Sunday, May 31, 2015
Strategies for managing remote employees effectively
Remote employees are becoming more common as technology has made it easier to share information and communicate over long distances. Furthermore, a large number of employees are finding that the comforts of their own home make them more productive, according to a Dell study cited by IT Business Edge. IT managers looking to take advantage of this trend will have multiple tools at the disposal. Taking advantage of these resources and employing management practices that properly motivate remote workers will allow a company to maximize the performance of their off-site staff. Consider the following approaches as your IT teams begins to push for the opportunity to work from the location of their choice.
The key to a successful remote employee is trust.
Build a relationship through transparency
The first step in making sure your off-site workforce is effective is establishing a sense of mutual trust. Forbes emphasized that this process begins in transparency, specifically that IT managers are capable of keeping track of an employee's work progress and ensuring an accountability process is set into place. Likewise, management can extend trust to remote employee by allowing flexibility in how those goals are met. Both employees and managers have a comfortable understanding of the other's expectations once this this back-and-forth relationship is established.
There are simple, non-intrusive ways that companies can keep tabs on remote employees and makes sure their workers are staying on task. Using a company-wide chat application, for instance, simplifies communication when employees inquire about progress updates and project information. The most effective transparency measures are ones that fit squarely into the employee's workflow.
Schedule in-person meetings and events when possible
Another aspect of effectively managing remote employees to take into consideration the importance of face time. Generating chemistry with remote employees through in-person meetings and company social gatherings is an easy way to make off-site professionals feel like part of the company even if they spend most of their working hours out of the office. A bit of camaraderie goes a long way toward preventing remote workers from growing isolated and unmotivated. Requiring in-person appearances for performance reviews and other important meetings also helps to provide an extra layer of accountability to the remote working experience.
Take advantage of remote-focused technology solutions
One way to make sure that off-site employees are able to stay productive and accountable to their work schedule is to ensure that they always have access to the information they need. In order to make sure that your company's data stays safe and secure, your IT team may want to invest in a multiple solutions for connecting your remote employees to critical business data. Remote console servers, for instance, provide a reliable method for connecting from the company's on-site data facility to locations accessible by your off-site workers.
"Effective transparency measures fit squarely into the employee's workflow."
Schedule around potential lapses in contact
Remind your remote employees that early and regular communication is key to preventing their flexible schedules from hindering other members of the team. Be sure to institute specific policies that encourage off-site IT staff to schedule their time-off as early in advance as possible. At the same time, companies that allow their employees to work remotely must be flexible when extenuating circumstances, such as whether phenomena or power outages, prevent remote workers from getting their jobs done according to deadline.
Target skills that translate to success as a remote worker
Don't forget to look for the skills that make for a great remote employee during the hiring process. Effective communicators with proven experience as remote workers are great candidates for the positions, as are long-time IT specialists who may be interested in making a move and are capable from doing their work remotely. Extra time spent vetting remote employees will help you avoid a potential hiring disaster.
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