7 Not-So-Obvious Tips to Manage Remote Workers

Sandy Stachowiak wrote this guest post.
Remote resources are something that your business may contract or employ. If you are responsible for managing them for your project, there are some things you should do and not forget.
Time zone differences, work hours differences, and language barriers can all be a problem depending on whether the resources are located in a different country or state. Remote workers are subject to regular check-ins, scheduled calls, and inclusion in meetings via conference call.
The not-so obvious includes several items that I have provided tips below. These tips are based on my own business experience in managing remote resources and also from working as one.
1. They are always there.
This may seem funny at first glance, but it’s amazing how often a remote resource is forgotten.
Keep their queue full of work or project tasks.
So that they can keep up their momentum in their work, respond as quickly as possible to their calls and emails.
You should inform them about any company closures that may occur (e.g. Close early because of bad weather or if you are going to be away from the office.
True story: A manager hired a remote worker who was always absent from work. Communication was poor and they didn’t feel included. This resulted in the resource finding work being done elsewhere.
Remember that remote workers are available!
2. Find creative ways to make them feel part of the team.
Remote employees may not have the same in-office benefits as the rest of the company or team. They might miss company news, they may not be able to attend a coworker’s birthday celebration, or they may not be able to meet new employees. Keep them updated with the latest news. Here are some great ways you can do this:
Send them a recurring email (similar to a newsletter), with information about the company, team, and department. You can let them know when someone is fired or hired, what the company’s latest acquisition was, and if a coworker got married. Any news that is not obvious to them is also helpful.
Send photos to your company if they allow it. You can send them photos of the newly renovated conference room, a new hire at their desk, or even one member of the project team to make them feel more connected to the office and the people there.
You might consider a video conference call. Video calls allow you to see each other face to face and remind you that you are not just emails or voices.
They will feel more like part of the team if treated this way.
3. Get more than enough contact information.
It is a good idea to have an email address and a phone number for remote resources. However, it is not sufficient.
You must confirm their physical address, backup and emergency numbers, and backup email addresses. In case of an emergency, ask them if they can give you the number of a family member or friend.
If you have only one way to reach remote workers, you are restricting yourself.
True story: A company has an overseas resource. The resource has been responsive since the beginning. The resource has only one contact number and one email address. Neither of these methods of communication have been responded to.
The company’s resources cannot be reached at all, so the company is now limited. It was initially a matter of “maybe they’re looking for a new job”, but it quickly became a concern because it was unusual for them to not respond. There would be at least other options if there were an emergency contact number or personal email address.
This is a mistake. You must ensure that you have enough contact information at the beginning of remote relationships

Previous post 7 Habits of Highly Effective Project Management
Next post 7 Mistakes That You Make With Your Project Estimates