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Key Remote Work Management Principles

Now more than ever, there is an increasing shift in the workforce changing the way work gets done and the evolution of remote working models. Organizations recognize the need to attract and retain top talent and provide employee satisfaction through work–life balance as a critical element of their employee relations campaign. Not to mention projecting themselves ahead of other organizations in a highly competitive landscape.

Managers have to evolve alongside the changing workforce environments. Following are some best practices to provide guidance for successfully creating, maintaining and engaging a remote workforce.

Personnel
Identifying the right individuals for remote roles is critical. Aside from the role’s key criteria to be fulfilled, concentration on an individual’s soft skills such as level of discipline, working independently and strong communication skills is imperative. Working remotely is not for everyone, recognizing that and setting expectations and a trial period will provide managers and individuals the opportunity to determine what works best and who can succeed. It is not uncommon for individuals to be interested in becoming a remote team member, but after some time determine that they prefer the office environment.

Communication
Communication is vital to the success of working remotely. Setting clear expectations and required touch points will support success. In addition, there should be a shared understanding of what communication format is appropriate for which communications. For example, all should be clear as to when phone calls/teleconferences, videoconferences, messaging, or email is best. Fostering an open communication environment where individuals can solve communication mishaps (miscommunication and interpretation) is also important and not always easy. Persistence is the only means to achieving this.

Face-to-Face
With a remote workforce in place, finding the appropriate instances for in-person meetings is important. Proactive planning and budget allocation for doing so is a standard best practice to be followed.

Inclusion
It is not uncommon for remote workers to feel disconnected and isolated from the greater team. There should be consistent communication and inclusion of remote team members not only related to their day-to-day responsibilities but greater organizational initiatives and/or task force assignments. If this is not possible or common, reaching out for input, insight and feedback will promote inclusion.

Technology
Technology continues to play a significant role in facilitating successful remote worker models, bridging the team and closing the gaps remoteness creates. Therefore setting aside and ensuring appropriate funding in this area is equally important. Some considerations may include video compatible computers or video cameras, cell phones, and phone and internet expenses.

Managing a remote team comes with many challenges, but the benefits of a larger talent base and retaining top talent will outweigh the challenges. Creative leaders who create and foster an engaging remote workforce environment will recognize great benefits and camaraderie for themselves and the greater team as well.

Do you manage a creative team of 30 or less? Please participate in our Pulse Survey on roles and reporting structures. All participants receive the results report.
As always with Cella, all answers provided will be kept confidential and will only be used in a form that will make it impossible to determine the identity of the individual responses. That is, the survey responses will not be integrated, analyzed or reported in any way in which the confidentiality of the survey responses is not absolutely guaranteed.


Cindy Ponce

As Cella’s Creative Services Practice Lead, Cindy Ponce consults with Fortune 500 companies on enabling their in-house agencies to deliver impactful creative work through the effective management of people, process, technology and finances. Cindy’s management competencies lie in building and managing internal agency model organizations globally and effectively managing cross-functional teams worldwide. She’s known for her passion and tenacity in delivering optimal solutions with exceptional service and quality work using proven methodologies. Prior to joining Cella, Cindy built and led an international team of 65+, servicing more than 40 countries. During her tenure, she spearheaded increased service offerings to include content development and interactive capabilities.

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