by way of discussion, the different via pressure, the former belonging properly to man, the latter to beasts. Recourse must be had to the latter if there be no possibility for using the former.”
4. Be consistent but avoid rigidness
Most remote workers join a remote agency because they believe that remote jobs allow for more flexible hours. As a remote agency manager, it is your duty to make sure employees are consistent. However, don’t be strict and inflexible.
Laozi, the ancient Chinese philosopher, said:
“Whatever is flexible and residing will have a tendency to grow; something is rigid and blocked will wither and die.“
5. Don’t automatically hire workers on a permanent contract
This might be obvious but first test new hires before offering them permanent jobs. Not everyone can adjust to remote jobs. Some people tend to procrastinate when left to their own devices. If they’re not in a professional environment then they don’t feel like working at all.
David J. Schwartz, Jr., the author of The Magic of Thinking Big, said:
“The test of a profitable character is no longer an ability to eliminate all problems earlier than they arise but to meet and work out difficulties when they do arise.”
6. Create chat opportunities for your remote workers
Create and capitalize on opportunities to chat with your remote workers. Let them feel as if they’re in a team. Both formal and informal chats are welcome. This will increase collaboration and camaraderie among team members.
Mark Sanborn, author of The Fred Factor: How Passion In Your Work and Life Can Turn the Ordinary into the Extraordinary, says:
“Employees who don’t feel significant…rarely make significant contributions.”
7. Offer good salaries
In the past, remote agencies used to be rare. Now, that’s certainly not the case because remote jobs are easily available all over the world. This is why it’s important to offer competitive salaries so that employees don’t get the urge to leave.
Robert Bosch, the founder of Robert Bosch GmbH, said:
“I don’t pay appropriate wages due to the fact I have a lot of money; I have a lot of cash because I pay good wages.”
These are just some tips that managers can utilize in a remote agency. Every employee is different. Their reactions and responses will be different as well. Adopt techniques that work and discard methods that don’t work. Also, make sure to select a good time tracking software for employees. It will keep you from a world of hurt.