Managing Remote Workers
While Dawn Foster, the writer of the article, offered some great suggestions such as regular staff meetings, check in regularly and email updates, she leaves off a few major things that I’ve found are a must.
Self Motivated People
If you are hiring people to work remote or if someone who already works for you wants to work remote, they have to be self motivated and able to move on to their next task without you looking over their shoulder. If you have an employee that is very needy or gets lost surfing the web for hours, they will not make a good remote worker, no matter what you try.
Real Time Chat
Make everyone on the team stay in a real time chat such as jabber, campfire or irc. This allows communication between everyone on the team and helps you follow when someone leaves the keyboard. It also makes it easier for people to get help if they are getting stuck on something.
Shared Task List
I have my team use a shared task list that allows everyone to see what each other are working on. This helps each team member hold each other accountable for what they are working on. If someones task list isn’t changing or things are not being marked off, the other members of the team will see this and bring it up.
I know a lot of people who feel this isn’t needed but I’ve found that a short meeting every morning really helps. It allows everyone on the team to say what they did the day before, what they’re doing today and if they see anything blocking them from completing their work for the day. Once again this helps the team hold each other accountable for their work and makes my life easier.