3 Best Practices for Managing Remote Employees

By: FlexDealer Team   |   22 Aug 2022
girl on a couch with her laptop open working

Working from home is becoming increasingly popular as technology allows us to connect more from anywhere, anytime, around the globe. It was once pretty challenging to imagine having auto industry employees working anywhere besides at the dealership, but the past few years have created new ways of doing things, and even new jobs within retail automotive, that make it possible for more folks to work from home.

When you're working with a team of people who aren't in the same room as you, it's crucial to establish some best practices for managing remote employees. In this article, we’ll look at 3 best practices that dealers and business owners alike can use to help your remote team work together effectively and productively:

  1. Know Your Weak Points

Working from home has become the norm for many employees, but it comes with challenges. One of these severe challenges is the lack of face time with coworkers and supervisors. This can lead to communication breakdowns and even a feeling of isolation. Here at Flex, we call this “working in silos.”

Another challenge is video fatigue. With so many Zoom calls and video conferencing, it's easy to feel burned out. When people are face-to-face in real life, you have the benefit of sharing more energy and even physical touch, which is lacking in the video conferencing era.

Another weak point for many remote employees, and their managers, are home distractions. At home, laundry is always waiting, dishes to be washed, and children to be taken care of. Focusing on work can be challenging when so many other things are calling for your attention, leading to lack of productivity. 

By being aware of these challenges, you can put systems in place to manage them. For example, you can schedule regular check-ins with employees and supervisors, take breaks during extended video calls, and create a dedicated workspace away from distractions. Taking steps to manage these challenges can make working from home more successful for everyone.

  1. Provide Suitable Remote Tools

Working remotely offers a level of flexibility and freedom that many employees crave. However, managing remote employees can be challenging, especially when providing the right tools and resources. 

One of the most significant points you can make is to communicate your expectations and provide access to the tools they need to be successful. This may include policy and procedure manuals, presentation templates, and mail supplies. Additionally, ensure they can access apps and software programs to help them do their job and a corporate credit card for business expenses. 

Remote work technology is essential for remaining connected and keeping everyone on the same page. This includes access to digital communication tools and files, a reliable internet connection or access to a co-working space. Also, remote employees will need company laptops and digital video conferencing tools like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. At Flex (a fully remote company), we also use digital tools like Asana, Google Calendar, Google Drive, Dropbox, Loom, Volley, Humi, and more

Another important consideration is providing access to a small printer or an account at a local copy shop or mail services centre, all with clearly communicated spending limits. 

By taking the time to identify and provide the right tools for remote employees, companies can ensure that their workers have everything they need to be productive and successful.

  1. Streamline Operations

One challenge that many businesses face is how to manage operations remotely. This is especially true for companies with field teams, as there are often many moving parts that must be coordinated for everything to run smoothly. However, there are a few tips that can help make managing operations remotely easier. 

One tip is to digitize field team processes like store visits. This can help streamline communication and make tracking what needs to be done easier. Another option is to open up communication channels between stores and field teams and set expectations for meetings and followups. This will allow for better collaboration and coordination between teams. 

It can also be important to monitor store performance remotely. This will help to identify any problems that may be occurring and help management take corrective action if necessary.

Conclusion: Managing Remote Teams at Your Dealership is Possible!

Managing remote employees can be challenging, but it’s worth the effort. Following these best practices can help increase your chances of success with communication, trust, and goals.

It’s hard to find remote workers and that is where FlexDealer comes in. We can be the perfect partner for your business if you're looking for a top-notch remote partner. If you need a reliable digital marketing agency to work on your dealer website, inventory management, creative content, paid ads, dealership marketing strategies, and more - don’t hesitate to contact us!