5 Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Remote Employees

Guest Blogger
5 Mistakes to Avoid When Working with Remote Employees

Although the remote working model offers a plethora of benefits to employees, companies still face challenges in providing a stress-free work environment.


A recent study revealed that 86% of employees who work from home full-time experience burnout. This can lead to poor workplace engagement and increase attrition rates in the long term.

On the other hand, a highly engaged remote team can help companies cut the turnover rate. In fact, a study by Stanford University revealed that are 9% more engaged in their jobs and 50% less likely to quit. Moreover, companies with engaged employees enjoy a 19% increase in operating income. 

However, businesses can commit several mistakes that can impact remote workforce engagement. In this post, we will share the top five mistakes to avoid when working with remote employees and the best practices to implement.


1. Not Emphasizing the Significance of Open Communication 

Open communication encourages working professionals to freely communicate work-related challenges, ideas, and feedback to senior managers. This friendly yet professional approach helps create transparency in the workplace.

According to Forbes, workplace transparency enhances trust between the team and managers. Most importantly, it helps make the team members feel valued. This practice can thus foster improved collaboration and healthy work life.

But unlike a conventional 9-to-5 office, the remote workforce doesn't get the privilege of face-to-face discussions with the managers. But it shouldn't restrict communication.

Here are a few crucial tips to help establish open communication with your remote team.

  • Conduct one-to-one virtual meetings. Understand the team's communication styles, pain points, and work progress. Deploy tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams for a seamless virtual meeting experience.
  • Be open and proactive in discussing your team's bottlenecks over emails, calls, and project and communication management platforms, such as Trello and Slack. Provide timely responses to keep your team engaged and motivated.
  • Conduct virtual Q&A sessions related to projects at frequent intervals. For instance, explain assignment details, including expectations, agendas, deadlines, and job roles. This practice can ensure everyone is on the same page.

All these tips can help your remote team work productively and deliver peak performance. This practice can also help build healthy professional relationships and improve retention rates.


#2: Failing to Establish Standardized Work Processes and Goals

Establishing SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) goals and standardized work processes helps businesses improve their ROI. It allows team members to understand their responsibilities and follow specific guidelines to accomplish tasks without depending on managers or fellow employees.

Companies should ensure they are building standard work processes and assigning individual goals to their onsite teams and their remote workers. 

Here are a few vital tactics to consider:

  • Speak to the remote team. Analyze and understand the gaps and key challenges in their existing work processes.
  • Analyze each team member's performance to identify their professional strengths and weaknesses. Leverage these insights to set individual goals.
  • Create a rulebook explaining work quality parameters, the significance of maintaining deadlines, and leveraging tools for improved productivity.
  • Avoid micromanagement. Allow the remote team to work according to convenience while ensuring the team delivers quality work on time. However, track the team's performance via project management tools like Zoho, Podio, or Teamwork. These tools allow you to track project deadlines, pending assignments, and more in real-time. This practice can help the team work efficiently without stress.
  • Revise the goals and work processes set if the team's performance is unsatisfactory.

#3: Not Equipping the Remote Team with Technology

Advanced technology tools are pivotal to ensuring the delivery of accurate and quality work. They can streamline day-to-day tasks and help teams innovate and achieve peak performance. So, prioritize equipping your remote team with essential technology tools.

Besides the project management and communication tools we discussed earlier, invest in some advanced software and technology. Here are a couple of state-of-the-art tools to achieve the best business outcomes:

  • Canva: Canva is one of the best graphic designing tools. With its AI-powered text-to-image generator, your team can create stellar graphics for social media, presentations, websites, and more with a few clicks. They only need to write a brief description to find the image they desire. The best part is that Canva has a vast library of beautiful templates and illustrations to amplify your visual content.
  • ChatGPT: This is a free-of-cost AI-powered chatbot developed by OpenAI. ChatGPT can understand and analyze human speech and produce in-depth content to resolve users' queries. For instance, this tool can assist your team in -
    • Writing complex codes
    • Creating page translations
    • Drafting SEO-driven content 
    • Creating engaging emails

So, be sure to leverage this unique tool to boost your team's productivity.


#4: Neglecting Your Remote Team Efforts

Whether it's an in-house workforce or remote, every employee wants to feel valued. And if they don't, it could trigger high attrition rates in an organization.

A report affirms that 79% of employees quit jobs because they felt unappreciated. Another report states that recognition programs enhance overall productivity. It can help boost employee performance by 14% more than firms without them.

This reflects that neglecting your team effort can impact the ROI in the long term. So, appreciate your remote team and nurture a positive work culture.

Here are a few tactics to consider.

  • Draft personalized emails describing your team members' efforts. For instance, mention how they helped the company reach its project-specific goals. Notice the following example.

Observe how the manager expresses gratitude and appreciation for the remote employee.

  • Arrange a monthly virtual meeting to share employee contributions to the team. Express heartfelt gratitude to acknowledge their efforts.
  • Provide monetary incentives to the best performer every month or year.
  • Include non-monetary perks and incentives. For instance, offer specialized leaves to let your team unwind and rejuvenate.

These thoughtful gestures can prove to be a game-changer in cultivating a productive remote team.


#5: Ignoring Work-Life Balance

Providing a good work-life balance to the remote team should be your utmost priority. The reason? Unlike in-house employees, the remote workforce works in an isolated environment. They can't walk to a fellow employee's desk for a casual conversation or coffee.

And remote employees tend to work more than standard operational business time. This working schedule can blur the line between personal and professional life, impacting their well-being and efficiency. So, ensure your remote team works stress-free.

Allow the teammates to take off on days they don't feel like working if they need it. Get inspired by Amdocs, a leading software provider. The company has introduced a program that offers unlimited vacation days. The employees can leverage these days to rejuvenate - mentally, physically, and emotionally. Introduce a leave policy like this to boost your team's morale.


Summing Up

Your remote workforce can prove to be a great asset to the organization. So, ensure you cultivate a positive work culture by considering their needs. Avoid the common mistakes shared in this post to begin the journey. The mentioned tactics can help create a productive, efficient, and engaged remote workforce.


DZX 6 Reasons to Utilize Contingent RPO Footer


About the Author:  Aanya Rachel is the Content Manager at The Address, a coworking space in Indore. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge, experience, and extensive research in this field. She writes on a wide range of topics related to coworking, the growth of remote workers, startups, and real estate.


Related Posts