3 Tips for Managing an Off-Site Workforce
Having a globalised workforce is one of the best parts of technology in the 21st century. It means that companies no longer have to rely solely on local talent, and can search the world over for the right candidate for a position. This opens you up to hiring from groups ranging from seasoned professionals living states away to millennials living in other countries. However, the caveat of utilising technology to employ an off-site staff is that you need to adapt to not being able to interact or meet in-person. Today, email alone doesn’t cut it, and you need a more effective way to manage and connect with staff. Another part of being an effective manager is also the ability to be personable and respected by the people under you, and that requires communication tools that allow you to convey your personality. Therefore, in order to get the best results from your team, you need a combination of the right technology to interact as well as a way to implement an appropriate managerial strategy. Here are three tips on how you can manage an off-site staff effectively, and why it’s easier than you might think.
1) When You’re Dealing with a Virtual Workforce
Tweak Your Biz states that one of the most important ways to effectively manage a staff that’s located off-site is by holding regular meetings and ensuring the availability of supervisors. That’s where video conferencing comes in. Being available at the touch of a button is key to managing a workforce. Many times, you’ll be dealing with staff that’s not only too far away to meet with in person, but also might be located in different time zones. If there’s an emergency, one of the most frustrating experiences for an employee located across the world is trying to get a hold of a supervisor who can help with the situation. If you’re working with a high-pressure client, this can be extremely demoralising and lead to lack of trust amongst your staff. Making yourself available via video conferencing using your mobile device between certain hours eliminates this issue. A good rule of thumb is also making sure that another manager takes a different on-call shift so that there’s always someone of authority that the rest of your remote team can contact if they need help.
2) How to Use the Tools Once You Have Them
One of the biggest mistakes that many companies make when trying to manage remote workers is investing in the wrong technology or simply not knowing how to use it. Blue Jeans conference call for IT is one of the easiest tools on the market to use, but you also have to take the time to get everyone on board to actually utilise the technology. A key perk to these types of video conferencing providers is that your staff can join in from any device, a feature that’s revolutionised the popularity and widespread usage of video meetings in general.
3) Ideal for Businesses Large and Small
Whether you’re an entrepreneur with a startup or a large, established corporation, the fact of the matter is that today’s video conferencing technology is scalable and appropriate for all size enterprises. For example, Entrepreneur lists consultancy as the eighth best idea for a new business with ample room for expansion, and there’s no better type of off-site service to be offered than IT assistance. Since IT is one of the most common fields you’ll find working remotely these days, whether as an individual consultant or a company providing outsourced services to larger companies, it’s a good idea to understand what types of communication tools are at your disposal. Video conferencing is a good option because it’s not only scalable, but also affordable and accessible no matter how or where you’re located.
There are many different ways that the IT sector needs to communicate, but the three main types that usually arise are:
- In-house meetings and discussions
- Company to client interaction
- Remote troubleshooting with clients
With this in mind, another essential aspect to keep in mind is that clients are going to expect you to have these resources available. For example, if you have a prospective new client that’s interested in doing business with as an IT consultant, the first impression you make shouldn’t be the offer of meeting with them in a text based chat program or shooting too many emails back and forth. This not only makes a bad impression and muddles up interaction, but it also immediately conveys that you’re not up to date with the times and current technology. Nothing could be worse if that’s the very field you work within. Therefore, regardless of the size of your business, finding methods to gain access to the latest tools in the industry is essential and possible.
Employing off-site staff is becoming increasingly popular for a number of reasons, including the rise of the internet as a suitable medium for communicating at a professional level. As long as you have the right managerial strategy, a full understanding of the different challenges you’ll encounter with employees that you won’t see in person, and the right tools, you’ll be all set to expand your team to a worldwide pool of talent.