Written by Sophie Down | June 10, 2015
Companies using recruitment agencies are turning more and more often to remote workers, given how they can complement permanent staff as part of the most flexible modern workforce. However, virtual staff also have an unjust reputation for being difficult to manage.
By following these simple tips, you can ensure that your virtual workers are productive and deliver the results that you need.
1. Talk about your requirements
It sounds so obvious, but have you thoroughly discussed your requirements with the remote worker in question? Do they know what exactly you need from them and why?
Remote workers can be more prone to drifting if they aren’t given very clear orders and are unable to get quick answers from you on anything that they are unsure about.
2. Emphasise results
Remote workers can admittedly have a slightly laxer attitude to time management than those of us cocooned in offices who work the 9 ’til 5. It’s therefore probably best not to treat them like your office-based workers who are used to a more regimented schedule.
Instead, you might focus on the results of virtual personnel’s work, rather than how they do it. They do still need to be efficient, and get quality work done on time – even if they’re working on your assignments at 2am.
3. Make them key to your company culture
Company culture is normally central to the recruitment and experiences of permanent site-based employees, so why shouldn’t your remote workers feel similarly included?
Don’t treat them as disposable, or they will start feeling that way. Instead, invite them to morale-boosting office events and parties if they are close enough. Or if they aren’t, at least directly speak to them on a regular basis via Skype or a similar service.
4. Mentor and instruct them
Even virtual workers want to feel like they are progressing with their career – and they will certainly feel that they are getting more out of their relationship with your firm if a more meaningful relationship is on offer.
Many firms achieve this by providing personal instruction and mentoring – something that will be of value to them in the long term.
5. Hail their talent
It might not seem that you can do much more than say a simple ‘thank you’ to a remote worker who is based a long way from your office but does a good job.
You would be wrong to think that.
What about highlighting the remote worker’s great work on a particular project in the company newsletter, or giving them a formal award at the office Christmas party?
Remember that with these workers not receiving the more informal regular face-to-face encouragement that those in your office do, every little helps.
You will get much more out of your remote workers when you treat them well – that’s the bottom line.