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How to successfully manage your global remote workforce in the midst of the Coronavirus with these 3 key strategies

Digital collaboration tools, transparency across your company, and getting organized are a few ways to ensure that employees are productive and healthy

By Gary Malhotra, VP, Product Marketing, Whatfix, Inc.

The Coronavirus is impacting the way many businesses operate. Some companies may have initially offered telecommuting as a two- or three-day option, but are now telling employees to work from home indefinitely to prevent the virus from spreading.

While remote work offers benefits such as increased employee productivity, flexibility and cost savings, it also creates different kinds of issues for a distributed workforce. Employees may be wondering how to do their jobs and managers may be concerned with how to remotely manage their teams.

Companies that dive into remote work without a proper game plan could find themselves at a severe disadvantage. Here are a few strategies I've learned managing remote teams that can provide some insights on how to foster this new reality:

Get organized

Having a clearly defined structure can help manage your employees and teams. Managing people across the globe without knowing what everyone's working on and having many projects on your hands can easily turn work into chaos. It's important to create procedures and implement project management systems, set rules and share them with everyone on the team. When managing specific projects, set clear deadlines and make sure everyone knows the next steps on the project. Use collaboration and sharing options that come with project management tools. This will help you efficiently keep your employees on track, review their performance, set clear objectives, and increase team productivity.

Stay connected with collaboration tools

Using collaboration tools is essential to helping employees flourish and achieve success as a remote workforce. Whether it's creating multiple channels on Slack to editing content on Google Documents in real-time, collaboration tools help to support employee workflow and allow team members to communicate effectively and efficiently. Most collaboration platforms also enable teams to express themselves and connect with each other on a personal level, promoting team cohesion and increasing productivity. Applying Digital Adoption Platforms can also make employees more productive by helping them adopt software faster with in-application guidance and customized walk-throughs, giving them a more practical and deeper approach to performing their job with the necessary software. With the power of collaboration and digital tools, you can foster a vibrant company culture with dedicated employees.

Create a strong company culture

While studies show that working from home increases employee productivity, many employees find themselves taking fewer breaks and working longer hours with full-time remote work. Checking in on employees and making sure that they're taking care of themselves is essential to avoid employee burnout. Showing that you care about them is essential to managing positive employee morale. Fostering a culture of positivity and transparency helps employees feel connected. Encourage employees to be involved in many aspects of the business and share with them the company's vision and objectives. Set clear expectations and specifics as it relates to virtual working. This can happen by getting to know each other, working towards the same goals, respecting each other's time and valuing everyone's skills and talents.

As the events relating to the Coronavirus are unknown and unfolding, companies must continue to restrategize their approach to these new realities. Companies who are prepared for a remote work reality can continue to conduct many aspects of their business and keep employees happy.

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About the Author

Gary Malhotra 

Gary is a strategic marketing leader with experience steering 12 SaaS products to market leadership. He heads the Product, Corporate, Content and Customer Marketing team at Whatfix and spends his time constantly creating, planning, and implementing innovative and exciting marketing strategies. He has also held leadership positions at Ivalua, TapClicks, SAP Ariba, Deloitte, Accenture and Tata Consultancy Services.

Published Thursday, April 09, 2020 7:38 AM by David Marshall
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