How To Manage Several Office Locations Remotely

It’s no secret that remote work is increasing in popularity. Regardless of what encouraged a company to go remote in the first place, they’re choosing to stay remote indefinitely for numerous reasons.

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The rise in popularity of remote work isn’t stopping anytime soon. Researchers predict that:

  • Remote work is here to stay;
  • More and more companies will start implementing a hybrid work model (the option to work both at home and in the office);
  • Working remotely while on vacation will become more common;
  • Companies will invest in the right tools and training to give their employees all they need to succeed while working remotely.

Along with the growth in remote work comes the need to know how to manage a remote company. Physically managing multiple storefronts can be exhausting for business owners — managing them remotely can help relieve some of those duties.

Even if your business can’t operate remotely, it doesn't mean that you can’t. Managing multiple office locations remotely can provide a multitude of benefits like:

  • Allowing you to monitor multiple locations at once, rather than having to go from business-to-business to check-in;
  • Freeing up your schedule;
  • Providing you with opportunities to work on-the-go.

If you do choose to manage your businesses remotely, you’ll want to ensure you’re adequately prepared to do so. Throughout the rest of this article, you will find helpful tips to consider when running your offices from home.


Be Accessible

One of the most important duties you have as a business owner — no matter what your management style — is to be accessible. To be accessible means your employees and fellow management can reach you if your guidance is ever needed, at any moment during business hours.

It’s important to establish clear communication channels within your establishment. Not just for the sake of accessibility, but for the sake of employee satisfaction and retention as well. Failure to do so can result in miscommunication, which may ultimately lead to a decline in business.

You can increase accessibility by:

  • Being mindful of various time zones — pick office hours that are good for you and your employees;
  • Investing in instant messaging software at work such as Slack;
  • Setting “office hours” — set hours employees can contact you for assistance.

It’s important to communicate to your employees when you know you’ll be difficult to reach or out-of-office. Provide them with an alternative contact they can reach until you’re back.


Standardize Processes

The more buildings you own, the more there is to keep track of. One of the many duties you have, while you manage your offices remotely, is to ensure each facility is running up to par.

You’re not able to be at each location, every moment, every day. One way to ensure everything goes well while you’re away is to standardize processes. This can also help to make your job as a remote manager easier.

To standardize processes means to ensure daily tasks are assigned, processed, and completed the same way throughout multiple facilities. Having a set process in place can help ensure everything is done effectively and efficiently — both of which are crucial elements to your business’s brand.

Ways to standardize business processes include:

  • Implement artificial intelligence (AI) or robotic process automation (RPA) to reduce your workload;
  • Maintain employee training on company processes;
  • Place a process guide and employee handbook in easily-accessible areas.

Whatever you choose to do, be sure your staff members are thoroughly educated on processes.


Invest in the Right Monitoring Software

Remote monitoring and management (RMM) is the process of remotely tracking, monitoring, and managing endpoints for multiple clients. Endpoint monitoring and management allows you to troubleshoot issues with employee computers in real time. Moreover, by keeping tabs on endpoints, you’re more likely to catch security vulnerabilities before bad actors take advantage of them.

Network monitoring software is another type of solution that is essential to business owners. Network monitoring differs from RMM in terms of scope. With RMM, you view, operate, and manage individual computers remotely; with network monitoring, you’re able to assess network infrastructure devices, internet of things (IoT) devices, printers, the performance of the network, intruders, and more.

Overall, network monitoring is a process that enables IT professionals to determine whether a network is working properly in terms of performance, uptime, and endpoint availability. This is a great option for larger companies that have a separate IT department.

The benefits of network monitoring software are that it helps ensure all of your devices are running properly and performing as expected. Be sure to contact a trustworthy network monitoring software company that considers installation time to help guarantee you get the best deal for your business.

Investing in RMM and network monitoring software solutions is ideal for those who manage multiple businesses, storefronts, and/or office locations.

With RMM and network monitoring tools you benefit by being able to:

  • Automatically collect details on a network’s computing systems;
  • Resolve issues and provide insights on minor details;
  • Maximize efficiency and minimize the cost of labor by fixing problems in a matter of minutes;
  • Enhance system security;
  • Provide system alerts and IT tickets as necessary;
  • Track the status and condition of the system network.

One of the huge benefits of network monitoring software is that it automatically discovers devices in your network. Since you’re physically not able to be in all of your locations at once (or in your employees’ homes if they work remotely), you need network monitoring to keep track of inventory and make sure unauthorized devices don’t hack into the network.


Delegate

Delegation may not be a term often associated with management, but it should be. It is important to understand that as a business owner, you are also the company delegator. Your role as a delegator is even more important when you run multiple locations.

As the delegator, you must ensure that all processes can be completed to company standards by trusted individuals who are left in charge. One way to do this is to hire qualified and experienced individuals.

Tips for team delegation include:

  • Clearly communicate the endgame to everyone responsible for different tasks;
  • Know which tasks should be handled by you (employee files, performance reviews, and other confidential company files) and which tasks can be handled by your management team (basic day-to-day activities like answering customer questions and complaints, and shop key-holder responsibilities);
  • Make sure you are easily accessible;
  • Pay attention to your employee’s strengths and weaknesses — don’t give them responsibilities you don’t think they can handle;
  • Provide everyone with resources when necessary to complete their tasks.

You may even consider other forms of delegation, such as outsourcing for technological benefits.


Connect With Your Teams

Having dedicated hours for open communication is one thing, actually communicating with your employees during that time is another. Encouraging your team to be communicative with one another is a great way to boost employee morale.

Communication is even more important when you’re operating multiple offices. You need to be sure that not only are you communicating clearly with your team members, but that they’re also communicating clearly with one another.

Here’s a list of tips to help improve your communication with teams while working remotely:

  • Conduct frequent team video chats with team leaders in all locations to help build uniformity;
  • Double-check to see if anyone has any questions when you’re sending updates to ensure everyone is on the same page;
  • Greet each employee and ask them about their day before getting to the point of the call/message — this helps build a professional relationship and creates a sense of trust;
  • Have a group chat between you and all other managers where they can ask questions and provide daily updates freely;
  • Show empathy and understand that messages may get accidentally misconstrued.

Clear communication is a necessary practice that all business owners should prioritize.


Integrate Where Possible

If you find yourself struggling to manage multiple systems at once, then it may be a sign you need to integrate them. System integration is the process of combining multiple subsystems into a single system that functions as one.

For example, combine all sales data from individual locations into one system using cloud migration. These integrations can be beneficial because they can help automate processes and increase cybersecurity.


Be Goal-Oriented

Finally, a concept that seems so simple, yet is often underestimated, is to be goal-oriented. As a business owner, you are viewed as an expert in your field and people look to you for guidance. When your employees see that you have clear goals set for your business, it helps them see the true passion you have for the business and their future.

It can be difficult to lose track when you’re not working hands-on like you would be if you were physically managing multiple locations at once. However, having clear goals can help you stay focused and on track for success.

A piece of advice to consider when establishing your goals is to focus on the journey, not the outcome. This is important to remember because it will help you understand the importance of breaking down each step to achieve an outcome — thoroughly completing each task along the way.

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