Managing Employees From Home: 8 Tips to Be a Better Remote Boss


Being a boss is hard work. You constantly have to straddle the fine line between being liked and respected by your employees and empowering them to get things done. If you’re not strong enough as a manager, your staff might lose respect for you and lack the motivation to be productive. But on the other hand, if you come down too hard on them you risk creating a toxic work environment and pushing your employees away.

In addition to managing a team of staff, you also have countless other tasks to focus on: seeking new business opportunities, meeting with clients, and writing proposals. This is why many managers use Small Business HR Software in order to help them balance all of their tasks. You likely have very little free time on your hands, and as a result, working remotely is sometimes the more practical option.

Telecommuting is an increasingly common practice worldwide. Advances in collaboration technology have made it easier than ever for colleagues to communicate and work on projects remotely. The global pandemic has accelerated this shift, with many companies now permanently adopting hybrid working structures where their employees divide their time between the office and their homes. 

As a manager, remote working can make you considerably more productive. For a start, it eliminates a lengthy commute into the office, giving you more time in your day to focus on your work tasks. It gives you more flexibility and freedom in your day to move things around when necessary as well as fitting in personal errands like doctors appointments and childcare. Your mental health will also benefit, as you’ll be less stressed and anxious.

The advantages of remote working are clear, but can you be a good boss while working from home? If your team is located in a distant office or scattered around the country in their homes, then how can you bring them together and keep them motivated and engaged with their work? Keeping projects on track might pose a challenge if you don’t have everyone in one place to check on progress.

So how can you reconcile remote management with high productivity and employee satisfaction? Fortunately, there are ways you can work successfully from home while still being a great boss. Here are eight great tips to help you supercharge your leadership.

Maintain regular communication

If you aren’t sharing office space with your employees, you need to make sure you are keeping  in constant communication.  This way you can check in with them on the progress of important tasks, while you can simultaneously be there for them to ask you questions and respond to requests. Email will be the most common method of communication, so make sure you are prompt at replying. Video collaboration technology such as Zoom is a much more personal form of communication, so strive to chat to your staff with a video call rather than an impersonal email or phone call. A large portion of communication lies in body language, so you can all communicate more effectively when you can see each other on the screen.

Use apps

It can be hard to keep track of projects when you’re working remotely, but there is plenty of technology available to help you in this regard. Project management tools such as Slack, Trello, and Basecamp allow you to manage your whole team through a single interface. You can assign tasks, message team members, check in on progress and evaluate overall productivity by seeing how much time is spent on particular jobs. 

Tools like Sling can make you more efficient when it comes to payroll by allowing you to calculate full-time versus part-time versus overtime work hours with ease. Processing employee hours has never been so simple.

Be friendly

When the majority of communication occurs through text and email, a great deal of meaning can be lost in translation. If you are in a hurry, it is understandable that you might compose hurried responses or send short, efficient replies. But without the context of body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions, these interactions can often seem aggressive and rude. When communicating with your staff therefore, make an effort to be lighthearted and friendly. Take a little extra time when composing your email to make it sound polite and convivial. And there’s nothing wrong with adding the odd smiley face emoji to lighten the mood.

Create a home office

When you work from home, it’s easy for the lines between your professional and personal lives to become blurred. You end up working on your sofa or in bed, and letting your working day stretch long into the evening. In order to get your best work done, you need to have a workspace that is separate from your homelife, as well as a strict routine. Allocate an area of your home to serve as your private office and try to do the majority of your work here. This way, when you clock out at the end of the day it is easier to take your mind out of work mode and relax. Keep your office neat and tidy to ensure you can focus on your work, and consider investing in some storage solutions to keep the space organised. 

Don’t micromanage

Being physically apart from your employees can make you feel a little helpless as a manager, but it’s important to trust your employees and let them get on with their tasks. Although you need to stay updated on progress, you shouldn’t be overbearing. Micromanaging is one of the most unattractive traits in a manager, and will lead to your staff resenting you. You hired each of your employees for a reason, so trust your good judgment and give them the freedom to work at their own pace without you constantly breathing down their necks.

Schedule in-person meetings

A close-knit team who like and respect each other will work better than a team of complete strangers. For this reason it’s important to strengthen the social bonds within your company by scheduling occasional in-person meetings. This can be as infrequent as once a month, but it will give everyone a chance to catch up and make a welcome change from constant Zoom calls. As well as business meetings, you should also arrange social events to help maintain a positive work environment and allow everyone to let their hair down. These can include team dinners, drinks, or fun activities like escape rooms and crazy golf.

Show that you care

The majority of your interactions with your staff will be about business matters, but you should make an effort to show them that you care about them outside of the context of work. Even small gestures like birthday and Christmas cards will show your team that you value them. Let them know they can come to you with any issues they may have and that you’ll do your best to help them. Showing your compassionate side will make them happier about coming into work, and they;ll be more productive as a consequence.

Prioritize your own mental health

Remote working has so many benefits, but it can also be isolating. Working by yourself at home doesn’t give you the social advantages that a shared workspace brings. You don’t enjoy the water cooler chats and the office in-jokes. For some managers, this can take a toll after a while. Look after your own mental health by following a routine. Assign fixed hours to start and finish work in order to allow time for self care. Schedule exercise and enjoyable hobbies into your day, and make sure you find time to socialise with your friends and family outside work.

Speak Your Mind