Hiring remote employees can greatly benefit your online business. Remote workers, such as virtual assistants, can offer a wide range of services that can streamline your operations and improve your business’s overall efficiency.
However, having remote employees as part of your team has its own set of drawbacks and challenges. The complete reliance on digital communication tools, the lack of personal or face-to-face interactions, and even possible language barriers can make delegating tasks difficult.
Considering this, business owners need to consider carefully when hiring remote employees. It is important that they are well aware of these challenges as well as prepared to manage them.
To give you a better idea, here is a guide on properly managing remote employees and effectively delegating work to them.
Top Challenges of Managing Remote Employees
Before we jump onto delegating tasks to remote employees, let’s first glimpse at the challenges delegative leaders often face when working with work-from-home employees.
Lack of Face-to-Face Monitoring
Studies support the notion that people tend to be more productive when a person of power or authority is watching over them. Employees are more likely to focus on their tasks and finish work faster when their boss, manager, or supervisor is within their immediate vicinity.
This aspect of traditional work setups is missing in remote work environments. Since remote employees are comfortably working from home with little to no upper management supervision, there is the persistent question of their level of productivity.
Some companies and organizations have adapted and utilized time and productivity monitoring tools to keep track of how their remote employees spend their time while clocked in on work.
Language Barrier and Communication Woes
Many believe that one of the most challenging parts of remote work setups is the feelings of isolation and detachment it causes for remote employees. However, from a business owner’s perspective, communication is the most relevant and significant challenge.
Remote work setups mean that everyone only communicates through digital communication and messaging tools such as Zoom, Skype, Asana, Slack, or even email. And while this setup is plausible, it lacks several elements of effective communication.
Elements such as intonation, stress, and non-verbal cues can make digital communication efforts easily lost in translation. This is such a great risk, especially when you’re passing down instructions from one person to another.
Ways To Get Better At Delegating Tasks To Remote Employees
Running an online business run by remote employees is not an easy task. Not only do you have to build plans and make extreme decisions, but you also have to learn how to properly manage a team of employees who have never gotten the chance to meet in person.
Challenges such as the lack of social interaction and possible language barriers can make it hard for leaders, managers, and business owners to effectively utilize their remote employees. Considering this, here are some helpful tips to get better at delegating tasks to work-from-home workers.
Define in detail what needs to be done.
Working with remote employees involves a lot of delegation as you would have to assign responsibility and authority over a task or project with little to no supervision or monitoring.
Considering this, one important tip when delegating tasks to a remote worker is to explain in detail what needs to be done.
Creating a work guidebook is one way to do this. Before you delegate a task, create a list of important details and information relevant to the task or project. It is also best to premise possible questions as well as challenges they might face and include the answers in your guidebook.
With this, your remote employee would have something on hand to base their work on. It would also help them make important decisions and keep track of the expected outcomes and results of the tasks given to them.
Know your employees
One of the elements of effective delegation is to know who you are delegating to. To do this, it is important that you have good work relationships with your employees and an intimate understanding of what they do and what they are capable of.
Once you understand what your team and specific team members can do, you will have the bigger picture of what your employees can effectively do and achieve for you.
Doing this will prevent you from delegating tasks to someone who is incapable and wouldn’t be as effective, efficient, or productive as someone with the background or potential.
Practice frequent and open communication.
One of the persistent challenges in remote work setups revolves around communication. There is the issue of language barriers, miscommunication because of cultural backgrounds, and even communication delays.
What happens when a remote employee has a question or clarification about their task and has to ask a team leader or manager who lives in a completely different timezone?
Oftentimes, the employee has no choice but to stop working and wait for their supervisor to be available for consultation before proceeding, which could take as long as half a day or a complete 24 hours. Circumstances like this completely contrast a business’s goal to improve its efficiency and productivity.
To help deal with this, it is important for remote teams to practice frequent and open communication. While a delegative leadership style practices minimal supervision, that does not mean that communication between a team member and their leader should also stop.
Ask for frequent updates to ensure that tasks are on track and up to pace. Make it a daily habit for your employees to submit brief progress reports and encourage them to ask any questions or concerns so you can tend to them as soon as possible.
Task delegation is a common practice in business. It allows business owners to save time and do more work. However, learning how to delegate effectively is important to maximize the help and support team members can give when given a responsibility. Otherwise, task delegation can cripple a business and affect its efficiency and productivity.
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