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Managing a Remote Workforce vs. Traditional Office

Key differences can make managing a remote workforce a unique experience.

Professionals who have worked in a traditional office environment might find the transition to remote work quite jarring. There isn’t the watercooler experience where employees can chat and gossip to bond with the team or build camaraderie, in fact, employees often do not meet one another unless there is a hybrid option, and even then, there might be some that are left out of the fun, especially if the company hires from an international pool of talents.

Work is work but working remotely comes with some unique considerations. Aside from the obvious of not being physically present, there are a few other key differences that can make managing a remote workforce a unique experience in itself and employers should make concessions for certain departments in order to keep the company running smoothly.


Building trust with ‘strangers’ online

Trust is a key component of remote work, as managers must rely on their employees to complete tasks and meet deadlines without close supervision. Building trust with remote workers requires transparent communication, clear expectations, and recognition of individual strengths and weaknesses. Utilizing a tracking system may be able to bridge the gap between employees and employers in this regard, but it needs to be implemented cleverly and efficiently.

There’s nothing more demotivating than finishing a task faster than expected and not being shown the appropriate appreciation. Instead of using hours to measure whether an employee has done their work, it might be more effective instead if employers use tracking systems to reward their employees. If they finish a task within a certain timeframe, they will be given bonuses or awards to recognize their efficiency.


Bonding is key to a healthy workplace

Ensuring that employees are given the opportunity to get to know their teammates can be as easy as arranging a viewing party or a game night. There are so many ways that technology can be integrated into our everyday lives – as can be seen during the pandemic when friends and family were not able to meet for extended periods of time for fear of spreading the virus. Party games and viewing parties became a hit, which goes to show that where there’s a will, there’s a way. Employers can also deliver gifts or food to their employees during festivities as a show of appreciation.

In a traditional setting, we would more than likely have a traditional get-together after work or Happy Hour during casual Fridays, but since remote work makes that close to impossible, it’s up to employers to be creative with their bonding sessions.


Traditional workplaces often lack flexibility

Flexibility is another big difference between remote and traditional work. In the past, we were often expected to work a set amount of time, largely between the hours of 9 AM to 5 PM, but as remote workers, flexibility should be considered. Some people prefer to work at night, while others prefer to work when their children are at school or even over the weekend. Remote work offers people a more comfortable work-life balance, and employers should embrace that.

Managing a remote workforce comes with its own unique challenges, including building trust with employees, fostering camaraderie, and offering flexibility. Employers need to implement transparent communication and clear expectations to build trust while encouraging bonding opportunities such as virtual team-building activities or gifts.

Flexibility is also important, as remote workers often prefer to work outside traditional hours, offering a better work-life balance. To be successful, managers need to be creative, adapt to new methods, and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of their remote team. By doing so, they can ensure a smooth and productive work environment.


Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.


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