9 Ways to Manage Your Remote Workers Easily and Effectively

When you hire remote workers, you can get the exact skill set you need to get certain jobs done, regardless of where your employees are based. And if you allow your current onsite staff to telecommute, you give employees the ability to work at their own pace, while at the same time improving overall employee morale.

However, there can be issues when employees don’t work in your office. This is why we asked entrepreneurs the following question:

Q. Hiring remote employees has multiple benefits, but tracking job performance can get tricky. What is one way you keep tabs on the work being performed?

1. Use Trello boards to keep it simple

We love using Trello boards to view work progress as we move projects from the conception phase, to the working phase, and to completion. We can see each step and the progress being made by viewing remote employees’ projects boards and by having weekly check-ins. —Rachel BeiderMassage Greenpoint

 2. Tap into a custom company dashboard

We created a custom company dashboard that each person logs into to view their various projects and tasks. In this dashboard, we can monitor the progress of each person on a given task, as well as monitor things such as log-in times. This helps us observe production consistently and identify potential periods where a person might be slacking off. —Shawn SchulzeNames.org

3. Trust your employees for better results

We have a few employees who currently work from home, and we have not had any issues with their productivity. They simply get done what needs to be done—it’s no different from how they functioned in the office; their jobs have remained the same, and they continue to produce the same output. Their performance is simple to track because we can see their completed work. —Kristy KnichelKnichel Logistics

4. Watch client happiness as a key indicator

As a B2B service-based business, I have found the best way to track performance, whether employees are at home, traveling, or at the office, is client happiness levels. Clients are the first to let you know when things are going wrong, when they are not happy, or not getting what they want. Their warning bell usually sounds the alarm that we have a problem internally, where balls are being dropped. More than any software, I’ve found that this human factor is infallible. —Kim KaupeZinePak

5. Set goals and follow up with your team

Set realistic goals and hold your staff to them. Be open and transparent, and then hold regular meetings to discuss progress and the best way to reach targets, as well as any concerns. Have regular video chats via Skype, or use whatever tool works best for your team. Also, try to get your entire team on the same platform, so they can see each other’s tasks. By creating a workspace online, you are creating accountability and your team is able to see how it fits into the big picture. When staff knows its progress is being tracked, productivity is less likely to dwindle. —Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

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6. Ask for end-of-day emails

At AquaMobile, each team member works from home at least one day per week. Sending end-of-day emails to the appropriate team members has helped everyone stay aligned and effectively communicate what was accomplished that day and what roadblocks exist, if any. Emails don’t have to be complex—just a few bullet points to keep everyone on the same page. —Diana GoodwinAquaMobile

7. Monitor time using RescueTime app

RescueTime is an amazing app my team and I use to track our productivity. You can install it on your computer, phone, and browser, and it tracks time spent on productive or distracting websites and programs. There’s a dashboard that lets you see your daily and weekly trends. It’s non-intrusive and actually very fun to use! —Kevin TaoNeuEve

8. Watch for missed deadlines

As long as work is turning up on schedule or beforehand, there is really no need to be micromanaging others who work remotely. If they are missing deadlines, then it’s time to discuss how the time is being spent. —Serenity Gibbons, Calendar


9. Synchronize calendars

There’s too much easy-to-use technology to justify any issues tracking productivity. My team shares calendars, so that we always have easy access to information about the meetings, calls, and tasks we each plan to undertake on any given day. If deadlines are clearly apparent to everyone, it really doesn’t matter whether the team is working in the same place or from their couches. —Ryan WilsonFiveFifty

RELATED: Here’s What You Need to Know About Hiring Non-U.S. Workers

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