Managing Remote Employees? Don't Stress!

July 31, 2019

As the rate of telecommuting employees goes up and about 80-90% of all employees report that they would like to work remotely at least part of the time, it's clearly becoming more appealing for companies to offer this option.

As someone who currently has the option to work from home sometimes, it will be a big consideration when I search for employment after college. 

Working from home is great for employees, the company, and the environment, but some managers may find it hard to get used to. It can come with some new feelings like loss of control or fear of giving a higher level of trust. Luckily, there are ways to make managing remote employees simple. 

Utilize technology

To ensure your employees can be the most productive while working remote, you have to equip them with reliable tools.

You can communicate with your employees more easily, they can collaborate with co-workers, and you are able to track their productivity with ease. Invest in a reliable telecommunication system to give yourself a head start. 

Schedule video-meetings so you get face to face interaction with all your employees. Whenever I work from home, I have a virtual meeting with my boss on the Votacall app, so I know what's expected of me that day. 

You can also give feedback more often to your employees! Which can help them keep getting better at their job, and be more efficient. 

Set the tone

Once you have equipped your employees with the adequate tools and technology, set clear expectations. Being straight forward with what you expect as a manager is the best way to see employees reach full productivity. 

A great option is setting up a calendar with deadlines, it will help employees know what you want done and when. My boss and I utilize the Outlook Calendar, it sends me reminders about meetings and upcoming deadlines before the time comes. I always feel prepared and know what's expected of me because of this. 

Remote employees should be treated the same as employees in the office (and vice versa)! Respond quickly to remote employees, it will help you both get things done faster! Engage and collaborate with all employees daily so remote employees feel as included as local employees. I wouldn't appreciate feeling like a secondary employee just because I am remote. 

Trust the team

Have trust in your employees until they give you a reason not to. They were hired for a reason - because your company believes in them and their work ethic. Trust that your employees will meet the guidelines and expectations you have set. Also, keep in mind that a 2016 study reported that over 2/3 of employers report increased productivity among their telecommuters!

It is advised to focus on output instead of hours clocked because some people get things done at different paces. This is because set hours don't drive productivity. As long as employees are meeting deadlines (and maybe even exceeding expectations) the hours shouldn't matter.

Offer them consistent support, so they know you are there to help them no matter what location they are working from. When I am remote, my boss is still completely accessible to me. I can send him a quick message as if I had just walked up to him and asked a question, which makes me feel supported and included.

Managing remote employees can come smoothly with practice and effort on both ends. Telecommuting has so many benefits for employees, a company, and the environment making it 100% worth the effort!

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