Guest post by Rae Steinbach
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to recruit employees from anywhere in the world. With a remote team, you can choose the best people for the job, instead of the best people from within a certain distance closeby.
That being said, there are drawbacks to hiring remote workers. The biggest of which is that you don’t have the opportunity to engage with them face-to-face on a regular basis. This makes it hard to ensure they’re on task.
To maintain an organized work culture and enhance productivity – one which keeps employees focused on their work – ask the following questions when you do get the opportunity to communicate with remote employees.
1. Are There Any Other Team Members You Want To Know Better?
There’s a good chance certain members of your remote team would benefit from knowing more about what their coworkers do. In an office setting, it’s easy for workers to interact with others in their departments. When working remotely, this becomes more difficult. You should facilitate virtual meetings so each team member has the chance to learn about the people with whom they are working.
2. How Can We Improve Communication?
Don’t assume you’re the one person who should decide how to structure the communication processes in your company. Your remote employees may have their own suggestions. Asking this question gives them a chance to voice their ideas.
3. What Challenges Does Remote Working Present?
The challenges involved in remote work may be different from those an employee would encounter in an office setting. You might not know about certain struggles they’re facing in their role. It’s important to find out what’s working for them, and what could be improved upon.
4. Do You Feel Our Virtual Meetings Are Valuable?
You should be devoting a portion of time each week or month to regular virtual meetings, calls, or chats with your remote employees. Checking in on them keeps your workers on task.
However, don’t assume these meetings are inherently valuable. Ask your employees if they feel they’re truly getting something from your interactions. You may need to approach virtual meetings from a different perspective to make them more useful for everyone.
5. How’s Morale?
In an office, it’s not too hard to gauge employee morale. When your employees work remotely, you have no idea if they’re truly satisfied with their duties. Take the time to learn more about how they’re feeling, and make adjustments when necessary.
6. Will You Be Traveling In The Future?
Many remote employees take their work with them on trips. Usually, they’re not as productive during these working vacations. During your regular check-ins, ask if they plan on taking any trips in the near future. This gives you the chance to prepare for a less productive week.
7. How Have You Been Communicating With Other Team Members?
Depending on the nature of your business, there’s a good chance you’re not the only person at the company with which your remote employees will need to stay in regular contact. Make sure they feel that communication amongst all relevant team members is running smoothly.
8. What Are Your Goals For The Quarter?
You want your remote employees to take ownership over their work. Ask them to outline their major goals for the quarter, and compare their answers to your own expectations.
9. Do You Need Additional Training?
When employees work in an office, you can see if they need extra training to more effectively complete their work. You don’t have that luxury when they work remotely. Thus, it’s important to ask if they need any extra help and provide those resources when you can.
10. Has Anything Become Harder Since You Started Working Here?
Too often, managers assume that the changes they make to their processes are always going to be improvements. This isn’t necessarily the case. Sometimes, you can make changes that actually have a negative impact on the overall employee experience. Check to confirm that there are no areas where the job has become harder for employees.
Hiring remote workers gives you the chance to recruit genuinely talented individuals from farther afield than your immediate location. In order for them to be just as successful and productive as the ones in your office, you just need to make sure you’re keeping in touch with them and asking the right questions.
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing, of course.
For more information on managing remote workers, check out:
- How to Manage Inefficient Communication With Freelance Employees
- How to Create a Positive Collaborative Environment for Freelance and Full-time Employees
- Managing Freelancers? How to Help Freelancers Meet Your Project’s Goals And Make Deadlines
- Four Steps to Maintain Organizational Culture with Freelance Employees