Managing Employees Working Remotely

Don McIverWith the coronavirus pandemic, many employers are having their staff work remotely to avoid spread of the virus. Managing remote employees is a new phenomenon for some, so here are some guidelines that may be helpful.

Be certain that your team understands that their role remains unchanged, and the same metrics of success still apply. Working remotely, while convenient, is not a reason for productivity to decline. And hopefully an uptick in productivity can be realized.

Make sure that your team is familiar with the resources available to them while working remotely. IT support, help desk, online reference materials, policies, etc. They should also be encouraged to contact you immediately if they come across any barriers to completing their assigned responsibilities.

Establish regular check-in’s. See how they’re doing, how the remote work arrangement is going, and offer guidance and assistance. Working remotely is not for everyone, so be attuned to those who may struggle with it. Always offer your help and support.

Establish team touch points so that the larger team remains in contact. Regular video chats, conference calls, etc., maintain a sense of team when in-person time is lost. The team can use these touch points to share best practices of working remotely.

Delay any performance evaluations until an in-person meeting can occur. These discussions are too important to handle on the phone or via video chat.

Finally, show your appreciation for their efforts and for their help in continuing the company’s business during a challenging time. Emphasizing that “we’re in this together” goes a long way for employee morale, even after the crisis subsides.