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4 Ways to Manage Remote Employees

4 Ways to Manage Remote Employees
Managing remote employees requires planning ahead. / Credit: Managing employees image via Shutterstock

One of the biggest struggles in successfully managing remote employees is making sure out of sight doesn't mean out of mind, new research shows.

Nearly one-third of chief information officers (CIOs) said not having enough face time is their greatest challenge in managing a remote workforce, according to a study by Robert Half Technology. Other difficulties executives face in overseeing teleworkers include having a lack of insight into how much work their employees are actually accomplishing and ensuring their remote staff has access to all of the information they need.

"As remote work arrangements become increasingly popular, managers are often concerned that camaraderie and collaboration could suffer due to lack of regular, in-person interaction," said John Reed, senior executive director at Robert Half Technology.

Robert Half Technology offers executives four tips for managing remote teams effectively:

  • Outline expectations. Tell remote employees how often you'd like them to check in by phone or email. Let them know you expect them to be reachable during office hours. Also, set clear goals and benchmarks to help mobile workers stay on track with objectives.
  • Leverage technology tools. Make sure remote employees have access to the right communication tools. Teleconferencing, online-meeting and file-sharing services foster collaboration among remote teams. Confirm that everyone can stay in touch easily and access the information they need quickly and securely.
  • Create opportunities for face time. To help remote workers stay connected, request that they work on-site a few times a month, if possible. Encourage them to attend important events and meetings in person, as appropriate. Also, use videoconferencing tools to promote virtual face-to-face interaction with off-site staff.
  • Check in with remote employees regularly. Remote work arrangements afford flexibility but can blur the lines between work and personal life. Some employees who work from home have trouble "unplugging." Encourage them to create balance, which ultimately aids productivity in the long term.

The study was based on surveys of 2,300 CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees.

Originally published on Business News Daily.

Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based writer and editor with nearly 20 years in media. A 1998 journalism graduate of Indiana University, Chad began his career with Business News Daily in 2011 as a freelance writer. In 2014, he joined the staff full time as a senior writer. Before Business News Daily, Chad spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Chad has also worked on the other side of the media industry, promoting small businesses throughout the United States for two years in a public relations role. His first book, How to Start a Home-Based App Development Business, was published in 2014. He lives with his wife and daughter in the Chicago suburbs.