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Effectively Managing New Remote Workers

No longer a rarity, remote work is more common than ever. In fact, it’s the way of the future. According to Upwork, more than 36 million people in the United States will be working remotely by 2025. Working from home is now the new norm, as businesses of all kinds are adopting either a full-time remote or hybrid model for their employees.

More than 36 million people in the United States will be working remotely by 2025. —Upwork


Although the technology exists to effectively work remotely, this new landscape brings with it a host of new challenges. From hiring and training new employees to overseeing a team, the new working landscape requires different methods of management. Whether your company is adopting a work-from-home policy or you’re trying to add new remote hires to your team, here are a few best practices that will help you make the transition to a new working world.


Table of Contents


Hiring the Right Remote Employees

How to Train New Remote Workers

Managing Your Remote Team



Hiring the Right Remote Employee


The Case for Remote Workers

If you’re accustomed to traditional in-person job interviews and having your team nearby, the transition to remote hiring and working may feel profound. Beyond the greater prevalence of working from home, there are other reasons why hiring remote candidates can be a win-win for everyone. The primary benefit is that you are no longer limited to your local talent pool. Now you can consider the best people for the role from anywhere in the country without having to worry about relocation or other delays in getting them up to speed.

Although you aren’t meeting in person or showing a prospective team member around the office, the hiring process doesn’t have to differ greatly from what you’re used to.

How to Hire Remote Employees Effectively

Remote working requires clear, concise and transparent communication, from the first screening phone call through the day-to-day management of your team. Get off to a good start by having a detailed job description that accurately outlines the position’s day-to-day tasks, required skills and how performance is measured. When it’s time to evaluate candidates, make sure each interview is on camera. Although it’s not the same as an in-person meeting, this will still give you a good idea of an interviewee’s professionalism and interpersonal communication skills.

Interview Questions for Remote Workers

While the mechanics of an interview are the same whether it’s in person or virtual, there are some additional questions you should ask to determine how well a candidate works from home without the supervision that comes from being in an office. Here are some questions you should consider asking:



The purpose of these questions is to see how a candidate approaches working with minimal oversight and how prepared they are to start, or continue, a fully remote position. Other aspects to look for are someone’s communication style, how well they collaborate with others and how proactive they are with their daily tasks.


Get even more tips about hiring remote workers here >


Training New Remote Workers


You’ve chosen the right candidate and are ready to get them onboarded. The next step is bringing them up to speed. Similar to the hiring process, training new employees remotely requires open communication and a high degree of organization. Having a clear idea of the foundational skills and knowledge that he or she needs to be productive will make it easier for you to create training presentations and learning exercises.

Since remote working can be isolating, this is a great opportunity for you to integrate your new hire with your team by having your current employees teach them the ins and outs of the job. Leaving time for self-guided learning and development is important as well, as it gives your new employee the chance to learn on their own.


Dive deeper into training new remote workers here >


Managing Your Remote Team


Give Them What They Need to Perform

It’s one thing to hire and onboard new remote employees, but if you’re like most managers, you’ve had to handle the transition of working fully in-office to at least partially remote. Given the realities of today’s workplace, it is essential to prepare your team with the right resources they will need to be successful from home. Standard tools include a laptop with charging dock, webcam (if not included in the laptop) and the proper software for collaboration, which will help you more effectively manage your now distributed workforce. 

The right communications tools are just as important as the others in keeping your team engaged and productive. Applications like MiCollab and MiTeam Meetings will bring your team together just as if they were in the office with you. Your employees will feel the benefits of more personal work collaboration and make them feel less isolated as they work from home. 


Set Expectations with Your Team

While remote work is nothing new, you may be in a situation in which your employees are still adjusting to working from home. Setting clear expectations with them will help keep your team focused on project goals.

Establishing regular, but flexible, working hours will drive productivity. Remember, each employee’s situation will be different as some now have to juggle family and chores along with work, so focus on results and not on hours worked. Outlining project plans, tasks and goals as the means of measuring success will instill confidence in your team as they adapt to working from home.

The right remote working communications tools will assist you in making the most out of your time, and determining which tools are best for different instances will help you maximize it. Quick questions or task assignments can be communicated via email or instant messaging, a tool that is also beneficial to use when something urgent pops up and needs to be answered immediately. Since your tone can be lost in long, wordy emails, communicate more detailed conversations or work assignments over video conferencing.


Explore more of our remote working resources and tools >

Establish Regular Check-Ins

In an office environment, employees could easily walk into your office or catch you in the break room to quickly chat. Now that teams aren’t physically in the same place, it is vital to set up communication routines with your team members, both individually and as a group, while working remotely.

Establishing regular video check-ins with your team shows that you are available, ready to listen and open to feedback. Video calls are the best way to have one-on-one and team meetings because communicating over video creates a more personal experience while making your workers feel included. Having weekly one-on-ones or daily team meetings is a great way to establish a communication routine.

During one-on-ones, don’t make the meeting all about work - engage your team members on a more personal level. Yes, discussing pressing tasks is important, but showing a personal interest helps build rapport - especially in these turbulent times. Setting some time aside to talk about non-work-related things can do wonders for stress management and morale. Use your one-on-ones as a way to ensure your employees are coping well with the new normal. Remember, you and your employees are working through a pandemic; checking in with your team will help your employees feel more confident in their work, and in return, you will have a happier, more productive distributed workforce.  


Over-Communicate—Then Communicate Some More

While it may not seem obvious, over-communication is key in a remote working environment. Not only does it help keep your team on task, but it lessens the feelings of isolation your employees may be experiencing. Loneliness is a big hurdle in keeping your remote team’s morale up. You should already be communicating with your team daily, but even when you feel as if you are over-communicating, go ahead and do so to remind your employees you are there for them whenever they need you.

Be appreciative of your team’s efforts with projects they are assigned or tasks they’ve completed. Recognize employees individually or with a call-out in a team meeting. This acknowledgment will let them know you are paying attention to their successes and are there to support them.


Be Engaging

You’ve implemented daily or weekly check-ins with your team, and you’re constantly conversing with them. Now it’s time to add fun to your team's remote working routine!

Structure exciting and social ways to engage your employees as they work from home. Create virtual happy hours or implement video-lunches as part of your weekly schedule as a way to ensure that everyone unplugs from work for a little socializing. Your employees can join video conferences or chat streams dedicated to non-work talk and communication, like sharing photos of pets or talking about the latest movie or series. Engaging with your team beyond a work environment will be helpful and appreciated as working from home can feel isolating for some.

By establishing clear expectations on working remotely, scheduling regular check-ins and over-communicating with your team, you can exceptionally manage your team.  Remember to be accessible and respond quickly to your team to show them you are there when they need you, and to be supportive and appreciative so that your team feels included. Providing ways for your team to stay engaged with each other can combat any feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Working from home is not ideal for every company but understanding the challenges and ways to overcome them as a manager will help you hire and train new employees and better work with your team.

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