As a remote leader, it’s vital that you set clear expectations for your team.

It’s easy for confusion to occur when everyone works remotely. However, with the right strategy and communication methods, you can help everyone understand what you want them to do and how you want it done.  

Today, we’ll explore the importance of setting clear remote work expectations. We’ll also share tips on establishing and maintaining expectations for your remote team.

Why clear remote work expectations matter

When determining remote worker expectations, transparency benefits you, your team and your entire business. Here are some specific ways that being straightforward can help your company thrive:  

Better company culture

Creating and maintaining a positive company culture can be tricky when your team is spread across the globe. However, direct communication and expectations make it easier to offer support, build stronger relationships, and increase employee motivation.

Fewer mistakes

People are less likely to make mistakes when they know the following:

  • What you want them to do
  • When you want it done
  • How you want it done
  • Why you want them to do it

Setting and clarifying expectations upfront will reduce the chances of misunderstandings and potential productivity or performance challenges.  

Increased accountability

What happens when you’re honest about your expectations, provide precise directions and assign tasks to specific team members? Well, you create a greater sense of accountability among your team members. People know what you want from them, and they feel more responsible for getting things done correctly.

Improved employee retention

A supportive company culture can boost morale and improve employee retention rates. People want to continue working for an honest, transparent and encouraging employer. They’ll also be less likely to jump ship at the first sign of another job opening.

How to set expectations with your remote workers

You can see why clear expectations matter, but do you know how to establish them? Start by taking these six steps:

1. Choose the proper communication channels

Communication is critical for all teams. However, it’s crucial for remote teams — especially those that do asynchronous work or are distributed across many time zones. 

Identify the specific communication channels you want to use from the start. Then, share them with everyone on your team. If everyone utilizes the same tools, keeping all your employees on the same page will be easier.

2. Agree on working hours

Many people prefer remote work because it offers increased schedule flexibility. However, too much flexibility can make it hard to get in touch with certain team members.

It helps to establish specific working hours that accommodate major clients or branch office schedules. Let employees know when they need to be available, so you don’t waste time tracking down someone in a different time zone.

3. Identify team and individual KPIs

Key performance indicators (KPIs) help you measure performance and determine if teams and individual employees are progressing toward their goals.

Choose specific KPIs for the entire team and individual team members. Doing so helps to increase productivity and ensure everyone is working to move the team in the right direction.

4. Create a plan for inclusivity

Building connections and fostering camaraderie can be tricky for remote teams. That’s why you need to create a plan for inclusivity.

When setting expectations for participation and inclusivity, consider how you want to handle team-building activities, team meetings and measuring employee engagement. Create a specific plan for these things and share them with everyone on your team. 

5. Conduct regular check-ins

The process of setting expectations is ongoing. You can’t share your expectations once and assume everyone will automatically follow them perfectly.

Regular check-ins allow you to assess how well people are meeting your expectations and where there’s room for improvement. They also allow your employees to ask for clarification, express concerns, and share feedback.  

6. Use technology

The right tools can make connecting with your employees, sharing expectations and monitoring progress and performance much more manageable. From hardware like computers and phones to software solutions like time tracking, communication channels and more, make it much easier to set and manage expectations.  

Maintaining expectations for the long-term

It’s great to set remote worker expectations. However, you also need to maintain them to see long-term results. These tips can assist with employee management and help you continue sharing clear expectations as your business grows:

Stick to a strict meeting schedule

Conduct check-in meetings consistently. For example, you might schedule sessions once a week or once every two weeks. A regular schedule helps everyone stay motivated. It also gives you frequent opportunities to monitor progress or identify potential issues (such as miscommunications or misunderstandings).

Ask for regular status updates

You can create accountability and encourage communication among your team members by requesting regular status updates. For example, you could ask them to send a status update at the beginning of each workday or the beginning of each week.

Be flexible

Setbacks are typical, no matter how carefully you plan a project. That’s why you need to be willing to adapt when issues arise. Flexibility helps you to maintain morale and positive company culture. It also enables you to keep your team motivated.

Be available

Remember, you can’t share expectations once and expect everyone to be on the same page automatically. Make yourself available to your team members via email, phone or chat so they can ask questions or see clarification when needed.

Lead by example

You should follow the same rules and standards as your employees. If you lead by example, your employees will be more likely to take your expectations seriously and abide by them.

Elevate your remote working experience with clear expectations

Transparency makes life easier for everyone working remotely, from the manager to the newest employee. Follow the above guidelines to improve communication, clarify expectations and maintain performance long term.   

Here at Outstaffer, we make it easy to find, hire, onboard and employ top talent from around the globe in just a few clicks. Plus, our #WorkFromAnywhere technology enables you to set and maintain expectations with solutions like Managed Devices, Workforce Monitoring, Time & Attendance Tracking, and more. 

Book your free demo today.

Mar 3, 2023
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