7 Tips To Effectively Manage Remote Workers
Technology allows people to communicate easier than ever before so a lot of companies are allowing certain employees to work from home. Currently 2.3% of the US workforce is remote and that number is growing every year. When you don’t see employees in an office every day it presents new problems and new solutions. Below you’ll find some useful tips for managing remote employees.
1. Hire The Right Person. Hire people for the quality of work they can produce not based on their resume. In my experience, some people are better qualified for remote work than others. I highly recommend a slow hire process, or a test run before making a commitment to hire. Test potential employees on all areas of their job and most of all on their ability to problem solve, and communicate effectively.
2. Watch For Both Overworking And Underworking. Sure, you’re bound to have some employees who slack off and take advantage if they’re left unchecked, but even worse is the employees who are working too much. Many employees struggle with having a set work time and they might work way more than necessary. They can get burnt out. The last thing a company should do is burn out their committed employees. It’s important that a manager or boss notice when someone is doing too much to stop them from overworking themselves.
3. Communication With Management. Remote workers can feel very detached from the rest of the company so it’s important for managers to establish an open line of communication. This does not mean asking them for progress reports or calling to check in on their work habits, workers are human and they need a human connection to do their best work. Call them and ask them how they’re doing, how they feel about certain aspects of the job, try to catch problems way before they occur. An open line of communication most importantly make it easy for employees to come to you if necessary.
4. Establish A Culture Of Trust And Respect. Strong relationships are an important for all employees but possibly even more important for remote workers. Have regular Google Hangout sessions, have them Skype in to work meetings on occasion, help them feel a part of something. Putting a face and a personality to a name can go far to establish trust. You’re much less likely to have employees who “go rogue,” as we like to say at our company. It can happen when an employee feels really disconnected that they’ll simply start doing things their own way. That can be dangerous.
5. Goals. Have daily, weekly, and monthly goals in place, especially with things like social media management where work and “hanging out” can blur together. Also, make a big deal when employees meet goals. People often forget to tell remote workers that they’re doing a good job. A little flattery can go far.
6. Keep Remote Workers Informed On The Company. Inform remote workers on what everyone else is working on, company goals, and projects. This is even more important at a small company. It’s great for pep talks and creating a team spirit that can push people a little harder (especially during busy or stressful periods).
7. Accountability. Some remote positions such as those in social media, blogging, etc., it can be difficult to track productivity. It’s important to set standards and hold people accountable if they fall short.