How To Manage The Remote Workforce With Xprtly!

Due to the continued growth of mobile workforce solutions, remote working is on the rise. Studies show that not only are remote workers “happier, healthier, and wealthier,” but they’re also more productive!

While remote working is likely favored by the workers, for the employers it can be increasingly challenging to manage teleworkers without a conscientious system in place to keep track of the organizations activities and personnel.

Dilbert Strip 183803 - Image courtesy of Dilbert.com © Scott Adams, Inc.

As noted in Christian Lanng’s “4 Ways To Manage Remote Employees,” to successfully manage a remote workforce organizations should:

  1. Implement a formal policy.
  2. Set up instant-messaging systems.
  3. Enable video communications.
  4. Leverage cloud technologies.

We not only agree with Lanng’s 4 remote management suggestions, but we also see them as a basis for how organizations with remote workforces can benefit from using Xprtly!.

Xprtly!, our workforce management and communications platform, not only provides organizations with an internal SMS and Video communications system, but also fully leverages the cloud to instigate your organizations remote management policies. From Xprtly!’s web-portal, management has complete visibility of project activities, employee engagements, and corporate productivity metrics.

In addition to supporting Lanng’ strategies for remote workforce management, we’d also add these tips for supreme remote management:

1. Use technology that works well with your organization’s culture.

Our organization uses web meetings and online "white boards" frequently - online collaboration tools work wonders when you're a remote workforce. (We don’t use video communications, and this is the result of several factors. First, all of us are remote work veterans. Many of us have worked in geographically distributed organizations since the mid 90’s. Second, we are a small group and many of us have known each for five years or more, which leads to the third factor. No one “hides” during conversations. Consequently, verbal discussions are lively and forthright and colleagues are able to infer another’s meaning, through voices tones and periodic silences, with reasonable accuracy.)

2. Organize work around specific deliverables with known deadlines. (SMART Goals)

As a manager of remote teams, it is critical to understand which results you want and manage for those. I tell every consultant and project manager “I don’t care if you work between 1 am and 6 am or any other time frame. I do require that you meet your deadlines with clients and team mates.” The flip side of this is that I must meet my deliverables to them within our agreed upon deadlines.

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate! (Over explaining is good in this circumstance.)

I’m not talking about just the “official” company announcements and meetings. Easily 70% of my day is spent on the phone talking and sending text messages with our organization’s associates (vendors, project managers, consultants, and contractors) and clients. These communications are not always about work and they are essential to maintaining effective working relationships. In addition, I’ve learned to schedule at least one face-to-face meeting with everyone each year. For the best connections and engagement, interactions cannot be 100% virtual, i.e. phone calls, text messages, and web meetings.

Which remote workforce management strategies work best for your organization? What works well, and what doesn’t work? Let us know so that we can incorporate your insights into future Xprtly! iterations.

Image Credit: Dilbert.com © Scott Adams, Inc.

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