How to manage employees in remote locations
For many companies expensive office equipment and limited space are decisive factors to hire more remote employees. The managers, therefore, need to adjust their methods and face the obstacles that come together with having an increased number of employees working from remote locations. Let’s take a look at the most effective strategies of managing teleworkers.
Many managers fear that the employees who work without supervision don’t put in a full day. The key to finding excellent teleworkers is proper preliminary evaluation. The manager needs to determine if the prospective employee has the right skills, necessary experience and strong work ethic to work independently. During the recruitment process it is worth to discuss not only the timeline of candidates’ professional career, but also the actual results they have achieved. It is crucial to find the right person for the job in the first place, as not everyone is comfortable with working away from the office.
Making the rules
In order to effectively manage remote employees a good manager needs to establish rules at the very beginning to avoid misunderstandings in the future. Teleworkers have to be informed how their progress will be measured and should know the schedule of performance evaluation in advance. Many companies introduce annual assessment of goals and objectives and follow up at the end of each year to find out how office and remote employees are fulfilling their professional duties, tasks and obligations.
It often happens that remote employees complain about the lack of important information. To maintain the image of professionalism every manager needs to establish a line of communication suitable for both parties. Many encourage teleworkers to be available during office hours and use advanced communication tools, as they come in handy to check-in regularly. Consequently, delivering important information regarding staffing changes, current projects and office-related matters becomes much easier.
The manager in charge of remote employees needs to provide equal access to office network. Modern companies decide to set up a remote connection, however they worry about the security of data. A qualified IT team will undoubtedly assist the manager in providing necessary tools to mitigate the risks of information leakage. Apart from that, it is a great idea to include a confidentiality clause in the job contract, if remote employees work with sensitive client information.
The issue of productivity
An undeniable advantage of working from remote locations is the fact that the employees do not have to deal with everyday office distractions. Chinese experiment has proved that productivity increases by 13% in case of teleworkers. However, the issue of healthy work-life balance arises, as it may be hard for some remote employees to unplug and draw the line between business and leisure. A good manager needs to ensure that the employees working from remote locations are not overworked. It is, therefore, extremely important to communicate frequently. The management shouldn’t underestimate the value of face-to-face meetings, as they help build personal bonds and bring the team closer together.
The benefits of flexible job environment are countless not only for employees, but also for management. Keep in mind five core principles of managing employees in remote locations and enjoy working in a harmonious team.
Monique Craig is an Australian blogger and marketing specialist who works for Oneflare, an online marketplace which connects customers with local service providers.