How small businesses can manage remote workers successfully during the pandemic

By James Daniels

Thanks to the COVID19 pandemic, many businesses around the world have suddenly found themselves with a remote workforce without having had much time to prepare and plan for it, so changes and adjustments are being done on the fly. Management is having to adjust the way they support and supervise their teams and new software and systems are getting integrated on a moment’s notice to support business continuity. Here are a few quick tips on managing your remote workers during the pandemic.

Don’t stop supervising them

Supervision of your remote workers doesn’t only mean you’re making sure they’re getting their work done, and it definitely doesn’t mean you need to micromanage their every move and task. Being available to assist with what they need to get done and offer advice, as well as checking in on them and their progress with tasks, is essential when you’re managing a remote workforce. Your staff need to feel supported and know that you’re there to turn to when they need you, but don’t make them feel like you’re watching their every move.

Embrace online tools

There are a huge number of tools that are designed with remote work and online collaboration in mind and embracing these and incorporating them into your processes is essential for success. It might require a shift in thinking, but the benefits will quickly be realized. Outside of video conferencing and communications, collaboration and document management are particularly important. If you need a solution for your workflows and processes, then a custom platform might be a good option using QuickBase integration services.

Let go of measuring work based on hours worked

When we talk about remote management of your workforce, one of the things that often needs the most acceptance, particularly to very policy driven managers, is the change in thinking of what a workday looks like. In some particular job roles, the hours you work are going to be important, but for the more project and results-based teams, this metric just isn’t that relevant anymore. You need to shift the way you measure productivity from hours to output. Adjusting to this is quite a change to the way you’re used to managing your staff, but at its core, the basics are still there – set due dates and quality standards clearly.

Make the necessary changes to processes

Changing from in-office to remote working will require some changes in your processes. This is particularly true if you’re used to relying on physical paper-based trails which will need to make the move to digital ones, but there are many processes that are likely going to see change. Focus specifically on how your staff communicate, paying attention to creating some social interactions too to keep the team spirit alive.

Having a good understanding of how companies that have been operating remotely for many years go about their daily business and are successful is crucial to moving your workforce to be remote. While you may deem it as only temporary, many efficiencies that you invest time into now can be kept even when you return to the office.


James Daniels is a freelance writer, business enthusiast, a bit of a tech buff, and an overall geek. He is also an avid reader, who can while away hours reading and knowing about the latest gadgets and tech, whilst offering views and opinions on these topics.

1 comment

  1. I think that the shift to remote work can introduce many unique difficulties, which even for well-prepared organizations, may have come as unforeseen challenges and for small and medium sized businesses it’s extremely difficult. Even companies, supportive of work-from-home practices, may not be fully prepared for this scenario.

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