These days, managing remote employees is an assumed responsibility many managers take in stride, as technology has made keeping in contact with remote employees easier than ever before. Thanks to advancements in video chat technology and other management applications, workforces are no longer limited by the bounds of geography.
If you haven’t considered offering telecommuting as a benefit, you may want to. Studies show that offering some form of telecommuting typically pays off in an employee base that is more appreciative, focused, engaged and productive. However, developing an effective culture doesn’t happen overnight. Here are some tips to consider in managing a telecommuting relationship:
1. Implement a way to count hours worked.
Making employees responsible for reporting their own hours is the best way to track when and for how long each of your remote employees is working. Choose online-based system employees to have access to wherever they are, like FingerCheck time clock software. Using FingerCheck, remote employees can clock in and out online and on their smartphones. They can even select what job they’re working on, and leave notes documenting their progress.
2. Find a way to stay connected throughout the day.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve probably already designated a platform for chatting between colleagues and supervisors (we at FingerCheck use Slack!). Using a daily platform for real-time chatting can allow managers and employees to ask questions, go over assignments, communicate the status of ongoing projects, and generally stay on the same page while working.
3. Utilize video technology.
If you’re managing remote workers that never come into the office, face time is important. Consider using video conference technology for meetings. Free and inexpensive tools like Skype, Google hangouts, Sqwiggle, and join.me make it easy to set up video conferencing, screen sharing, and more. According to research, over half of human communication is non-verbal, which is why it’s essential to bring in tools that allow the whole team to actively and visually participate in meetings.
4. Set clear goals and make expectations known.
In order to be as productive as studies show, employees must have the work ethic to effectively work remotely. As a manager, it’s important to give employees a goals-focused direction in order to set them on the path for success. In your meetings, be sure to set goals for each employee and ensure they know your expectations and communication chain.
Check-in with employees one-on-one regularly, and be sure to discuss any issues or priorities. In order to successfully manage remote employees, the key is to develop good practices that keep you in frequent contact with your employees and on top of established goals together. With today’s tools, like FingerCheck time clock software, anything is possible.