5 Tips for Managing Remote Employees

April 1, 2016

Working from home has its perks. It provides a flexible work environment, eliminates certain overhead costs and can provide efficiency for all parties involved. When it comes to managing remote employees, managers should find a happy medium between ensuring that their staff is productive, without being overbearing. If some of your employees work from home, consider these tips when managing remote employees.

1. Hire the right people

A successful remote-work relationship starts with the employees you’re hiring. Make sure you’re recruiting trustworthy, hard-working individuals who add value to your business. If you’re confident that the people you’re hiring can responsibly handle working from home, it will make your life much easier.

2. Set up guidelines

When hiring new employees, establish guidelines for them regarding working from home. If you have specific hours you’d like them to work or other mandatory company rules you’ll require them to abide by, let them know upfront. If your employees know what is expected of them, it’s likely that they’ll stay on-task and produce better work.

3. Check in but not too much

Avoid the temptation to be constantly checking in with your remote employees. This is a waste of time that you could both be spending accomplishing important goals. You want your employees to feel empowered to do their job in their own way. Schedule a weekly meeting, whether it be in-person or online via tools such as Skype, GoToMeeting or WebEx. During these meetings, discuss the employee’s progress on projects and allow them to ask you questions.. This will create a healthy working relationship, where you’ll be able to monitor their work, without making them feel like you don’t trust them.

4. Communicate

Strong, consistent communication will provide your employees with insight into what you expect and they’ll be able to express to you any issues they are having. When completing employee performance evaluations, communicate your expectations so that your employees are able to improve their work. Since you aren’t working alongside your employees every day, the communication you have with them when you do speak will be even more pivotal!

5. Show appreciation

Since you won’t be seeing your remote employees on a daily basis, you may forget to reward them for their hard work. Even if you and your employees aren’t in an office together, there are still ways to make sure that they feel valued. If everyone lives in the same city, have an employee appreciation party at a local restaurant. Your small business may employ staff members from all over the country so, if this is the case, send them a handwritten card or a gift certificate showing your appreciation for their service. Frequent verbal “thank yous” when you do speak with them also go a long way. Home-based employees are often required to wear many different hats because they don’t have in-office support, so make sure to acknowledge their dedication!

If you’re hiring the right individuals, you’ll be able to focus on other areas of your business and give your employees the freedom to independently complete their work. A remote workforce can be an extremely beneficial arrangement for both small business owners and their employees

This communication is for informational purposes only; it is not legal, tax or accounting advice; and is not an offer to sell, buy or procure insurance.

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By Katie Alteri

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