Whether your firm is adding to its remote workforce, or just beginning the process of incorporating remote workers into the company, there are numerous things to consider.
Whether you’re evaluating an existing employee as a remote worker, or interviewing a potential new hire for remote work, an individual’s skills and his/her ability to self-manage are obviously a necessary item. It’s important to establish and maintain a trust level with each remote worker. But beyond that, there are a number of additional items to keep in mind:
Provide the Necessary Equipment
With a remote workforce, it’s important to maximize communication through the use of technology that is meaningful for your particular industry. This may include the installation of a cloud-based or hybrid phone system. Additionally, you may want to evaluate allowing the remote employees to operate within a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy for their mobile devices.
Schedule Regular Meetings
Some organizations schedule weekly video conference calls across various geographic regions to accomodate the remote workforce. The participants include different levels of related management and remote workers. The exchange of information keeps everyone in the loop, discussing the strategies that are working for the business and those that are not. Any new techniques used or tested are shared and discussed.
Depending on the proximity between remote workers and management, occasional face-to-face meetings might also provide advantages in order to instill a sense of belonging within the organization.
For many remote workers, one of the benefits of working remotely is a flexible schedule. In some cases, the employee may decide to start their day at 11:00 a.m. and end their work later than the rest. However, if this is not how the business can run effectively, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with the potential remote worker about hours and flexibility before they begin.
In order to establish understanding of schedules and responsibility, one helpful tip is to consider sharing calendars. This helps to open communication so everyone can see who is available at what time.
Offer Recognition and Rewards
It’s important to review and appraise the performance of remote workers. A communication with reward system is also helpful in fostering encouragement and employee motivation. Make it a priority to ensure that remote workers are as informed and feel as included as any face-to-face colleagues.