5 Things You Should Be Doing to Manage Your Mobile Workforce

By the small business content developers at BizLaunch.com.

If you, like so many other business owners across the globe, work with a mobile workforce scattered in different locations, you might struggle to manage them the way you would a team in a single location. These tips will help you be a better manager, no matter where your employees work.

Set Up Communication Channels

The more in touch you are with your team, the more productive everyone can be. And not everyone likes email, so it’s important to offer multiple channels for communication. These can include:

  • Instant messaging or chat

  • Video calls

  • Text messaging

  • Project management software with messaging feature

Schedule Regular Meetings

Just because your team isn’t in one office doesn’t mean meetings aren’t still important. Video meetings can provide a sense of cohesion with people who may never meet in person. Here are some meeting tips:

  • Opt for more frequent, but shorter meetings. A 5-minute status update can be useful.

  • Only include people involved in a given project.

  • Keep to an agenda to avoid meetings going on too long.

Touch Base in Person (if Possible)

If it’s in your budget, fly your staff to your headquarters once a year. There’s so much that can’t easily be done virtually, and simply having a casual conversation over lunch can strengthen bonds between you and your staff.

If you can’t meet in person, make sure you’re providing ample positive feedback to keep each of your workers engaged:

  • Offer kudos for a job well done.

  • Send a gift certificate as a thank you or holiday gift.

  • Engage in conversation at the start of a call, rather than diving into work talk.

Leverage Technology

Beyond video chat, there are so many tech tools that can set up your mobile workforce for success. Try these:

Because virtual teams are so different than in-person ones, it may take more effort on your part to create a sense of community. But once you adjust to the differences between managing a team in person and one that’s virtual, you’ll find your rhythm. Your objective as manager should be to create a connection among all your employees and find efficient ways to work together.

By Andrew Patricio

September 23, 2015