Almost every company is letting employees have the option to work off-site or even in another city. However, this new method of workforce management is still getting mixed reviews from the corporate sector. The difficulties that executives face in overseeing teleworkers include having a lack of insight into how much work their employees are actually accomplishing and ensuring their remote staff has access to all of the information they need. It isn’t so much about trust as it about making sure you are nurturing, supporting, and communicating with your remote team consistently.
Here are five things to remember when managing a offsite employee or team:
Set expectations. Tell remote employees how often you’d like them to check in by phone or email. Let them know you expect them to be reachable during office hours.
Outline timelines. Set clear goals and benchmarks to help mobile workers stay on track with objectives.
Encourage communication through technology tools. Make sure remote employees have access to the right communication tools. Teleconferencing, online-meeting and file-sharing services foster collaboration among remote teams.
Make them feel apart of the team. To help remote workers stay connected, request that they work on-site a few times a month, if possible. Encourage them to attend important events and meetings in person, as appropriate.
Define the “Why.” In a remote environment, it’s easy to feel isolated. As a manager, you’re very aware of how each person’s work is building towards a long-term goal, Tell them how their individual tasks and projects map to the organization’s objectives.
if you want to read about other tools and strategies for managers, check out my other blog post on why employees need leaders, not managers.