In distributed companies, employees do their work remotely. This is a growing business trend, greatly assisted by web-based technology such as video conferencing and shared software. However, someone still must manage these remote workers. While this presents challenges, it also draws on technology for its solutions.
While maintaining regular contact with suitable communication channels is clearly essential, so is dealing with the administration of remote employees, including payroll, time management and absence recording.
For remote managers, communication is key, and setting the clear standards for this is essential.
“In an arms-length work environment, a leader must ensure the cohesiveness of their team,” Tim advises, “because remotely, the opportunities for misunderstandings multiply”
This requires optimising communication tools to fully engage with employees.
“It is vital that remote workers are held accountable, which requires setting clear goals and responsibilities,” explains Tim.
“It’s about striking the right balance between close management and giving people enough freedom to thrive, to ensure they can work effectively at a distance,” Tim remarks.”
A recent survey of remote workers in the US found that they are generally happier and feel more valued. However, having the right back office systems in place is essential in successfully managing a remote workforce.
Time and Attendance
“You can’t have freedom without responsibility,” Tim states, “and to reinforce this you should have the right administrative functions in place to properly manage your remote staff.”
“While in some sectors, letting go of paperwork in favour of software has been a slow process, for remote workers this is unavoidable, if a business is to manage its HR and payroll efficiently and effectively,” explains Tim.
“Clearly documentation is limited by the dispersed nature of your workforce, so it’s essential to implement transparent systems for monitoring things like timekeeping and absence, along with pay records,” Tim advises.
“Remote workers remain a vital asset, but potentially a costly one. What software solutions need to offer at an administrative level is clear visibility when it comes to staff costs, including detailed reporting”
“What specialised software can do is add value to the whole workforce administrative process,” Tim concludes. “because it can integrate several different HR and payroll functions, so that there is an overview and thorough cross-referencing.”