ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Avoiding Problems with Remote Employees

Updated on January 9, 2018
tamarawilhite profile image

Tamara Wilhite is a technical writer, industrial engineer, mother of 2, and a published sci-fi and horror author.

Overview

Remote employees are staff who work somewhere other than the main office, thus working apart from most coworkers and supervisors. They may work from home while telecommuting, travel extensively without setting foot in the main office or work at a construction site far from the main office.

What can you do to avoid problems when managing telecommuters and remote employees?

What are some of the problems of remote employees, and how do you avoid them?
What are some of the problems of remote employees, and how do you avoid them? | Source

Work-Life Balance

The demands of family life can lead employees to seek remote work opportunities. However, kids in the house and working remotely may not be practical. A demanding baby is neglected when Mom has to answer a sales call, and the potential customer could be lost if Mom puts the customer on hold to feed the baby.

If a parent is working from home, it should be while the kids are at school, when the spouse or babysitter is watching them, after the kids are in bed or when the kids are old enough to not require supervision. Remote work doesn't work when someone tries to be a stay at home parent and full time remote worker.

Be careful that remote employees are not expected to be online for all business hours for all work sites. If you expect a remote worker to be online at 8 AM your time, the same time employees arrive on the East coast, do not turn around and demand that they attend 5 PM West coast meetings regularly, essentially putting in longer days than those who are working in the office.

Telecommuting Policies

Avoid favoritism in giving permission to employees to work from home. This is a business decision. If remote work is given to those who are seen as the boss' favorites and not the best performers, those remaining in the office may resent remote workers or management. Allow telecommuting and remote work for those individuals in which it will dramatically improve productivity or allow it for everyone if specific conditions are met.


Before starting remote work, make it clear that it is for a probationary period. Then enforce that probationary period. If someone fails to complete work assignments or is suspected of not working when at home, bring them back into the office.

Before hiring remote workers, determine whether they and you would be better served hiring them as contractors or as employees. As contractors, they are free to pursue other projects during a lull in work from your organization. And you do not have to pay them when they are not working on projects for you.

If the tasks the remote worker would be doing are project by project, consider hiring them as contractors on a per-project basis to maintain flexibility in both of your budgets. However, you should consult with a legal expert before converting a current employee to a contractor when they move from the corporate office to the home office.

Do not demand that remote workers dress in formal business wear unless they are visiting employees. It does not matter if someone is creating a sales presentation or checking on a server dressed in jeans and a T-shirt if no one else will see them. However, you can require them to follow the dress code when they are in the office.

Consult with Human Resources before classifying telecommuting remote workers as contractors. If they perform the same job duties as before, you cannot classify them as contractors, drop their benefits and raise their employment taxes without running afoul the law.

Trust and Security

Employees who work remotely and have said they want to quit should be brought back into the office and given tighter supervision to prevent data loss or poor productivity while they train a replacement. Data leak protections on your corporate network may not stop a remote salesman from emailing a contact list to his new boss from a personal computer.

Think twice before offering remote work to someone who has said they would like to quit because of the job's demands. They make enjoy the schedule flexibility while hunting for a new job.

Require remote employees and telecommuting employees to return all IT assets before taking a leave of absence or extended vacation. If the item is not in their possession, it cannot be lost or misused.

IT Security

Limit or prohibit remote workers from working off public wi-fi networks. While they gain the social camaraderie of the coffee house, hackers can spoof the wireless router and capture their files as they are transferred. Or a camera's picture of their screen is enough to steal sensitive information.


For security reasons, those working at home must segregate work and personal computing. While it is devastating to lose a personal computer and the personal financial information on it, theft of a remote worker's computer could give thieves sensitive workplace information as well. If someone is working from home, it is safer if they work on a company provided laptop than a personal computer. If the person is working on a personal computer, it should be off limits to spouses, children and visitors. Furthermore, company data should never be stored on it.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • profile image

    sweetchar 

    6 years ago

    Aside from self discipline, time management is also important. I have been working remotely for the past year and honestly, the first months were pretty tempting. Especially if you see chores waiting to be done. Lol! But some tools really helped me focus on my priorities, thanks to my boss for suggesting them. And it definitely helps to get in touch with your team and manager as well. It's difficult to be pretty much isolated at home compared to an office environment where you get to "mingle" with the others.

    For managing a remote team, you can probably add this resource on your list as well.

    http://biz30.timedoctor.com/do-you-really-need-an-...

  • krsharp05 profile image

    Kristi Sharp 

    6 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

    Great suggestions for managing remote employees. It seems as though you would be an excellent manager! -K

  • Riverfish24 profile image

    Riverfish24 

    6 years ago from United States

    Great hub! I have worked remotely and have worked with virtual teams across time zones. Self discipline is essential for remote work to 'work'.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)