Remote teams of telecommuters are rapidly becoming a preferred way of doing business for many employers and employees alike. It’s critical that management quickly masters the skills necessary to recruit and manage a remote workforce. Where do you start? I suggest you begin by developing a strategic plan to support and manage your telecommuting staff. Once you put a solid management plan in action the recruiting piece becomes much easier.

Almost 80% of workers in a recent poll said they would prefer to perform some, if not all, of their work remotely. This is a surprisingly high number of people and offering telecommuting as part of your overall benefit package can help you tap into otherwise unavailable candidates. Managing a remote team is new to many managers and supervisors. Here are four tips to get you up to speed in no time.

Decide Who Can Participate

Obviously, every position can’t be performed remotely. However, as we’ve witnessed lately a surprising number of jobs can be retooled for telecommuting. Make a list of every position in your organization and assess the viability of taking each one into a remote environment. When you identify a position that doesn’t quite fit the bill for remote work, look deeper and determine if it may qualify to work remotely some of the time.

Clarity is Key

As with your office staff it is imperative that you set clear goals, rules, procedures and expectations with your remote team. Your objective is to maintain, or even improve your productivity and quality of work. Setting objectives that everyone clearly understands is crucial.

Communication Channels

Establish efficient communication channels between your remote and in-office staff. It’s best to create a written communication plan that includes preferred methods of contact in various situations, e.g. text messages or phone calls for urgent situations, email for complex instructions, etc. Also have a weekly virtual staff meeting. This is a good tool to instill teamwork and make sure that everyone is on the same page. Set aside the first 5 – 10 minutes of the staff meeting for small talk so team members can keep up with each other on a semi-personal level.

Support Remote Staff

The right tools are mission critical for a remote team to be effective. Inventory hard and soft tools that are needed by your team. Assess everyone’s internet connectivity, computers, printers, phones, software, security protocols, etc. and ensure that every person on your team has all of the resources they need to work from home.

Danielle Foppe is a Recruitment Manager at Business Centric Technology. If you are interested in learning more about how to get the best IT talent in the Dallas metroplex, contact Danielle specializes in recruiting IT talent in Dallas, Ft. Worth and North Texas. If you are looking for a rewarding career contact us today.