Approximately 13.4 million employees, or 9.4% of U.S. workers, worked at least one day at home per week in 2010, compared with 9.2 million people, or 7% of U.S. workers in 1997. And that number is only going to increase in the coming years.
As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, Adams & Garth knows whether you already have remote employees on staff, or are planning to implement a work-from-home policy at your company, it’s imperative that you manage virtual employees right.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to communication. Employees aren’t on site to stop by your office for a chat, or connect with you over lunch – which is why you must make an effort to invest more in communicating with them.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Communicate everyday. Even if it’s just a quick text or email to check in, you should be talking with your virtual workers every day. That doesn’t mean you need to be hounding them; it simply allows you to give them an opportunity to share any progress, concerns, issues or accolades that you may not know about.
- Invest in collaboration tools. Thanks to technology, there are a multitude of apps, software, websites and other tools you and your team can use to share, collaborate and stay connected. It’s simply a matter of finding the one or ones that work the best for you and your team. You’ll have to do some research and test a few out. But when you find the tool that is effective, it can be invaluable.
- Give feedback. Just because an employee is off-site doesn’t mean they don’t need their share of feedback and encouragement. Don’t wait until the end of the year to have a performance review. Instead, regularly talk to your virtual team members about performance – what’s going well and what needs improvement, and recognizing their contributions to the team.
- Get together. If you’re in the same city, then get together face-to-face with your staff every once in a while. If not, then use video conferencing tools. This is especially important if you’re talking about a sensitive or urgent issue. Much of communication has to do with interpreting body language and visual cues. Important conversations will be far more productive and you’ll ensure important message don’t get lost in a lengthy email when you take the time to communicate in person.
The bottom line? Virtual employees can be a huge headache or a huge asset to your company. The trick to achieving success is managing them right and communicating often.
Need help hiring for your virtual workforce? Call Adams & Garth. As leading recruiters in Lynchburg, we’ve got the knowledge, experience, and proven processes in place to help you hire right. Next time you need top talent, contact Adams & Garth. We can help.