How to Manage Off-Site Employees

How to Manage Off-Site Employees
How to decline a recruiter's outreach (politely)

Last month, my company held its first in-person, all-staff meeting in two years. We’re a virtual company — all 15 of us work from our own homes. There was no real reason for us to have a meeting. All our important work is handled on short conference calls, but we thought it might be nice for everyone to meet each other, in many cases for the first time.

Because we don’t have an office, we don’t have a mix of off-site employees and office-dwellers. During the interview process, we make it clear that day-to-day supervision is not something we offer. If you need to be managed, we’re simply not the place for you.

From Day 1, every new employee knows they will telecommute 100 percent of the time, and employees are responsible for maintaining their own schedules and productivity.

In my firm, all of our work is highly collaborative. Every single promise we make to a customer involves several people working together to keep that promise. We don’t have lone wolves operating independently. Instead, we take a “team of specialists” approach. Our efficiency comes from leveraging the unique expertise of every team member, working in harmony to deliver an end result better than any single person could achieve on their own.

I’m not going to argue the merits of why you might want more off-site employees — only how you can help them be more productive.

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Bob Corlett is the founder and President of Staffing Advisors. He’s been named as one of the 100 most influential people in staffing, is a nationally syndicated weekly writer for the American Cities Business Journals and is a founding member of the Editorial Advisory Board for The HR Examiner. Bob is a frequent speaker at meetings of the Society for Human Resources Management. Thousands of hiring executives read his monthly newsletter, and the Resource Center on this site contains hundreds of his articles on innovation, staffing, leadership and performance management. Bob has worked in the staffing industry since 1989, starting Staffing Advisors in 2002.