When it comes to remote employees, there are typically two schools of thought:
- sit back and let your employees do their thing
- stay on top of them constantly to ensure they are doing their jobs
As you can see, neither of these approaches will lead to a successful employer/employee relationship. To put it bluntly, both of these approaches have negative implications that could seriously impede productivity.
The best way to effectively manage remote employees is to find a happy medium. By taking the middle road, you’ll allow your employees the freedom to take care of their responsibilities and still be able to monitor their activity without the constant need or desire to constantly check up on them.
How do you effectively manage remote employees? Here are some suggestions to make the process flow smoothly.
Make Expectations Clear from the Start
When working with remote employees, it’s in the business’s best interest to ensure your remote employees clearly know what is expected of them. Set goals so they understand everything that they are expected to accomplish. Tell remote employees that they have to be available during office hours, so they should be reachable by phone, email or via text. Benchmarks are also wonderful because they help employees to aim higher in all that they do.
Utilize Technological Tools to Help Manage Operations
It’s easier to work with remote employees than ever because of the wonderful advances in technology. For starters, using a time clock software, such as Clockspot, can make or break you. Be sure your employee time tracking system is efficient enough to provide you with the necessities such as employee hours, payroll, and task management options. Also, keep in mind that if it’s difficult for you to use, it might not be any easier for employees. Stick with software that’s easily accessible remotely, works on mobile, and is overall not a hassle on anyone’s end.
Teleconferencing is a fantastic way to share important information and projects with your employees without having to speak to each one of them on an individual basis.
Online meetings make it so simple to connect with your remote employees. Set regularly scheduled meetings and create an agenda. As the manager/business owner, it’s your job to make sure everyone has the opportunity to speak their mind during these meetings online. Do not dominate the conversation, but allow everyone to speak their piece.
File sharing is the perfect way to allow multiple remote employees to work together on the same projects. It helps to facilitate collaboration between remote teams, and creates a sense of togetherness as your staff works closely amongst each other to finish important work-related projects.
Allow On-Site Work Opportunities When Appropriate
Depending on where your remote employees are located, it’s always helpful to give them the opportunity to work on-site, in a face-to-face environment, directly with you and other members of the in-house staff. This will not always be possible because some remote employees might be too far from your physical location to make this a viable option.
Working face-to-face does help foster teamwork and a positive attitude, so it’s always best to give remote employees the opportunity to attend important company events and meetings on-site. As a last resort, utilize videoconferencing as a way to get these individuals more actively involved in the company through important face time interactions.
Schedule Regular Check-Ins
Regularly checking in with remote employees will help keep them on task and allow you to oversee their progress. Sometimes the lines between personal life and work become blurred, so it’s your job to make sure these employees stay on task to the best of their ability.
Use this information to effectively manage remote employees without being completely hands-on.