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Managers, here’s how to build your remote team

Warning: Control freaks don’t need to keep reading.

If you’re the type of manager who keeps a tight watch over his employees, fretting if they’re dedicated to your company every tick of a clock from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., you shouldn’t be in charge of telecommuters.

To manage a remote team, you must be able to let go.

To allow your employees some freedom.

To trust your people.

If you’re OK, however, with running the good ship from a distance, with improving the productivity and quality of work from your team, READ ON.

remote work telecommuters

What kind of work do you do?

First, you must decide if your team can do the work from home.

FlexJobs, a website dedicated to professionals seeking telecommuting, flexible schedule, part-time, and freelance jobs, released results of research performed on its own job listings.

The top 20 work-from-home opportunities are:

1. Writer
2. Consultant
3. Customer Service Representative
4. Sales Representative
5. Engineer
6. Account Executive/Manager
7. Software Developer
8. Case Manager
9. Medical Coder
10. Adjunct Faculty
11. Systems Analyst
12. Program/Project Manager
13. UI/UX Designer
14. Travel Counselor
15. Insurance Adjuster
16. Graphic Designer
17. Bilingual Interpreter
18. SEO/Marketing Assistant
19. Director of Business Development
20. Marketing Manager

“When people think of work-from-home jobs, there is often a misconception that these jobs are either scams or limited in their professional scope. However, the growth of job opportunities that allow employees to telecommute from their home offices is happening in all career industries and career levels,” said FlexJobs CEO Sara Sutton Fell in a news release. “These 20 work-from-home job titles really shows the increasing variety of career options available for people who want to telecommute.”

Who do you need?

Next you have to put the right team in place.

This won’t work with staff that has to be constantly supervised. As a manager or supervisor, you want employees who work well independently and are self-motivated.

When you’re interviewing candidates, ensure you ask certain questions that allow you to suss out how much attention those individuals will require.

As telecommuting continues to rise in popularity, more people want the privilege to work from home.

That means you should have no shortage of candidates applying for your job openings.

But not everyone is the right fit for it.

It’s up to you to make sure you hire the right people.

What do you need?

With the right communications tools and the right technology, you can manage your virtual employees from anywhere in the world.

I’d tell you that you need email, but that’s a whole pile of obvious, right?

Here is a checklist of vital tools:

✓ Instant messaging
✓ Project management program, like Basecamp or 5p.m
✓ Intranet
✓ Virtual private network
✓ Conference calling and web conferencing services

It’s about making sure your remote workers have the ability to communicate … not only with you, but with their teammates and other stakeholders on your projects.

And since I know you’re wondering, you should check OnConference’s 100 per cent guaranteed and feature-rich conference calling and web conferencing services.

How do you know the work is getting done?

That’s the rub, right? You don’t have to be totally hands-off with your remote workers, but their freedom to manage the day is important to their success.

They still have to be accountable for their days, however.

The aforementioned project management program will help. If you don’t go that route, you may ask your employees to file update reports and participate in weekly conference calls to discuss progress.

And then there’s you

If you’re managing a team that works remotely, maybe you can do, Boss Man or Boss Woman.

Who says your employees get to have all the fun?

Maybe it’s time to talk to your boss?

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