Remote working is on the increase for office workers and more hands-on staff. The internet age has ushered in a whole new way of working. There’s no need to brave the daily commute just to pick up your correspondence or have a meeting – you can now do these things remotely and at a click of the mouse. It’s good news for managers and staff everywhere.
However, when you’re a manager or responsible for running a business things are a little more challenging. How can you be sure that your employees are at work, that you can access confidential management data or generally keep on top of things?
Many sectors have staff working at dispersed sites – these are employees who work ‘in the field’ whether it’s cleaners moving from site to site, construction workers based on building sites or hospitality staff working at different event venues. These businesses also often have a high proportion of part-time and flexible workers therefore staff who are not routinely supervised. Their immediate managers or supervisors are often at a different location but still need to keep track of staff at the different locations. This all adds up to making things more complicated for managers running teams remotely.
Here are 5 tips for running a business remotely:
- Technology is your friend – carefully choose and use the right technology to enable you to stay in touch with your employees and to manage the business remotely. Reliable internet and hardware goes without saying but your choice of software is crucial too.
- Recruit the right staff – when hiring try to recruit people who you think will support you and who understand the demands of your business. As a remote manager, you’ll want to be on the lookout for employees who are enthusiastic and honest, to help your business thrive and grow.
- Make yourself known – once you’ve recruited the right staff don’t be tempted to disappear and manage remotely all the time. You’ll want to retain and motivate them so stay engaged with them – it will help foster a good sense of team spirit.
- Choose a good cloud-based time and attendance system – this means that your staff can clock-in and out remotely – you can be sure that hours worked are being logged properly and that the automated system will relay the correct information to payroll. There are a variety of clocking in and out options to choose from. uAttend’s phone and smartphone app clocking in system is especially useful for tracking remote employees. If there are any concerns about ‘buddy clocking’ (staff clocking in for each other) then go for our biometric fingerprint and facial recognition clocking in systems which prevent these problems while you’re not there.
A major plus of a good cloud-based time and attendance system is that you can access it from any PC or internet-enabled device – your employee data will be available to you anywhere, anytime.
- Be a pro-active communicator – be more vigilant and diligent about checking your communications – email, voicemails and alerts. If you’ve got an efficient time and attendance system, then you can set it up to send you alerts when workers don’t clock-in as expected. (In our Chronologic Workforce Management System alerts can be set for numerous other things about which you want reminders e.g. licence renewals and training updates).
While the idea of running a business remotely may evoke an idyllic picture of sitting in a trendy coffee shop sipping a latte with laptop at your fingertips, we know the reality is far more challenging. It’s not always easy for the remote manager to know what is going on with their staff and projects. That’s why it’s important to give some thought to managing all sides of the business – the financial and the people side. You’ll still need to manage but in a different way.
However, with the right mindset and tools to help you there’s nothing to stop you working from your favourite coffee shop!