How To Supervise Remote Employees Without Micromanaging

A business owner, employer, or manager supervising a remote working team faces different challenges than a supervisor in a traditional office space. It’s impossible to pop up behind a worker’s desk to monitor what they’re doing or catch up with your team. Managing a remote working team involves finding the right balance between trust and supervision without appearing to micromanage. The following tips can help you achieve just that with your remote workers. 

Encourage teamwork

Collaboration is essential in any remote workforce. While you need to encourage your team to stay connected, it’s best to give them a say in what kind of collaborative tools to use. In other words, there is no need to force everyone to use the same digital toolbox. Teamwork tools like Microsoft Teams, Google Drive, and OneDrive, are excellent for fostering collaboration. But the last thing you want to do is “force” everyone to stick to your preferred collaboration tool. Instead, encourage your remote workers to use or invest in various remote and hybrid working solutions that make it easy for them to keep teams connected, happy, engaged, and productive.

Encourage workers to choose their project management software

Like giving your workers the freedom to choose their digital toolbox, encourage them to choose their preferred project management software. Forcing project management tools on your team without tapping their input in the selection process can make work uncomfortable for them. Before you pick any tool, ask your team what options they prefer and support them to test-drive them before giving them the go-ahead to use those tools.

Provide and encourage feedback

Encourage your workers to be proactive in seeking feedback, explanations, suggestions, etc., whenever they need it. Instead of always checking in to be updated on the progress of projects and tasks, encourage your workers to feel free to check in with you whenever they need to. If a completed project isn’t quite up to standard, be sure to provide feedback and guidance rather than redoing the work yourself. 

Set clear and measurable goals

To reduce the need to constantly check on your worker’s progress, it’s important to always set clear goals. It may take time, but it’s better to ensure that you leave your workers with no doubt about what’s expected of them when handling any task. The clearer a remote worker’s goals are, the less reason you’ll have to micromanage them through software interventions and multiple check-ins. Setting measurable goals also allows your workers to measure their progress against a set framework or specific criteria. Again, this limits the urge to check in with workers to monitor progress. 

Create a check-in schedule

Although you don’t want to appear to be micromanaging your team, that doesn’t mean you should completely avoid checking on them. Instead of doing it arbitrarily, create a check-in schedule and stick to it. Checking in at random times without any warning can appear intrusive and disrupt or slow down employee workflow. It can also create the impression that you don’t trust your workers enough. 

Isa Lillo


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