It’s no secret that many companies have operated remotely for years. However, when the global pandemic resulted in widespread quarantines and social distancing, many businesses accommodated employees by transitioning to new work-from-home or hybrid arrangements. Meeting this need also offers companies new opportunities, like hiring a larger global talent pool, and reducing the costly overhead of office space. But, along with the many advantages, remote work also brings its share of challenges.
Remote work is headed nowhere fast, with 25% of all professional jobs in North America expected to operate remotely by the end of 2023. This monumental change is accompanied by increased efforts at digital coordination, which creates communication and collaboration barriers between teams and managers. To resolve the everyday challenges of managing remote employees, supervisors must implement a robust management plan for their team.
Remote Work Management Challenges
A lack of communication and mistrust in employees often causes managers to question the efficacy of their remote management practices, as a new, digital environment offers more flexibility and leniency than most physical office spaces. As a result, supervisors find unexpected challenges in managing their employees.
Some challenges of managing remote employees include:
- lack of communication and opportunities to collaborate
- employee expectation of work and productivity
- meeting attendance and focus retention
- employee isolation and burnout
Team members want the ability to work freely in a comfortable environment. However, micromanagement in remote work environments often does more harm than good. And frequent communication with managers can cause distractions that hinder productivity. Rather than implement counterproductive tools such as time tracking or screen records, managers and employees can utilize an all-in-one platform to manage, collaborate, and build productivity together.
The primary challenge of managing remote work is the lack of a central location for all communication and collaboration efforts. Slack channels and Zoom calls have replaced face-to-face communication, and emails spool out in countless threads and endless Cc’ing to communicate simple messages. The increase in available workplace communication platforms actually reduces the opportunities for collaboration.
Challenges of Managing Remote Employees and How to Solve Them with Gmelius
Effective remote work begins with using the right tools to facilitate better management opportunities. As an all-inclusive communication and collaboration tool, Gmelius offers the perfect solution for remote teams. Gmelius helps team members control their emails, improve communication, and effectively distribute their workloads — all within the Gmail ecosystem.
Our collaborative platform invites the use of a shared workspace for remote employees and managers. Teams can work together collaboratively while allowing managers to have a clear line of communication with their team and see what everyone is working on.
Here is how our solution can resolve the many challenges of managing remote employees.
With a lack of direct interpersonal communication, asynchronous communication modes have become the heart of remote work. Remote teams use email for internal and external matters yet lack the ability to communicate effectively. Instead, teams often use separate emails to address company matters or use a group mailbox without the tools for collaboration opportunities.
Solution: Gmelius allows you to create a truly collaborative shared inbox in Gmail. Managers can add team members to specific Gmail inboxes to eliminate confusion about who has access to respond.
Gmelius’ email notes let all collaborators add relevant context to emails with chat-style threads that live on the side and are synced to all team members. An @mention feature allows team members to send Notes and record notes to themselves that no one else will see.
Expectation of Work
When working from home, expectations of who needs to complete what can get fuzzy. For example, if you have an entire sales team assigned to one group mailbox, it may be confusing to decipher who is working on what task or who is required to respond to which email. This can cause uneven workload distribution.
Solution: Gmleius allows managers to assign emails to specific team members, so everyone always knows who is assigned to which email. Delegated emails go into a separate “assigned” box that lives in the left-side panel along with status-specific inboxes, such as “pending” and “closed.”
Emails need never go unanswered for long when Gmelius can eliminate confusion about what employees need to address. This helps to enhance productivity amongst employees and provides clear guidance on what each team member is responsible for that day.
Coordinating meetings can take hours out of a manager's day, not to mention the time spent keeping employees engaged during longer gatherings.
Solution: Rather than doing daily check-ins that could become stifling, managers can schedule weekly meetings to check in with employees. Gmelius’ meeting scheduler feature helps teams automate the meeting scheduling process. Gmelius makes this possible by syncing with your team's Google Calendars to present availability in an email.
Gmelius also integrates with your favorite video conferencing apps so teams can add meeting invites with Zoom or Google Meet links right inside Gmail.
A recent survey from Buffer reveals the following emotional insights out of over 2,000 workers:
- 24% had feelings of loneliness
- 25% struggled to unplug from work
- 21% had difficulty remaining motivated
Employees can easily feel isolated without interpersonal communication. Employee burnout has also become increasingly common amongst teams as many employees struggle to find a work/life balance.
Solution: Gmelius offers an all-in-one platform with a variety of opportunities for team members to collaborate. Gmelius works to prevent teams from assignment overload by allowing managers to see the number of tasks assigned to each employee in a visualized format with our Gmail Kanban boards. Tasks such as emails get assigned to every team member and can be made visual to whomever has access. This allows for effective workload distribution to prevent employee burnout.
Gmelius also offers analytics for teams so managers can see detailed reports on team insights to analyze the progress of each teammate, but more importantly, to ensure each team member has an equal workload.
Managing a team of remote employees is never easy. As companies adjust to a “new normal,” they must find innovative ways to effectively manage their team in a virtual environment. Gmelius can give your remote workers a better system that improves your team's overall communication and collaboration efforts.
Gmelius can help solve the challenges of managing remote employees. If you are ready to learn more, check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!