top of page

Best and Worst Ways to Manage Remote Employees

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of people working from home since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A new study from Dynata reports 75% of people in the United States are currently working from home at least some of the time with just under two-thirds reporting they are just as, if not more, productive at home than they were in the office.

For many managers, part of adjusting to the “new normal” is learning to lead and manage your team remotely. The three things managers ask us the most about how to lead a virtual workforce are:

  • How do I communicate with my team?

  • How do I keep my team engaged?

  • How do I hold my employees accountable?

Top 5 Ways to Manage Work-from-Home Employees

To help you overcome these obstacles, follow these five rules when managing your remote team.

1. Be Deliberate about Over-Communicating

This is especially important in a remote environment. Be purposefully about when and how you communicate and make sure communication is coming from the top.

2. Daily Team Calls

Use these quick 15-minute calls to generate energy, momentum, and communication. This is also a good time to celebrate small victories and keep employees engaged.

3. Employee 1-2-1’s

These meetings are not meant to focus on performance but rather to check in individually with your employees. This is a personal check-in.

4. Focus on Managing Outcomes

This is the area most managers struggle with when faced with remote workers. Instead of focusing on what employees are doing every minute, focus on the outcomes they produce. This is the best way to hold people accountable.

5. Be Flexible on Work Hours

With schools closed and limitations on day camps and daycare, you may have employees trying to balance working and taking care of kids. Adjusting their hours to fit this schedule could be a huge help for them and will allow them to focus on work in those hours. To be clear, this does not mean a reduction of hours.

Avoid These When Managing Remote Employees

One of the fastest ways to have disengaged remote employees is to manage them with any of the five tactics below.

Do Not:

  1. Be out of sight, out of mind

  2. Drain energy or cause stress

  3. Assume employees are not working

  4. Micromanage their time

  5. Be rigid and inflexible

As a virtual company, ZERORISK HR does the majority of its business remotely. If you recently transitioned to a virtual environment let us help you and your leaders, at no cost, by sharing some of the lessons we learned when we made the transition to a virtual work environment in 2017. We will share what we learned and implemented to maintain effective communication, engagement, and productivity. Click here to set up a time to chat with us.


bottom of page