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Managing Remote Employees

December 6, 2019

By Mary E. Corrado, courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

With remote work quickly becoming the norm in many organizations, including ASE, it has changed the way we must manage employees.

I recently read an article written by Evernote on Inc.com that covers how they encourage team collaboration with remote and in-office employees.  I thought these tips were very helpful:

1. Set the culture. It’s important to make it clear to employees what type of culture the organization is striving for.  Here at ASE, we discuss frequently how or if remote work affects our culture of teamwork, collaboration, and fun.  All Fun Committee activities are now planned on Mondays, which is our in-office day for the entire team.  We provide collaboration tools via Microsoft Teams and encourage video calls whenever possible.

2. Start a shared chat.  When an organization has remote employees, it’s important to provide a virtual way for employees to casually communicate.  At ASE, we have a chat group within Microsoft Teams entitled “Water Cooler” which is meant for any non-project related communications or company-wide news.

3. Get creative with management.  One of the perks of working remote is the flexibility of hours.    Hours may vary according to each individual employee’s lifestyle and peak productivity hours.  Here at ASE, we offer flexible hours as long as they include our core hours of 9a-3p.  Employees can flex their start and stop times provided those core hours are included in their work day.

4. Bring them home. Face to face communication is still important.  Be sure to bring all employees into the office periodically, based on your organization’s needs and the distance of remote workers.  As I mentioned earlier, we have an in-office day for all team members which provides face to face interaction once per week.

As any organization shifts to remote work, it’s important to remember that the way you manage those same employees will need to change and maintaining your culture will take extra effort.

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