Remote HR: How to Manage Employees Across the Country
Posted by Guest Author on September 17, 2013 in Business Management, Business Start Up Advice [ 1 Comment ]
More and more employees are opting to work from remote locations. Instead of jumping in their cars and driving however many miles to work, they’re just taking a couple steps around the corner and settling down at their home computer. Entrepreneurs and startups are encountering the same trend as they connect with employees across the country, and even the world. But, are these employees really working all day? Is your remote staff doing what you’re paying them to do? Here are some ideas that can put your mind at ease and help you efficiently manage what’s going on in each employee’s home while giving them the space they need.
“Trust, but verify.” – Ronald Reagan
Some things you can do to manage remote employees are:
- Set specific job requirements. That doesn’t mean micromanage your remote employees. Instead, you need to communicate specific goals and work criteria that will meet your company’s long-term goals. For jobs that are more flexible, you can set deadlines and checkpoints to ensure jobs are being completed. For production-based employees, let them know you expect to see outlined production numbers regularly.
- Arrange daily or weekly production reports. An employee who knows he is being held accountable for his work is more likely to produce the expected work or more. Managers must have tools, such as management dashboard reports, that provide visibility so you can check the production of remote employees.
- Schedule regular meetings, certain days at the office, or Skype. Employees want to feel part of a team and that they’re working toward a greater goal–whether they are working in the office or at home. Having face-to-face time with the manager and co-workers reaffirms they’re a significant part of that team. Personal communication is an important factor, whether it’s in meetings at the office or even through video/web conferencing. People tend to be visual–allow team members to see each other’s faces. You can learn a lot from body language.
It’s a Win-Win
Employers benefit from allowing a remote workforce because they don’t have to find expensive and bigger office spaces to accommodate loads of employees. They save money on equipment, utilities, and other incidentals–from computer paper to toilet paper! And employees stay at jobs where they feel their needs are met. Employees love it because they’re working where they’re most comfortable. They don’t have to spend time and money driving to work. They’re also not being distracted by the conversation going on at the next cubicle or co-worker Melinda’s new haircut. Employees are happier because they feel trusted. Also, it’s easier to balance their home and work life.
And that’s not even mentioning how the earth benefits from one less car chugging away on the freeway!
Related: Top 3 Programs to Run On the Cloud
It’s really no surprise remote working is on the rise. But communication with remote employees is key. You can make it easier for yourself and your employees by ensuring they know your expectations about sending in reports. And keep them in the loop by having them check in regularly and show their lovely faces – physically or virtually.
About the Author: Jeana Quigley is the brand journalist for BambooHR, the No. 1 online HR software for small and medium-sized businesses that have outgrown using spreadsheets to manage their employee information.
(Image: nokhoog_buchachon via freedigitalphotos.net)