by Deborah Bates on December 12, 2011

posted on boyce recruitment updates,

Best way to manage remote workers revealed

The secret to managing remote workers is to communicate with them and trust them, according to a number of experts speaking about the subject.

They told People Management that this is the best way to effectively manage those working in different locations, as it will improve their productivity and still make them feel part of the team.

One such expert was Nicola Clancy, a people management specialist from KPMG. She highlighted the importance of communication; encouraging employers to provide feedback in a face-to-face fashion, as well as ensuring all staff members are present at crucial strategic meetings.

These “touch points” should be taken into account for all remote workers, in addition to measuring their performance in the correct way – centred on “outputs rather than inputs”.

She wasn’t the only person to share their advice however, as BT Group’s head of people practice, Dennis Gissing, also chimed in. He stated: “It is important to create a mindset where people feel empowered. People need to be trusted to manage their own time to achieve set objectives and measured deliverables.”

The pair’s suggestions will hopefully be taken on board by employers of those with jobs in London who actually report into a main office in Scotland, for example – or vice versa.

They should also take into account the potential for those operating from remote locations to work longer hours than those in office-based roles, as a study cited by Gigaom.com revealed that approximately one-quarter of remote workers are clocking up 15 extra hours.

This can lead to less-than-satisfactory results, as well as employee burnout or even illness.