The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

July 25, 2017

Three Things to Remember When Managing a Remote Workforce [Infographic]

Source: Society for Human Resource Management

It can’t be disputed that remote workforces are on the rise. Although this changing face of the work environment has stirred controversy, particularly with companies finding little success in the concept and calling their staff back to the office, it is undeniable that working from home is available more now than it used to be. Ongoing studies conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management this year revealed that more than 60 percent of surveyed organizations allow some sort of telecommuting. This figure is up from the 20 percent that was uncovered in 1996.

There are myriad of benefits of working from home; among them being: more time with family, less stress, cost efficiency and increased productivity. These benefits fall on both the employer and employee sides. A survey conducted by Gallup found that the sectors with the greatest surge in time spent working remotely were finance, insurance, and real estate.

Below are three things to bear in mind when managing a remote team:

1. Communication

Communication is key. If anything, over-communication should be encouraged because the margin for error can be larger given the distance between staff members. It’s important to implement a system of communication that will ensure everyone remains abreast of issues relevant to them. Remote work can also be isolating so do what is necessary to perpetuate a sense of comradery and your staff will reward you with a higher standard of work, and work ethic that may surprise you.

2. Boundaries

Set boundaries that ensure no staff member is abusing the liberty of working from home. Companies have attributed the demise of their telecommuting scheme to the abuse of such a privilege. It is essential you outline expectations and when necessary reiterate them, so staff remember that telecommuting is indeed a privilege and therefore, results still need to be seen in order to perpetuate the opportunity for staff to work from home.

3. Delegation

Effectively delegating tasks will ensure that team members are able to thrive with the responsibilities given to them. Think of it like having a Monday morning meeting where everyone is given their tasks for the week then they are free to go off and achieve on their own without any hand-holding. Delegate well and there will be less strain on the relationships of the remote workers. Delegating also recapitulates the notion that whatever freedom telecommuting might represent, there is still a job to be done and a higher up they must answer to.
Co-Founding Partner, Brian Bereck:

“It’s very important when managing a team that is allowed to work remotely that there is trust from both parties. I trust my team to work from home and still be focused enough to deliver results.  Understanding that we all have commitments outside of the job and office, we afford our employees the flexibility to work remotely.  This trust and flexibility have enabled our employees to create a great work/life balance and their appreciation of this flexibility has fostered them to work harder to achieve results for our clients and candidates.”

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