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Remote Workforce Management: Comprehensive Guide For 2024

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Do we really need offices anymore? This question has been more prominent than ever in the past two years as the world keeps changing.

The initial answer of “Turns out; No!” evolved into a “Well… It’s complicated.” with “Remote Workforce Management” becoming a crucial skill for any executive who wishes to manage a team remotely, and successfully. 

With countless companies making the switch to hybrid or fully remote models every day at a faster rate than ever before, remote workforce management as a critical business skill has risen in many checklists of what companies look for in their managers.

The confused question of “Do we need an office anymore?” has now morphed into multiple and objectively more useful questions such as “How do I manage a remote workforce?” or “Is a remote workforce more efficient?”.  

We here at Teamflect would love nothing more than to contribute to the necessary discussion surrounding remote workforce management by highlighting the dos and don’ts of managing a remote workforce.

Whether you are looking for remote workforce management jobs or currently working in one, these tips will make your life easier.

What is a remote workforce?

Before answering the question “What is remote workforce management?” we would like to give you an answer to its prerequisite which is the definition of a remote workforce.

A remote workforce, also known as a remote team or virtual workforce, refers to a group of employees who work from locations outside of a traditional office setting.

Instead of commuting to a physical workplace, remote workers perform their job duties from various remote locations, such as their homes, co-working spaces, coffee shops, or any place with an internet connection.

What is remote workforce management?

Remote workforce management, also known as remote team management or virtual team management, is the process of overseeing and leading a group of employees who work from remote or off-site locations.

In remote workforce management you need various strategies, practices, and tools aimed at your remote workers to be productive, engaged, and aligned with your organization’s goals while working from different locations.

Benefits of Remote Workforce Management

Effective remote workforce management has several benefits for both organizations and employees. Having these benefits of remote workforce management contribute to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and the overall success of remote work arrangements.

Let’s take a closer look at these benefits one-by-one:

1. Reduces cost for employers

Having a remote workforce reduces the cost of having and maintaining an office, and maintaining the transportation expenses of your employees.

Don’t believe us? Check out this statistics from Forbes: study shows that organizations can save nearly $11,000 per employee after switching to remote work!

2. You can work from anywhere

This might be the most obvious benefit of them all but when working remotely, you can -almost- work from anywhere from a coastal home to the warmth of your own house.

The only problem is you can work from anywhere if you have a decent Internet connection and the permission of your boss!

benefits of remote workforce management

3. No geographical limitation in the candidate pool

Sometimes we just want to post a job listing globally, just to get that perfect candidate for our organization. But when working in an office setting, this isn’t possible.

What’s possible is doing this with a remote workforce! When working remotely, you can hire anyone from any part of the world just for their expertise.

4. Increases productivity

Remote workers are statistically proven to be 13% more productive and almost 95% of employees said that their productivity levels are the same or higher when working remotely.

We all like to have the freedom to choose where and how we work from time to time, and your employees will certainly feel more productive having an opportunity to work from home.

Challenges of Remote Workforce Management

As you can imagine, most of the challenges of remote workforce management comes from the lack of good old face-to-face interaction. But can you really replace that human interaction and overcome these challenges?

1. Barriers of communication

If there is one category that you can’t replace face-to-face interaction with, it’s communication. Although we have thousands of collaboration tools to choose from, having a video call does not always cut the chase.

Also, you can’t always talk via video call when working remotely, so that removes the seeing the gestures and facial expressions from communication, which can cause misunderstandings.

2. Feelings of isolation and loneliness

Working from home can definitely come with the burden of feeling isolated and alone. We know some people like the autonomy and flexibility of working remotely and we couldn’t agree more!

But others can feel the need to be more connected and available, and remote work makes it harder to feel as a team.

challenges of remote workforce management

3. Distractions of home

We love working from home, but it can certainly be distracting! With the combination of your needy dog, noisy neighbours and busy street, it wouldn’t be a surprise to become distracted.

Not everyone can afford to have an home office and that just adds more to the table. If you don’t have a designated working space, remote jobs can become a hassle.

4. Work-life balance at stake

Although some people say that working remotely has given them an opportunity to boost their work-life balance, it’s easy to get carried away and work more when you’re at home.

The Do’s Of Remote Workforce Management

1- Do your homework on remote workforce management best practices

While the discussion surrounding remote workforce management might be relatively new, the amount of data and literature on the subject is still astonishing.

There is an incredible amount of helpful software with insightful blogs attached to them that could easily help one navigate these semi-uncharted waters.

2- Do weekly manager-employee check-in meetings

Setting tasks and letting the employees of a remote workforce handle them at their own pace definitely encourages some key values such as taking initiative and ownership.

However, keeping the communication lines open and having weekly check-ins whether they are one-on-one meetings or all-hands meetings is a must when it comes to remote workforce management. 

Working in a remote model brings with it the potential problems of isolation and miscommunication. If managers don’t check in with their team members on a weekly basis, deviation from tasks are almost surely inevitable.

3- Do invest in a remote workforce management tool

There are multiple incredible software that allow remote teams to communicate with each other such as Microsoft Teams, Zoom, or even Discord. Communication, however, isn’t the only issue.

No employee can be expected to have the workflow setup and organization tools that a regular office has in their homes. For that reason, having access to performance management software such as Teamflect, or Asana is absolutely critical. 

With performance management software, employees and managers can easily manage their OKRs, keep track of meetings, and goals, and customize their remote workflow any way they see fit.

4- Do set clear, challenging, and cross-department goals

Having clarity in the goals that are set for a remote workforce is key in keeping them engaged and avoiding miscommunications.

Feeling isolated and disconnected from the rest of the team is a potential issue that arises for people working in remote models so setting challenging and common goals that encourage cross-department interaction are essential.

Teamflect's goals and okrs section for remote workforce management
Teamflect’s “Goals” section demonstrates the relationship between goal setting and engagement.

After all, one of the key aspects of remote workforce management is the ability to maintain a sense of ownership in one’s team.

Start using Microsoft Teams to manage your goals!
No sign-up required.
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5- Do keep your employees engaged

Employee engagement is a complex road to navigate even if one is working with an on-site model. Adding the distractions of working from home to the mix certainly doesn’t help. While practicing remote workforce management, it is imperative to be accessible.

Encouraging feedback both ways, allowing for self-reviews, and giving your team the recognition they deserve is crucial in keeping them engaged in a remote setting.

Keeping up with the 30/90/180-day reviews works wonders with keeping new members of the team engaged and in the loop. Teamflect’s templates on these reviews can definitely assist in this regard.

The Don’ts Of Remote Workforce Management

the don'ts of remote workforce management

1- Don’t get lost in the shuffle

The amount of data on remote workforce management is a double-edged sword as it is quite easy to drown in an endless sea of confessionals, ads, podcasts, and blogs.

This insurmountable accumulation of information on remote workforce management could be a bit discouraging for someone researching the topic.

We here at Teamflect would like to provide you with some helpful resources:

Quantum Workplace

2- Don’t over-communicate

That being said, reaching your team one too many times results in a highly discouraging effect in the form of over-communication.

As brick and mortar businesses switch to remote models, one of the first things that tend to get lost in the shuffle is the concept of office hours.

The members of a remote workforce should be allowed to be at a reasonable hour. They also should know that they are being trusted with their goals and tasks.

3- Don’t confuse your remote workforce with too much software

It is a fact that there is an overabundance of software that are helpful in remote workforce management. One pitfall that has to be avoided is reliance on too much of these software.

Having one software for communications, another for performance management, and a third one for everything in between leads to a terribly confusing setup.

This is why having performance management software that is integrated into your means of communication is incredibly helpful.

Teamflect as software is designed specifically for Microsoft Teams, working seamlessly with it to save its users from juggling multiple software.

4- Don’t let company culture disappear

Establishing and maintaining company culture is an essential step in giving your team a sense of belonging and ownership. Accomplishing this in a remote model may be more difficult than it is in an on-site one. 

Having a chatroom that is simply for employees to interact with each other, allows for the proverbial watercooler conversation to be adapted to the remote setting.

Tools such as Microsoft Teams or Discord are very intuitive and easy to use when it comes to this. 

Having routines and rituals that aren’t just centered around goals and tasks, localizing the remote team by hosting occasional face-to-face or online meetups through Zoom or Teams is a great way to maintain the sense of company culture and community.

5Don’t rest on your laurels as a manager

Many of the management skills people acquire through their careers are easily transferable to remote workforce management, but there are surely some new grounds to cover.

Making sure to invest in remote management training is a must for anyone who wants their skills and experience to evolve and adapt to the ever-changing landscape of management in today’s world.

As fellow members of a remote workforce ourselves, we wanted to share some of our insight on what we believe to be the best practices in remote workforce management.

As challenging as it may be, we truly believe the merits of remote work far outweigh the hardships and as Teamflect we are doing our best to lighten the load of people leaders and HR managers around the world.

Take a look at what we offer to see how Teamflect can help you with your remote model!

Closing Words

The question “Do we need offices anymore?” has should be answered in a nuanced way that reflects the complexities surrounding remote workforce management.

Companies have been switching to hybrid or fully remote models and remote workforce management has become paramount for executives and managers alike.

While the challenges of remote workforce management persist, Teamflect as the best remote workforce management software, understands these challenges faced by organizations in managing their teams.

Our remote workforce management system integrates seamlessly with the communication platform Microsoft Teams and we offer a comprehensive solution for goal management, performance tracking, and maintaining a strong company culture.

Teamflect is a robust remote workforce management service provider and we aim to empower people leaders and HR managers worldwide in overcoming the challenges and creating a thriving remote work environment.

Explore how Teamflect can improve your virtual workforce management by clicking the button below!

Written by Emre Ok

Emre is a content writer at Teamflect who aims to share fun and unique insight into the world of performance management.

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