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Practical Guide to Remote Work Management

Written by Alana Team
on July 20, 2020

The culture of remote work has become common due to COVID-19, but the truth is that this is a very attractive way for both employees and corporate coffers. AETNA and American Express, for example, are companies that claim to have reduced real estate spending after implementing home office programs.

Also, the numbers prove that many people have this desire to work from home. According to a survey by Global Workplace Analytics, o the home office has increased by 173% in the last 15 years.

And how to adapt to the remote team management model and create a high-performance team? That is the biggest challenge! Managers need to be more prepared than ever to ensure success.

Check out how to manage a remote team, from hiring to possible dismissal.

Hiring remote employees

You will notice that the foundation of almost everything is the organization, and as the recruitment and admission process can be bureaucratic and laborious, the first step to success is to have a predefined flow. 

Points to consider:

The profile of a remote worker

Remote work is not ideal for everyone. Some people still prefer the traditional trip to the office or are not professionally prepared for the challenge of working from home.

This makes it crucial to understand what skills are vital to a remote employee in your company. A good way to find out is to map the characteristics of people with high performance.

Naturally, there are some skills that every high-performance remote professional has, such as the ability to be independent and autonomous to carry out activities, concentration, and discipline. Besides, of course, they are transparent and reliable people.

Job Description

Since the entire process is carried out online, a description is essential to attract the best talent. 

It can be written by either the responsible recruiter or the area manager. It is worth scheduling a chat between the two to define as many details as possible regarding the remote work that will be performed.

Avoid adding generic information, create something attractive and informative. It is even advisable to write about the company's culture and initial expectations.

Where to find candidates

To find the best people, the company has to understand which recruitment channels make sense. What is the candidate's profile? Is it technology or business?

In general, job vacancies can be made through official recruitment channels, such as Glassdoor or Linkedin, but there are several other ways to reach online talent:

  • Specialized sites for freelancers, such as Fiverr and Upwork;
  • Company blog;
  • Social Networks (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.);
  • Specialized Social Networks, such as GitHub for developers and Behance for designers;
  • Indication of collaborators.

According to a report on freelancing in the United States, 59% of respondents who are not freelancers said they would like to be in the future. 

This data is interesting, because just like me, who is part of Team Alana, and I work completely remotely, many other people want to find the tranquility they are looking for in the home office.

Who should participate in the process

The recruitment process is usually developed by the human resources team in conjunction with a leader in the field. 

Before initiating any contact by phone, make a written pre-selection, and define criteria to choose who will go to the interview phase. This can all be controlled using recruitment software.

If necessary, invite a senior employee in addition to the area leader. The opinion of a third person can make a difference when in doubt.

Hiring models

The hiring model must be defined at the beginning when the vacancy is opened and must be mentioned in the description disclosed. It is important to be transparent on this point so that the person is clear about what his / her rights and duties are. 

The human resources team can certainly help in this definition, and also in creating a flow for each model of remote work, since the bureaucracy of each type of admission is different.

At Alana AI, 60% of the employees were already working remotely full time, and with the COVID-19 crisis, 100% of the company joined the home office. With that, the initiative to support mental health during this period, and the quality of work at home was born.

Virtual onboarding for remote team

The initial contact with the new company is a key success factor for the development of a remote employee. Onboarding directly impacts knowledge and encourages the satisfaction of those who are just starting.

Essentially, the initial training of a remote employee must show the company's history, culture, values, mission, business model, structure, and goals.

How can it be done?

  • Weekly online training sessions, or according to the volume of hiring. These conversations can be opened to current workers, in case they want to reinforce some knowledge;
  • Individual conversations to discuss goals and show openness to help. They can be done every week during the first month;
  • Elect a person from the team to be the point of reference for the new hire during a certain period.

Remote working culture

Creating a strong culture through remote management can be quite a challenge, but if the company trains leaders and offers the necessary tools, it is possible to cultivate something successful.

The first step is to understand what kind of remote service culture will be built: what are the main work rules, appropriate types of behavior, internal communication flow, leadership model, etc.

Based on that, create actions to foster the growth of the culture of remote work. Some suggestions:

  • Define a task and time, management model;
  • Use of chat rooms to keep communication open with the team, as if they were all together in person. Such tools can also be used to relax and integrate people from different areas;
  • Send a welcome kit to the new remote worker and, if possible, offer something to make the home office more comfortable (footrest, chair, planner, headset).

Team Building for remote staff

Much of remote team management is ensuring that people feel part of the team, even if they are not in a room full of people. Seeking to learn good leadership practices can be a way to stimulate creativity in this regard. 

The most logical - and practical - way to join a remote team is through online chat tools such as Google Meet or Zoom. Team building meetings can be monthly or quarterly, as needed.

Activities that can be carried out to encourage the union of the remote work team:

  • Take a collective break to eat or drink during a long meeting;
  • Schedule an online UNO match or any other interesting game for the team;
  • Open space for questions during a call;
  • Send challenges to be solved in a group within a certain time;
  • Create joint awards (example: the best employee of the month can choose someone from the team, who has made a difference in their work, to be awarded).

On the other hand, we cannot ignore the weight that face-to-face contact has, so it is worth evaluating the possibility of annual meetings with the entire company, or between people living in the same region.

How to do a remote dismissal?

The act of dismissing someone from the company can be uncomfortable. To soften the impact, the manager should be clear about the reasons and prepare in advance for the conversation.

Important points for preparation:

  • Check the hiring model and possible financial arrangements. If hired via freelance platforms, such as Upwork and Fiverr, confirm that the company's policy allows the professional to, or not, disclose the provision of services;
  • List positive points for not being a 100% negative conversation;
  • Have notes on initial expectations to discuss with the person, if necessary;
  • Define questions to ask the employee since feedback is important to understand if there was a failure in remote management and the person's development as a collaborator;
  • Talk to HR to get tips on how to act and schedule someone to attend the meeting as well. The goal of having more than one person is to ensure that there is no failure in communication.

When scheduling the conversation with the remote employee, do not add the HR person who will participate, as it can generate unnecessary tension. If possible, don't check anything, just invite the person to talk as soon as everything is ready to do the dismissal.

Remote team management may sound complicated at first, but as processes are defined and put into practice, everything flows more easily. Time and discipline help in adapting and learning how to lead a remote team.

 

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