Issues Managing Remote Staff
More companies are recognizing the benefits of providing a virtual work environment. Tech companies lead the way though more traditional workplaces are offering this great perk for the right employees.
Pluses of Remote Employees
- Have a larger pool of talent in recruiting in the US and the world, depending on your company needs.
- Reduces the cost of commutation for the employee
- More employees are looking for work/life balance and in congested cities commutation takes a big chunk out a day.
- Companies reduce their real estate and other equipment expenses.
- It’s a great benefit to offer a potential new hire.
Along with the interest of your open position, the above benefits are strong perks to entice the right talent to your team. If they agree, you have solve one of your issues…finding the right talent to get the job done. How can you insure that you build a strong working relationship with your remote employee(s).
Potential Issues of Remote Employees
Communication — can be a problem in face-to-face environments, though with a virtual workforce, this becomes a greater challenge. What can you do to insure that your remote employees are up on important work projects?
- Technology provides communication channels to have either face-to-face meetings, instant messaging and email are all provide points to connect with remote employees.
- Consistent meeting times where the team shares projects and what is important.
- Find times for the teams to bond together. When people know each other, they tend to be more committed to the company. If you can’t afford to bring people together on a regular basis, find ways to bring people together.
Productivity – Studies have shown that the overall productivity of remote employees is high, which is good for you to meet your business goals. You job is to make sure that the employee is clear around deliverables and you are available to help them when questions arise.
Expectations – in managing employees your job is to set expectations and insure the employee is clear what needs to be done. Train if necessary. Make sure your employees know what is required, who is dependent on their work and delivery dates.
Accountability – you don’t see your remote employees so you have to set up accountability check points to insure they are productive and meet project goals. Weekly 1:1 remote meetings, weekly reporting, or a phone call to check in are all tools you can use to stay on top of the work. One weak link can derail the timing of a project, so stay focus on deliverables. Some managers feel they are micro managing or not trusting their employees if they ask for accountability points, yet employees like the structure. Within that structure they can create the solution, yet having defined deliverables tells them that their work is important.
I believe most employees want to do their best, and via training and accountability, you can help them succeed in their roles. Employee success is tied to the company’s success.
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