Finance News & Insights

Managing telecommuters: 3 ways to avoid disconnect

Being an effective manager is tough enough under normal circumstances. But when you’re overseeing off-site staffers it can feel like you have no control of the situation at all.

Here are three tried-and-true best practices for managing telecommuting:

  1. Create an understood (and agreed upon) schedule. It’s not feasible to expect your off-siters to be in front the computer every second of every day. When you come up with the schedule, account for breaks, phones calls, etc. You may also have to revise a schedule after it’s made — if issues come up.
  2. Give them clear objectives. For telecommuting to work, managers must give off-site staffers clear, measurable objectives. Managers should also have several ways to measure these objectives.
  3. Set reasonable expectations. Without the ability to actually see what off-site workers are up to, some managers make the mistakes of expecting too much. Hold telecommuters up the same standards as all workers. Clarify what they need to do and by when — and give them all of the necessary tools, equipment and training to do it.
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