Tips for Keeping Tabs on Remote Employees

May 8, 2016 | Jennifer Goodwyn

So, you've found the perfect employee. The only problem is that perfect employee is on the other side of the world. While the growth of technology in the workplace makes distance a non-issue, a new issue businesses are facing is being able to manage remote employees. In a traditional office space, it's as easy as taking a few steps from your desk, but it's a whole new challenge when you're not in the same office, let alone the same city, state, or country. You trust your employees, but any good business has to be able to keep up with progress and keep everyone on track. If you're managing remote employees, here are some ways to keep tabs on them.

Project Management Sites

Sites like Basecamp or Asana offer a unique opportunity to have a shared dashboard complete with tasks, messages, a calendar, and other features. Since you're able to check off things as they are completed, you can see what is getting done and at what rate. You can assign tasks to team members, and even follow up when they check them off. These sites will allow you to create almost a virtual office space online. They can connect you and keep everyone on the same page, and on track.

Scheduled Check Ins

Planning ahead to check in with employees can be very valuable. By doing this, you can create a culture of open communication, but with an expectation to communicate. You can check in over email, over the phone, but best of all would be over a video chatting service like Skype or Facetime. Even if you implement a monthly video chat and a bi-weekly email update, you will be able to effectively communicate with your employee. Having this plan can also help you clarify anything that may have been misconstrued. By staying on the same page as your employees, you can naturally keep tabs on them.

Collaboration and Review

By promoting a culture of collaboration, you'll be able to work with your remote employees and see firsthand where they are. By working together, you can also get to know them and create a better relationship. In most cases, the work will be of a higher caliber if the team is working together. Another important facet is review. For example, if your remote employee is doing content creation for a blog, making sure you go in and see what their work is like is very important. You can keep them on track, critique, or even compliment them.

Keeping tabs on your employees can be a fine balance. At the end of the day, it is important to create a culture where open and honest communication is the norm. Creating a partnership when hiring a remote employee will allow both of you to keep up with each other. Staying organized and on top of communication will allow you to keep track of your employees without having to constantly check up on them.