With the development of new technologies and fastest Internet networks, the workplace also changed. We are no longer bound to a desk in an office, as long as the job doesn’t require so. For instance, if you are a writer, a computer programmer, a web designer, or simply a marketing person (just to name a few), the job is no longer at the office. All you need is a good computer and a good Internet connection and you can work from wherever you want.
According to research, in the US, 40.4% of workers are not involved in a traditional employer-employee relationship. These people are small businesses, contractors, freelancers, or people who like to work part-time. Even more, companies are more open than ever to hiring freelancers and paying the right price for this. Just think about it: as a hiring manager, you have the possibility to look for talents all over the world. It’s a fantastic opportunity and an amazing way to develop your company without the hassle of the traditional work relationship.
However, managing remote employees who are also from other cultures than yours can prove to be more difficult than you expected. To make your job a bit easier, we listed a few strategies that proved useful in situations like these.
Show them you care
If you think that leading a team that works remotely is just about meeting in calls and talking about the task of the day, then you are wrong. In order to see you as a manager, people in your team need to trust you and understand your way of thinking. That’s why is important to get to know them and be sensitive and aware of their cultural differences.
If you can’t organize a face-to-face meeting, try to chat online or on the phone. Ask about their location, their family and aspirations. Get to know all those details any regular manager knows when meeting with the team daily.
Be careful with schedule inconvenience
If you hire people from all over the world, then scheduling a meeting with everyone is going to be inconvenient for at least some of the members. For instance, it will be difficult to schedule a meeting with a person living in Germany and one living in Australia. The time is going to be wrong somewhere.
So, if you want to hire a German speaker, you may consider looking for a bilingual or multilingual person who lives in the accepted time zone. This way, you can get past schedule inconveniences and keep the team together.
Don’t forget about their goals
With a team that works from all corners of the world, it’s easy to overlook their goals. People expect to grow and if they don’t feel satisfied with your project, they will leave without ever looking back. It’s your job as a project manager to anticipate these situations and be prepared for them. Try to think a career path for your remote employees and offer them the satisfaction of moving forward.
As you can see, even if a team is distanced by continents and oceans, language and culture, the online technologies can create a solid work environment. However, no technology in this world is capable of replacing the guiding hand of a skilled project manager.