Stop Managing Your Remote Workers As If They Work Onsite

Stop Managing Your Remote Workers As If They Work Onsite

In 1979, IBM was making headlines by becoming
one of the first Fortune 500 companies to allow employees to work remotely. That’s right, nearly 40 years ago the corporate
giant adopted this modern outlook on work. In fact, IBM found the practice to be so successful
that by 2009 40% of their 386,000 employees worked remotely. Fast forward to 2017 — IBM tells its thousands
of remote workers to relocate to an IBM office or find a new job. But what caused IBM to reverse a seemingly
successful policy? It was the belief that locating teams in the
office would make them more productive, innovative, and agile. But is working from home really less effective
than working from a traditional office? According to Gallup, remote workers put in
longer hours and are more productive than their non-remote peers. So why are we still debating this? The truth is, for all of its benefits, working
remotely can have its struggles — typically in forming relationships and career development. A recent Harvard Business Review study states
that many remote workers feel like their non-remote colleagues don’t treat them equally and
don’t believe they fight for their priorities. But the reality is that remote work is the
future. 51% of workers would change jobs for a role
that offered them flextime and 37% would make a move for a role that allowed them to work
remotely at least part-time. But perhaps the issue isn’t with remote
work — It’s how we manage and work with remote
employees. For managers and coworkers are to develop successful
relationships with remote workers, they all have to make changes. No one likes to feel like they’re in the
dark, so start by setting expectations. Clear and honest communication is even more
important for remote workers. Remote employees don’t have the luxury of
being able to swing by your desk to ask questions, so be sure to schedule consistent check-ins. Pick up the phone or connect over video to
make the conversation more natural. Have trust and confidence in your remote workers. Just being in the office does not guarantee
that an employee is being productive. By changing your attitude and management style,
you can make remote work work for your team.


7 thoughts on “Stop Managing Your Remote Workers As If They Work Onsite”

  • It is hard to manage a remote team. You don’t get to see them everyday and verbally communicate when facing problems. Emotion culture plays a big role in this situation. Our team uses the Moodbit App that analyze team emotion and productivity to help with it.

  • Remote work is the future and having a whole distributed team would solve many issues with the "people on site". Great video, clear explanation 🙂

  • Spencer Jentzsch says:

    This is really good stuff. I run a remote company (Hacker Paradise) and there is definitely a shift in management when you come from a location-dependent company to a location-independent company. Communication is so much more important and finding ways to connect with your team even though you don't see them all the time is so important.

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