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  • Content Expert: Business

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    More than ever, businesses across the River Region need an effective policy for managing local and remote workers while keeping productivity up. The whirl of changes in the workplace following the outbreak of COVID-19 will likely have a lasting impact on workplace culture. Some businesses are opting to keep many — or, in some cases, all — of their employees in remote working arrangements. And moving forward, job candidates may be more likely to expect robust work-from-home policies from potential employers. Regardless, having processes in place to manage employees, wherever they are, is a necessity.
    Whether you intend to keep more workers remote or bring some of your team back into one space, these three recommendations can help manage performance.
    Coordinating with remote workers is a bit more complicated than walking over to an employee’s desk for an in-person conversation. Internal instant messaging systems and videoconferencing platforms help reduce the distance barrier. Make sure your employees are equipped in their remote workspaces with a microphone, webcam and any other necessary tools to help facilitate easy communication. Encourage all employees to use the same communication platforms so others aren’t left out of the loop.
    A potential detriment of remote work is employees may feel as though they aren’t part of a team. That can impact productivity. Clear performance benchmarks, such as transparent and reasonable deadlines, can help. Also, people should have consistent check-ins with managers, and bringing the group together, even virtually, for frequent touch-base discussions, can help keep efficiency up. Set a cadence for your workers to expect to hear from you. Reach out proactively, outside of that cadence, to check in and see how they’re doing. Reiterate their importance to the team’s performance and show consistent appreciation for their work.
    Maintaining a strong company culture is important — even more so when your employees are physically distant. Develop creative opportunities for team discussions that go beyond the regular tasks and business objectives. Use them as a chance to publicly praise good work. Consider a virtual game night through the use of videoconferencing. Show your team that you’re being intentional about keeping everyone connected, even in these uncertain times.
    While managing remote workers isn’t a new task for all businesses, having a strategic approach is crucial. Find additional resources for implementing a work-from-home policy for your business at regions.com/Insights/Small- Business.
    Arthur DuCote is the Montgomery Market Executive for Regions Bank
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