remote staff

3 Management Strategies for Building a Reliable Remote Staff

According to a Gallup survey released in early 2017, remote work has consistently been on the rise since 2012. Forty three percent of employed Americans surveyed said they worked remotely in 2016. The polling agency noted that telecommuting opportunities also play a significant role in whether an employee takes or leaves a job. Flexible scheduling is in and the traditional 9 to 5 is on its way out.

As the workplace evolves to accommodate the next generation of workers, the need to strategize on how making the most out of a remote worker’s experience is greater than ever. Given the right tools necessary to succeed, remote employees have proven to be even more productive than their in-office counterparts. What kinds of tools are these and how can employers empower their telecommuting teams?

If you’re looking to build up a strong remote team in the new year, take a look at our strategies for successful management on a virtual level.

Seek out these traits during interviews

When conducting interviews to assemble your team, many applicants may say that they have no problem working remotely. However, this can backfire on the employer if it turns out that the future hire has continuing issues with their WiFi connection or laptop that leaves them unable to get the job done. Rather than be unpleasantly surprised by these issues later on, vet potential candidates by searching for these traits that dig deeper into their working style.

  • Self-starters. What are some concrete examples of how you’ve taken initiative in the past or tackled projects from the ground up?
  • Previous remote work experience. If you already worked remotely, tell your employer more about what the experience was like and how long you did it for, then present them with a robust portfolio of your accomplishments to better build up a sense of trust in the kind of applicant you are.
  • Good writers. We’ll cover more about communication in a bit, but this cannot be overshadowed. If you’re planning on working remotely, you’ll need to be able to write well across the board, whether it’s in a Slack message to a coworker or a client email response.
  • Hungry to learn. The best remote workers are not the ones who do exactly as they are told and go no further than that. They’re researching and brainstorming ideas that enhance the company and engage with their fellow coworkers and supervisors in order to share their findings.

Communicate, communicate, communicate

One of the worst things that can happen when working with a remote employee is to accidentally lose them in the shuffle. Determine what your communication strategy will be as soon as possible, especially if you have employees telecommuting from different time zones. Make sure you know what each individual’s schedule looks like (from when they’re taking lunch breaks to time away from the office) in order to customize the way you communicate with each member.

You may opt to video chat on Skype once or twice a week for a more personalized touch that allows you to get some face time with your team and get updates on their assignments. Chat apps like Slack allow remote workers to message one another throughout the day. Share documents and spreadsheets on Google Drive and Dropbox so everyone is pinged when there are new updates and knows when to login and check them out. And, of course, you can always reach out via email or even a quick phone call. Regardless of distance, all of these options ensure everyone is able to communicate, stay on the same page, and progress forward together.

Sign Up: Receive the StartupNation newsletter!

Invest in your remote team

Jim Mullaney, CEO and founder of Edoc Service, Inc. may have said it best when he stated that the best company culture is the one that puts its employees first.

The company culture you have in your physical workplace is likely pretty incredible and offers plenty of perks and incentives to its residents. In turn, the culture you craft for your remote workers should reflect the same values. You may invest in additional training and courses they can enroll in to enhance their existing skills or learn completely new ones. This adds to my earlier point about seeking out employees that are hungry to learn, as they’ll be just as hungry for this kind of training and engaged in it from day one.

By scouting out workers who have plenty of solid experience to bring to the table, establishing a strong communications plan, and investing in their needs, you’ll be able to keep remote employees happy and productive as much as you will those in-house. It’s a win-win for everyone involved, both your culture and your business.

Previous Article
digital marketing

Top 10 Digital Marketing Trends Startups Need to Prepare for in 2018

Next Article

Financial Skills: Actually, There is Accounting for Success

Related Posts
virtual assistant
Read More

How Virtual Assistants Can Benefit Startup Leaders

According to venture capitalist Bill Trenchard of First Round Capital, the average startup founder "works about 300 days a year, 14 hours a day." He should know. Trenchard cofounded and led three companies and, as a VC, advises hundreds of startups. "Looking at the schedule of a typical CEO, a full 70 percent of that...
succession planning
Read More

Your Business Legacy: Why Succession Planning Is a Crucial Step in Estate Planning

Running your own business is a mammoth task and a considerable investment. Statistics have consistently shown that small business owners have to work longer and harder than the average employee. So, after dedicating so much time and energy to building up a company, it’s crucial to protect it should the worst happen. Almost all of...
Read More

WJR Business Beat: We’re Spending Even More Time Online (Episode 411)

In today's Business Beat, Jeff tells us consumers are spending more time online and explains what businesses need to do to reach them. Tune in below for more details on how digital use has changed with the pandemic:   Tune in to News/Talk 760 AM WJR weekday mornings at 7:11 a.m. for the WJR Business...
supply chain
Read More

How to Keep Vendors and Clients Happy During Supply Chain Hiccups

Supply chain breakdowns are happening due to global disruptions, rising costs and increased consumer expectations. Businesses can't always stop supply chain hiccups, but they can learn from them and limit their impact on vendors and clients. How a business responds to a supply chain issue can have far-flung effects. A company that is proactive and...