Remote employees are the future. In 2016, 43 percent of Americans reported they spent at least some time working remotely. As flexible scheduling becomes a priority for workers and as global communities connect more and more through technology, the number of remote employees will only grow.
Does your company employ remote workers? Do you depend on an out-of-office team for your company’s success?
Just as you work at developing effective in-office leadership, you should also prioritize encouraging and supporting remote employees, helping them reach new heights of productivity and achievement.
But managing them looks different than managing in-office workers.
Focus on Goals, Not Time Tracking
It sounds productive to simply track your remote workers’ time as a measurement of their effort, but this isn’t the best approach. You won’t be able to control when and where your team sits down to work, but by making their role goal-oriented instead of time-oriented, you establish an easy way to measure progress that takes the stress of time-tracking off both you and your employee.
Encourage Employees to Set an Individualized Schedule
Beyond simply doing away with time-tracking, encourage your employees to work at the times of day that are most productive for them. Of course, they may need to be available at key points for meetings and check-ins, but if they want to work late into the evening during their second rush of energy, why not allow it? That’s the beauty of remote work — the employee can focus their efforts when they are at their best.
Keep Them Involved in Daily Office Communications
It’s easy to leave remote workers out of in-office conversation. After all, they’re not there, so you have to go out of your way to send an email or make a phone call to update them on last-minute changes or project statuses. Even though it may take extra effort on your part, try to keep them in the loop so they feel connected and in touch with their managers and colleagues.
Set Up Regular Meetings
Don’t let weeks go by without checking in with your remote employees. Set up a regular check-in time when you chat about their projects and get a real-time update on how their workflow is going.
Use Technology to Your Advantage
You can easily use video conferencing to patch in remote employees to all team meetings virtually — it’s almost like they’re really there! Use the latest technology to get “face time” and make their remote office seem closer than it is.
Support Their Career Goals
Just like your in-house team members, make sure you’re supporting the career goals of your remote employees. Don’t let their physical absence affect the opportunities your company provides. You may have to get creative, but be honest about how you’d like to help your remote employees advance their careers while acknowledging any challenges you’re working on overcoming.
WTA, Inc., can help you hire for all positions, including remote ones. Modern companies need a helpful, supportive partner to handle the regulatory side of business so they can fine-tune their focus on day-to-day operations, creating a better life for customers and employees alike. We are that partner, and we are here to help.