How to Manage Remote Workers

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As a small business, letting your employees work remotely can make for happier and more productive employees and also save on overhead costs.

Keeping an eye on remote workers isn’t all that different from managing them in person – either they get the work done or they don’t. Some people simply lack the self-discipline to tell friends, neighbors and family that they are home to work – not to chat, run errands, bake cookies or watch movies with the kids.

But for those employees who can manage the demands of working from home, resist the urge to let them work too much. Several studies show that many remote workers put in more hours because they’re always connected, and it’s too easy to work while sitting in front of the tube with the family, or to check in long after the workday has ended.

This is not a boon for the employer; it’s a big, fat liability. People get sloppy and burned out, and it creates a false impression of how much work the job actually entails. Volkswagen, for example, manages this by turning its email servers off after hours and during holidays.

Adapted from 5 Tips for Managing Remote Workers Successfully at Small Business Computing.