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There’s no one best approach to managing virtual employees, but there are sets of best practices you can adopt in a trial and error system. It depends on numerous things like (of course) individual employees, your industry, the tech savviness of workers, how you train and prepare them and what goals you have in mind. As more companies are seeing the appeal of virtual offices, from much lower overhead to happier employees, this is one trend that isn’t going anywhere.
The simple truth is that, just like a “regular” office, there are workers who will thrive in a virtual setting and those who won’t. The perfect situation is to have some workers performing virtually and others in traditional settings, matching each worker with the best environment for them. If you can swing this, that’s great but that also requires knowing which workers are best matched for which environment.
If you’re just delving into the world of the virtual office, keep these tips in mind. They won’t work every time and for every employee, but they can help you figure out the right next move.
1. Provide structure
This can be in the form of daily or weekly check-ins via chat, video conferencing or phone calls. Nearly every worker still needs their company to provide structure in some regards, but don’t do so just for the sake of it. If some workers do best at midnight and others at 10am and the needs of the company allow for that kind of flexibility, let your employees take advantage of virtual settings.