Time to Consider Remote Workers: How to Hire and Manage

Today, we are going to talk about the best way to hire and manage telecommuters. While it does take some additional effort, the payoff in hiring flexibility, productivity and employee satisfaction can greatly outweigh the time and money invested.

Hiring the Right People

Successful telecommuters have a certain work ethic.  When looking at potential telecommuters, ask yourself a couple of questions.  Are they self-starters? Can they work with less supervision and direction? Do they take initiative? Do they communicate well with others – over the phone and via email?

Management by Results

Management style may require a shift in how you judge success. Because you won’t be able to directly observe the work being done, you will have to shift to a style of management by results.  In other words, manage by deliverables.  Set the parameters to small work increments of not more than 7 to 10 days of output.  This way, you will catch a slide in a project timeline well before it becomes an issue.

Communication is a Critical

Communication between you and the telecommuter, as well as communication between telecommuters and on-site staff is critical. Setting up deliberate and regular avenues of communication (phone calls, conference calls, video conferencing and on-site travel) are crucial to keep the work flow strong and keep the telecommuter engaged.

As a direct manager of a telecommuter, it is also important for you to have an ongoing dialogue with your remote staff.  Share news from the company’s perspective, as well as get input back from the telecommuter on challenges, successes, resource needs, and more.

Involve your Security Team

Telecommuting and allowing access from outside your physical location will present some challenges. Involve your IT security team to establish access and process related to your firewall(s) and authentication process. Also, walk through an analysis of how data will be transferred and the use of home/remote equipment. Organizations should ensure that policies are in place to cover all of their security concerns prior to embracing telecommuting.  

When done correctly telecommuting is a win for everyone involved.  EDGE knows. We use telecommuting staff ourselves and place many “A” player consultants who telecommute regularly.

If you have questions or want to learn more, give us a call.  We would be happy to entertain your questions and help you be successful in your telecommuting efforts. 


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