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Managing Remote Employees

The way in which organizations and employees interact is undergoing a radical transformation, thanks to advancements in technology and societal shift. According to Gartner, a global research and advisory firm, 40% of the work will be done by remote (agile) workforce in 2020. While employees are embracing this change since it may allow for a better work-life balance, happier work life, increased productivity among other benefits. Employers are still adjusting to this change. Questions about performance, delegation, and tracking performance are big concerns.

Here are some ways in which an employer can successfully create infrastructure around remote working environments:

1. Make use of technology –It is important for employers to embrace technological tools. Make use of video conferencing tools (Zoom Meeting, Microsoft Meetings etc.), instant communication tools (Slack, Jabber, Spark etc.) and calendaring tools (Zoho, Teamup etc.) Using technology will ensure that the agile employees feel connected and are able to contribute to organization goals and strategies regularly.

2. Encourage communication – The key to managing relationships with remote employee is to set an appropriate flow of communications—including how quickly employees need to respond to email, what follow-up steps should be taken and on which days check-in calls should occur. Besides these planned communications, it is also important to spark impromptu communication as these are helpful for the flow of knowledge throughout an organization.

3. Track performance by developing metrics – One of the biggest concerns employers have with regards to having agile workers is how will they be able to track their performance. It is important to have metrics for each project that the agile employee is working on. In this way, irrespective of when and where the employee is working, their performance is getting tracked. Some examples of metrics are – percentage of task completed, expected results vs. achieved results, budget status, number of meetings attended etc.

4. Acknowledge work - Physical distance can sometimes create an “us versus them” feeling. Oftentimes, remote employees feel somewhat invisible and feel that their actions and efforts aren’t noticed. Hence it is important to be generous with public praise and acknowledgement of remote employees. This helps them feel that they have been recognized for their work and also develops the feeling of stronger organizational citizenship behavior.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your HR Advisor if you have any additional questions, comments or are in need of support.

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