From a better work-life balance to pandemic prevention, remote work benefits your company in multiple ways. It helps you reduce operational costs and gives you access to the global talent pool. Above all, it enhances employees’ productivity, engagement, and retention.
However, managing remote employees can be challenging. Be it keeping your remote teams motivated or ensuring proper cybersecurity practices, you need to invest in the right tools to help you.
Statistics say that 90% of cybersecurity problems are caused by employees’ negligence. For businesses hiring remote workers, cybersecurity risks are even higher.
Using personal devices for work, remote employees are more likely to use social networks, open risky emails, and click on suspicious links. They use the very same devices to access the company’s digital accounts, such as your document sharing platforms, accounting platforms, CRM systems, social media profiles, etc.
Employees are often not aware of their role in the company’s security. They create weak passwords they can easily remember and reuse them on multiple platforms. Lots of sensitive, business-related data is floating around, risking being intercepted by hackers.
One of the most vital ways to mitigate cybersecurity risks is to invest in a password manager, such as Dashlane, LastPass, or NordPass. Password managers create random, complex passwords automatically and offer auto-logins. This way, they simplify employees’ lives and help you set the basic cybersecurity standards for remote workers to implement. Another thing to consider is when your employees have to travel abroad for business purposes or even if they're on vacation and decide to do a bit of work, they will need to ensure they have proper data protection then, not only by using a secure password, but by checking out this keeping data safe guide to find out other ways in which they can keep their data safe.
Fast internet connections are the foundation of remote work. They help employees communicate faster, share data in real-time, and provide better customer support. MonsterCloud claims that 60% of employees consider slow internet connections extremely annoying. Cramped screens, low-quality video calls, or unreliable Wi-Fi are just some of the numerous problems they face.
To remedy the tech headaches of working from home, remote employees should first choose the right internet provider. Some of the factors they should look for are reliability, speed, ping rate, and the type of connection. When compared to other types of internet connections, internet fiber technologies may benefit remote workers the most. They require no electricity, offer fast internet speeds of up to 1000 Mbps, and are harder to hack.
Maintaining remote employees’ productivity and improving their communication can be extremely challenging. That is why you should invest in project management tools that will facilitate remote workers’ day-to-day collaboration and activities.
On Basecamp, Trello, or Asana, managers can create multiple projects, add relevant tasks, set clear deadlines, and communicate thorough instructions to all team members. With these awesome tools, managers can plan the entire project from beginning to end, track staff members’ productivity, and manage the schedule more efficiently.
Employees’ productivity will also grow. They will be added only to the projects and tasks they are working on. The email notifications they receive will also be highly relevant and personalised. As all deadlines and assignments are listed logically, it will be easier for employees to prioritise tasks and manage their time more effectively. Above all, they will collaborate easier and share information and files faster.
Remote meetings are critical for your remote employees. With the rise of many cloud-based video conferencing tools like Skype for Business, Zoom, or Cisco WebEx, businesses do not need to schedule in-house meetings. By hosting them virtually, they will improve employees’ attendance and reduce travel costs. Above all, they will increase remote workers’ satisfaction. They can finally communicate with managers and teammates face-to-face and build stronger relationships with them.
For managers, this is an opportunity to build a solid and unique company culture, replicate the everyday office atmosphere, and keep their employees motivated and involved. Many companies, use video conferencing tools for team building. For example, GitLab encourages remote employees to take virtual coffee breaks with their colleagues via video conferencing tools.
Real-time communication is critical for your remote team’s success. As remote employees cannot pop into their manager’s office or ask questions in-person, you need to provide them with software that will enable instant and simple communication. That is where tools like Slack come as a godsend.
In Slack, for example, communication between employees happens in channels. That is a unique place where team members can communicate in real-time and share files and tools. Employees can create countless channels, based on their projects or teams. They can choose what channels they will join or leave.
Apart from helping them complete work-related tasks, instant messaging tools will also increase remote employees’ morale and relationships. For example, they could create a channel in Slack, where they would celebrate birthdays and anniversaries, attach fun memes, share jokes, etc.
Managing a remote team successfully takes time and lots of patience. To deliver your projects on schedule, increase remote employees’ performance, and boost the overall satisfaction, you need to equip your remote team with the right tools. And, I hope this brief list may serve as your solid starting point.
What tools do you use to manage a remote team?
Jacob Wilson is a business consultant, and an organisational psychologist, based in Brisbane. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for Bizzmark blog.