Managing Productivity in a Remote Environment

The concern for many managers is whether their employees will be productive when they are not physically supervised. This is a common misconception. In fact, many companies find a higher level of productivity after going virtual because employees are forced to be more intentional with their time and communication.

Understanding Employee Motivations


The success or failure of managing remote workers comes down to understanding what motivates your employees.


  • If an employee needs face-to-face time with their manager to remain motivated, then suggest that managers initiate phone calls or regular check-ins throughout the day.

  • If an employee feeds off the energy of their co-workers to be productive, then suggest that managers schedule regular team meetings via video conferences.

  • If an employee is motivated by reporting their work and logging times, implement a tracking tool that allows employees to “show their work.”


Communication Is Key


In addition to managing productivity, understanding the best method of communication with each employee is critical.


For example:

  • Some employees work best with limited supervision. They do not need to be micromanaged; therefore, they do not need their manager to communicate with them every hour of every day to check on their work. A scheduled check-in once per day -- or even once per week -- will suffice.

  • Some employees prefer that their manager checks in with them on a regular basis to stay motivated. In the absence of communication, they could become demotivated, negatively impacting the company culture.


Try This Tool


As a leader, your role is to create an environment where your employees can be successful. Each person has unique motivators, strengths, and weaknesses, which will play a part in what they need from their manager to be successful.

There are tools that can help you understand the unique motivators of your employees. The ZERORISK Team Directory is an instruction manual for leading your people. This tool teaches you how to interact and communicate with each of your team members based on their unique motivations.


It’s essential to be attentive to the motivations of each employee and to align those motivations with the appropriate managerial style to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

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