How to Telecommute and Manage Teleworking Employees

Submitted by: PGi Blogger

With the prevalence of dispersed workforces in today’s expanding global marketplace, businesses are often left struggling to manage effectively over distances. People managers today often have telecommuting, work from home and office workers in their reporting structure. So how do you effectively and efficiently manage a remote workforce?

Here are five tips to make your remote management process more effective (and enjoyable):

1. Establish communication goals with every worker. To create a positive and productive relationship with your employees, ask everyone on your team about their preferred communication style and schedule 1-on-1 meetings to discuss the best go-forward communication plan. It might just be a daily email check-in or weekly meeting, but make sure you both agree on the best method of communication.

2. Be flexible with your remote workers. Flexible work arrangements are great for companies and employees, cutting down operation costs and facilitating an elevated work-life balance. With remote employees, managers must establish expectations early as remote workers tend to avoid the traditional 9-5 workday, work through lunch and opt for workations. If you’re good with that, fantastic. But if you need them at their computers on a Friday afternoon, make sure they know that ahead of time.

3. Find the right tools for online interactions. One of the most common issues with managing remote workers is finding tools that facilitate face-to-face, human interactions from any distance. So whether you’re hosting a 1-on-1 video conference, webinar or group status meeting, it’s vital that you choose the right online meeting tools for simple, personal and intuitive web meetings.

4. Schedule a face-to-face at least twice a year. One of the major issues facing remote workers is a feeling of alienation. While innovative video conferencing tools, like iMeet, improve communication over long distances, take the time to visit your remote workers — or fly them all out to visit you — at least twice each year. Their job satisfaction and productivity levels will greatly improve, and you’ll feel more connected, as well.

5. Have fun every once in a while. All work and no play makes everybody dull! Every month, schedule something fun for your entire team to do, from games to funny YouTube videos before your team call. Not only does it help break the ice, these activities build a sense of unity and team spirit between remote workers.

How do you effectively manage your teams remotely? If you’re a remote worker, what does your boss do — or not do — to facilitate better communication? What role does technology play in the way you communicate with your team?

Image courtesy of SingleMindedWomen.