February 18th, 2016 by adminToday’s tech-savvy world offers tools and resources to connect virtually at any time or place. Because of this, the opportunities for businesses to attract top talent has never been easier. Now, an employee who you wouldn't have been able to employ 20 years ago can be a viable contender for your open position if you offer them a remote working option. . But with this rise in a mobile workforce, how does employee management play in? How do you ensure you are effectively monitoring and motivating your mobile workforce when they aren’t in the office interacting with you each day? . Here are a few remote management tips to help navigate this new environment: . Build Rapport Remote employees are people, and that means getting to know them beyond just your last email or conference call. You need to truly get to know who they are as an individual – including learning about what they enjoy, what drives them crazy and what their lifestyle looks like. When you build rapport in this way you gain a better understanding of how you can accommodate them so they can be as productive as possible. . Utilize Video Nonverbal communication is a key element in the way we work, and if you aren’t able to read someone’s cues you may be missing out on effectively completing a task. Using video applications and features virtually eliminates this problem. The modern video options are inexpensive and robust, allowing you the ability to see and hear each other as if you were sitting next to each other but without a high cost to do so. . Balance Schedules Having employees located in different time zones can pose a number of challenges, one of the main issues being that they aren’t working when you are, so they are unavailable for work-related discussions. Because of this, you must be compassionate to the employee’s schedule – making sure you schedule your meetings when they are most convenient for the employee, even if this means you only have a small window of time of availability. . Schedule Longer One-on-One Meetings Just because a person is working somewhere else doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be included in your one-on-one meeting schedule. Offer an hour of time for these employees to discuss the items they may have missed during ad-hoc discussions at the office. . Provide Career Opportunities In some cases, remote employees can easily be seen as endless workhorses who simply churn out work quickly because they don’t have the distractions of cubical conversations. They may even be overlooked when a new job opportunity arises. Because of this, be sure to take the time to discuss the career goals and aspirations of your remote employees so they aren’t overlooked if another opportunity (even if it is in-house) arises. . Schedule Occasional In-Person Meetings Although many of today’s modern communication tools provide unprecedented ability to work as if you are next to each other, most would still agree that nothing beats a face-to-face discussion. These meetings can serve as an important element in building rapport and a sense of team inclusion and unity. . In closing, your mobile workforce may work a little differently because of distance or time zone limitations, but they can prove to be a tremendous asset to an organization when managed effectively.