Remote working is no longer just a trend. Approximately a quarter of U.S. workers are engaged remotely, according to a survey by Upwork. Because of this, thousands of managers and team leaders are having to learn how to effectively manage remote teams. This guide, courtesy of Let’s Ecommerce, will help you learn how to make your e-commerce business more successful by effectively managing remote workers.
Rethink Your Assets
You’ve probably heard it said that your employees are your most valuable asset. When properly vetted, TriStarr notes remote workers are just as trustworthy as on-site workers. Be sure to discuss remote experience and conduct interviews in the same format you expect candidates to work. Other steps are similar to vetting in-house staff: develop a list of questions that are pertinent to your situation, check references, and verify work history.
You not only need well-chosen candidates, but you also need to ensure that you protect the information you exchange with them. Simple actions like proper password protocols and installing firewalls can make the difference between sinking and swimming if your company is targeted by cybercriminals.
There is another layer of protection new and growing e-commerce businesses should consider as well. Look into what it takes to form an LLC. An LLC offers key benefits to entrepreneurs. Because your assets are treated as separate from the business, in most situations, your personal assets are protected from being seized to pay the debts of your business.
Build Your Team
As Achievers explains, one of the key advantages to hiring remote workers is that you aren’t limited to only candidates who live near your physical location. However, having such a large pool of potential employees can make filtering through applications a challenge. You can make this process easier by utilizing hiring software. Software programs use technology, such as artificial intelligence, to sort through resumes and other information to provide you with a list of high-quality candidates. Consider also employing social media sites, such as Xing and Opportunity.
Use Technology Effectively
One of your most important goals as a manager should be to keep your remote employees engaged. Email and text messages can be effective for some tasks, but you can increase your productivity by utilizing technology specifically designed for remote work, such as Microsoft Teams or Slack. Team members anywhere in the world can connect through these services. For instance, if you’re one of the many e-commerce business owners who elects to hire remote staff in India, you can stay in touch any time and from anywhere, day or night.
Of course, the tools at your fingertips extend beyond basic communication. Processing payroll while in the field is made simple and convenient thanks to platforms like QuickBooks Payroll mobile app, which allows you to pay your employees from your smartphone, as well as being reminded about paydays and tax filing deadlines. The app also allows you to edit employee information and run reports on the go.
Create Realistic Expectations
Just like on-site employees, remote employees perform better when they have a set of realistic goals to work toward. This is particularly important for remote employees because they will be spending more time performing unsupervised work. Having a set of achievable goals helps keep them on track and avoids employees wasting time because they don’t know what to do next.
Focus on Outcomes
Remote work and micromanaging don’t go together. Rather than focusing on how many hours your employees are working or what specific activities they are doing at any particular time, focus your energy on the results. As long as your team is achieving the results you want, you don’t need to spend your time worrying about the daily grind.
Managing remote teams can be a challenge, but it is worth overcoming for the many benefits provided by employing remote workers. With the technology available to e-commerce businesses today, once you get the hang of it, you may find managing remote teams is not that much different than managing workers on site.