How to Manage Remote Employees

In today’s marketplace you have to deal with a lot. Not only are you worried about making the world’s best beer, but if you’re growing you’re also concerned with managing employees, time and a multitude of other tasks.

At some point, if you’re growing properly, you’ll most likely distribute to other states — hopefully many other states.

However, once you get so far away from your home base, you’ll most likely have employees that work remotely. Brewer Magazine works entirely from remote locations. No one has an office they need to be in eight hours a day. Our team has the ability to design their own schedules as long as work is accomplished and on time.

While we’ve interviewed tons of people and explained our working style and everyone glows with excitement, not everyone should, or could work in this style.

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Personally for me this came to fruition watching family members work for major corporations at their kitchen table, or in self-designed offices within their home. They had freedom to come and go as they chose. If they wanted to work in the morning, take a few hours off in the afternoon and put in hours at night, they could. However, in watching these family members, they always have their phone with them (which is horrible for some people), they have to work odd hours sometimes because that’s when their client needs them and sometimes they have normal work schedules, because that’s what their team needs.

In all this freedom of a position, what can be the most difficult is management. It all starts with finding the right person for the job. These remote positions where a person manages a lot of their own workload requires someone that isn’t afraid to jump into the fire.

When you evaluate someone in this manner, it would be nice to find a person for the position that has worked in this way prior, but that’s not always easy considering this is relatively new in a lot of industries.

Even when you get someone on, you can’t simply let them off on their own. The most important aspect of operating these positions is communication. I recommend, and have read a lot of articles emphasizing this, to have daily scheduled calls. This creates one aspect of their day that is already structured. In addition, don’t allow these meetings to fall to the wayside.

When in these meetings it’s vital that you have a goal. Ask about current clients, where they are in the sales process, how phone calls have gone. If they are in another form of operation, ask about tasks they are set to accomplish, where they are on the timeline and if you can help in any way for them to achieve their goal of the due date.

While all of this is time consuming, it’s the best way to develop a relationship with your off-site employee, keep them on track and convey new and adjusting goals.
While communication in all lines of business is the most vital, when you’re operating from multiple locations, and in-person can’t be achieved every day, phone calls, texts and emails become your means to establish infrastructure.

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