Advice » In the Workplace» Workplace Issues » Manage Off-Site/Telecommuting E ...
Manage Off-Site/Telecommuting Employees

Manage Off-Site/Telecommuting Employees

Advanced technology has led to an increase in the number of employees who work outside of traditional office settings. For the employee, telecommuting or working off-site eliminates the stress, time and costs associated with commuting. Additionally, telecommuting provides flexibility in hours and dress. For the employer, it's cheaper to pay for the technology needed at home, some or all of which may already be owned by the employee, than it is to provide full-time office space.

But for managers responsible for such workers' performance, telecommuters present a number of challenges. "Many managers don't trust what they don't see," says John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "They have not been trained on how to monitor and guide those at home or how to increase or create innovative communication techniques to satisfy telecommuters and themselves."

These tips from managers will help you effectively supervise those whose workday happens outside the office:

Maintain Communication

Communication is key, says Kyle Krzmarzick, area manager for CDI, a staffing firm that specializes in engineering and information technology.

"Regularly scheduled conference calls or videoconferencing is a must," he says. "Goal setting and follow-up on action items is a good way to get in the loop with people you manage remotely. [You can have] quick status meetings where action items are delivered, then a follow-up meeting to close the loop."

Companies are increasingly measuring employee performance and activity, says Krzmarzick. For example, salespeople are increasingly responsible for tracking client calls, meetings, pending deals, etc., in some type of sales force automation software. Regardless of where the person sits geographically, the manager is able to keep up on what's happening now, what has happened already and what might happen.

"If true coaching is needed, then I'd recommend working face to face," says Krzmarzick. "That piece of employee interaction can't be replaced by a phone."

Tips for Telecommuting Success

Mary Kay DuChene, life coach with SuperiorTrek Coaching, says that in today's increasingly competitive job market, telecommuting is a perk employees want, yet many managers aren't jumping on the bandwagon. She says these tips can make such an arrangement successful:

  • Pay for performance, not hours worked. If you and your department agree on the tasks, create measurable goals and are on the same page about the quality or other expectations of the work, then don't worry about whether the employee is putting in 40 hours. You'll be rewarding him for completing the agreed-upon tasks regardless of the number of hours it took. "A telecommuting employee can often get the same amount of work done in less time than office workers, because there's less chitchat at the watercooler," says DuChene.
  • Many telecommuters like to work early-morning hours (perhaps before the kids get up) or late into the evening, but they still need to be reachable during normal work hours. Set up a phone or email policy so the employee can be contacted if necessary, even if he may not be on the job at that time.
  • Be sure that on-site employees know they can contact the telecommuters as readily as you can. Make sure they feel like Joe Telecommuter is as accessible as if he were down the hall.
  • Have those who work at home full-time come into the office periodically. Team building and rapport can happen regardless of face time, but there's no substitute for occasional in-person interaction.

If employees request an off-site or telecommute working arrangement and you have concerns, agree on a trial period, such as three months, says DuChene. After the trial period ends, you can both assess how the situation is working.

Once managers can trust off-site workers to get results, they often see the benefits of telecommuting, says John Coffey, job and career transition coach with Winning Careers. "With the technology of today, there are many ways for managers to communicate with telecommuting employees," he says.

Latest Jobs
Posted: 05/28/2015
Lorain, OH, 44053
Posted: 05/28/2015
Louisville, KY, 40209
Posted: 05/28/2015
Kingsland, GA, 31548
Posted: 05/28/2015
Portland, OR, 97086
Posted: 05/28/2015
Philadelphia, PA, 19133

Want more personalized results?  Update Your Profile


Monster Communities

Teaching Community
Where teachers meet and learn.
Create and connect.
Networking for the career-minded woman.
Nursing Link
Where nurses call the shots.
More Monster Communities

Monster Partners

Scholarships, financial aid and more ways to pay for school.
Find top campus and online degree programs.
Military portal for the US Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard.
Financial Aid
Scholarships & financial aid.
Staffing for Government Jobs
Staffing and hiring solutions for federal government agency jobs.
More Monster Partners

Job Hunt Strategy

Six Ways to Make a Recruiter Hate You
If you want to blow your chances with recruiters -- and, by extension, with the companies they work for -- here are six perfect ways to do so.

Resumes & Cover Letters

Rev Up Your Resume to Relocate
Hoping to relocate? Get the ball rolling on landing the right job in the right location with these expert resume and cover letter tips.


100 Potential Interview Questions
Interview questions can run the gamut. You probably won't face all 100 of these, but you should still be prepared to answer at least some of them.

Salary & Benefits

10 Questions to Ask When Negotiating Salary
Most of us aren't natural negotiators, but asking these 10 questions during salary negotiations can help you get everything you deserve.

Employee Sourcing

Alt text
November Monster Employment Index Grows 13% Year-Over-Year, Tenth Consecutive Month of Positive Annual Growth.

For Seekers

Campus and Online Degrees
Advance your career and earn more with an online degree.
Free Salary Wizard
What are you worth? Find out and negotiate a better salary.
Research Careers
Get information on jobs and career paths to help guide your choices
Questions & Answers
Find answers to all your career related questions -- powered by Yahoo! Answers
Resume Distribution Service
Our distribution service puts your resume right in the hands of recruiters.
Resume Writing Services
Our experts will craft a keyword-rich resume that stands out in the crowd.
More Career Resources

For Employers

Career Ad Network
Target your job posting to more candidates on thousands of websites.
Hire Right Background Checks
Explore our background check packages to improve the quality of your hires.
Hiring Home Page
Find the best candidates for your business with Monster hiring solutions.
Job Postings
Find the right solution for your hiring needs. Starting at $99.
Power Resume Search
Monster's new search technology precisely matches people with your jobs.
Resource Center
Find staffing insights, labor trends, HR best practices and more.
Target Post
Connect with skilled, hourly and administrative candidates for only $99.

Social Media

Jobs on Twitter
Find jobs in your area and industry.
Monster Careers
Tune into our career advice and discussions tackling a wide range of topics and industries.
Monster Corporate & PR
Stay up-to-date on the latest news. Get the 'Who', 'What', 'When', and 'Why' on all things Monster related.
Monster Customer Service
Got a Monster question? We've got the answer. Whether you're a job seeker or employer, we can help you find the answers you need.
Monster for Employers
Find advice on hiring.
Follow Us
Check out our many pages and stay connected with the latest industry news, events, career advice and job openings.

Other Links

Monster Company Profiles
Explore companies and get information to guide your career decisions.
Compare Salaries
See how your pay stacks up to others in your field.
iPhone Application
Download the Monster app for iPhone and iPod touch.
Monster Job Seeker Blog
Monster Job Seeker Blog.
Monster Thinking Blog
Monster's Recruitment Trends Blog.
Jobs & Career Resources
Search Jobs:
For Employers: Post Jobs | Search Resumes | Advertise
About Monster | Work for Monster | Advertise with Us | AdChoices | Partner with Us | Investor Relations | Social Media
Terms of Use | Privacy Center | Accessibility Center | Help | Security | Contact Us | Sitemap | Mobile
©2015 Monster - All Rights Reserved U.S. Patents No. 5,832,497; 7,599,930 B1; 7,827,125 and 7,836,060 MWW - Looking for Monster Cable? - V: 2015.8.0.34-309