Magazine article Business Credit

Credit @ Work

Magazine article Business Credit

Credit @ Work

Article excerpt

Dear Andy,

Our company recently decided to allow some employees to work remotely, and a couple of people on my team will start doing this next month. I have never had to be a "virtual" leader before. While I look forward to the challenge, I'd obviously like to make as few mistakes as possible. Do you have any tips you could share?

Keep in mind you might have experience managing remote workers already. For instance, you may have led employees who were away for week-long seminars, served on project teams that required extended travel or worked from home while ill. Fortunately, this may not be as big of a leap as anticipated.

Here are some strategies that can help as you begin overseeing people working off-site on a regular basis:

Lay out the ground rules. Before remote workers begin the new arrangement, discuss expectations. Clarify how often you expect to hear from them, what communication methods are preferred and when they must be in the office. This will minimize the potential for misunderstandings.

Ask for feedback. As you begin new projects, invite input from off-site employees around any special accommodations they may require. For instance, people may need remote computer access- a VPN, for example- to secured financial data. The more involved remote workers are at the beginning of initiatives, the fewer glitches they are likely to encounter as a result of their off-site status, making it much easier for them to remain productive and motivated.

Also, talk regularly about how the new working relationship is going. …

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