Managing Remote Employees

We want to begin by saying that working from home exclusively is not for everyone or every business. In many situations, it’s necessary to physically be at an office or other location with team members in order to work effectively. In today’s digitally inclined world, however, it’s feasible to work remotely in many job sectors. Even those in the business of selling tangible products are able to work from home and provide the same quality of work as they would in a traditional setting. Think about Amazon.com. None of Amazon’s products are physically there in front of you- you read descriptions, reviews, pricing, etc. and then you buy. Today, cars and even houses are sold online without the buyer every physically being able to look at them. The concept of remote selling is not limited to small consumer products or services, but can also include larger products or more complicated services. For this reason, more and more people are able to work from home.

 

The world has changed! For the most part, the way we purchase things is completely different than it was even 10 years ago. Technology has brought forth email, Internet speed, VoIP phones, video conferencing, and much more. Millions of people use these technologies to communicate with and manage employees remotely on a global scale every day! Crazy, right? There are two key issues in remote managing; hiring the right people and the way you, personally, approach managing. If you can combat these issues, remote managing is a viable 21st century way to oversee employees and the company as a whole.   

 

If your employees are going to work from home, hiring the right people is imperative. A good remote employee should be:

Self-Motivated. Remote employees must be self-motivated and self-sufficient. If the employee needs constant guidance or direction, a remote work environment will probably not work out.

Flexibile. Employees who enjoy the ability to have flexible working hours may good candidates for a remote working situation. Working from home allows them to do their job at odd hours of the day, if need be.

Goal-Centered. Employees who are constantly mindful of their goals may work well in a remote environment because they have the ability to keep themselves on track. They self-evaluate and restructure goals according to expectations.

 

Are you, as a manager, equipped to handle remote employees as well?  A good remote manager should be able to answer ‘yes’ to these questions: 

Are you the anti-micro manager?  Do you draw conclusions based on results, not busy work or data dumping? A good candidate to manage remote employees must be comfortable with the fact that he or she will not have constant supervision of their employees.

Are you tech savvy enough to meet the digital demands of the job? Communicating with your employees will be largely on a digital basis, so you must have the ability to utilize the technologies that facilitate this. In addition, you must be able to operate software that allows you to analyze data, results, and other information.

Do you trust your remote employees? Most of all, it comes down to trust. If you don’t believe in your employees and trust them to do what they need to do, managing remote employees will be extremely tough.

 

Remote working can be advantageous for the employee, manager, and company. You must have the right people to act as employees and managers, but most of all, the company itself must be compatible with a remote structure.

 

Written By Doug Meacham  https://www.linkedin.com/in/doug-meacham-lutcf-4999a120