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Tips for Managing Remote Office Workers

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Remote workers, also known as telecommuters, are becoming more prominent in the workplace these days. The benefits of utilizing remote workers is that you can take on employees that do not live in your geographic area, you can reduce your office costs, and you can create flexible work schedules that better serve your business. But there are challenges to utilizing remote workers that every company must overcome. The biggest challenge is working out how to manage employees that you do not see in person on a regular basis.

Consider Deadlines Instead Of Work Hours

You could ask employees to clock into a workday through an Internet program or by utilizing a phone system, but even that is not going to give you an accurate method for monitoring their work. Instead of worrying about having remote employees put in the prerequisite 40 hours per week, consider setting deadlines for tasks and holding remote employees to those deadlines.

When you utilize deadlines, you allow your remote employees to make their own schedule and that can increase productivity. You will also find morale on the rise when employees are empowered to determine their own work routine.

Have Regular Meetings

If your remote workers are close enough for them to reasonably drive to the office, then you could have regularly scheduled meetings at least once a week with all remote workers. If your team is scattered around the world, then create regular meeting times, either by phone or video conference, that you can meet.

Regular meetings help to keep your remote workers  feel part of the team and connected to the rest of the company. You can also check in on any issues you may be having with their work and make sure that they have the resources they need to do their jobs.

Trust Is The Key

A remote worker-employer relationship needs to be based on trust if it is going to work. You have to trust that the workers will do their jobs and your workers have to trust that you will not try to micromanage them because they are not in the office every day.

The best way to establish trust with your remote workers is to have a strong remote working policy in place and then follow it to the letter.

Use A Variety Of Communication Methods

When you set up remote workers, be certain that they are all tied into the company phone system and company network. Encourage remote workers to utilize phone, email, and Internet communication on a regular basis. The company should also practice using a variety of communication methods to maintain contact with remote workers. Once again, if the remote workers are close enough to the office, then encourage them to come into the office from time to time to get work done.

Not every issue with a remote worker can be solved with an email or video conference session. Sometimes a conference call can be more effective than an email. In other cases, a face to face meeting in the company conference room is the right way to go. Opening up multiple methods of communication with remote workers makes the worker and the company much more efficient.

Remote workers can be a great benefit to a company, as long as those workers are handled properly. Managing remote workers take a particular kind of approach, but it is an approach that can reap big rewards when it is done correctly.



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