Tools such as email and instant messaging allow employees to bridge physical distances and work from remote locations, but managing virtual teams can present hurdles for employers.
One of the most common challenges is ensuring that remote employees do not take advantage of the lack of daily oversight, according to Yael Zofi, CEO of AIM-Strategies, a human capital consulting firm.
Managers often complain that it can be hard to tell exactly when or how hard remote employees are working. Signs that employees are abusing the situation may include a time lag in response to emails and phone calls or deadlines constantly being pushed back, Zofi told Bloomberg Law on April 20.
Build Trust, Set Expectations
The key to successfully managing remote teams is to build trust and accountability, and do so quickly, as virtual teams may work on short-term assignments and move on to new projects, Zofi said. She offers the following tips to help foster a sense of trust and ensure that remote employees are meeting their objectives:
Members of the human resources department should work hand-in-hand with managers to help ensure that remote teams have the appropriate tools and support they need to be effective. This includes devising processes and procedures that uniquely address the challenges that arise when workers are no longer in close proximity to each other.
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