Authority Website Income
Shares

Keeping Connected with Remote Employees and Freelancers (4 Tips from Experience)

I work in-house with a really fun and committed team of employees, who work with me on several projects and businesses.  However, a lot of the people behind the scenes here work remotely.  From part-time VAs paid by the hour or by the task to full-time salaried employees, I’ve had to develop some strategies on managing and keeping connected with remote workers.  After all, we’re living in the age of digital nomadism, and if you’re able to travel the world while staying committed and efficient with your career, all the power to you!  I love that entrepreneurial hustle.

So here are some of my top tips for making remote work, work.

Step #1: Weekly Check-Ins

I do this across all my businesses and it is quintessential to getting stuff done.  Weekly 1-on-1 check-ins with team members, and weekly check-ins with the entire team together.

Say you have 3 people plus the manager (in this case, myself) on a team.  You could create a spreadsheet like this one to keep track of their weekly efforts on your end.  

FREE Weekly Score Card Template

business management weekly meeting

I also encourage my team members to keep track of these check-ins on their end as well, to stay organized with their weekly tasks and progress.

For the full team meeting, it’s a more developed document which includes going over the business values and goals, weekly numbers, and weekly tasks and goals across the team members.  This gives everyone a chance to speak freely and stay focused and on track.  If you’re checking in and truly evaluating goals on a weekly basis, there’s way less risk of letting things slip.

Step #2: Get on the Phone

Yes, we do probably 90% of our communications via email.  And some people, especially in the digital media world, are introverted and get anxiety thinking about talking to other human beings.  But actually getting on the phone with somebody is invaluable.  It leaves no room for hesitation or shuffling of the truth.  When you speak directly with people, you’re automatically way more connected.  With remote employees, I mainly use Skype or Zoom to make free calls on the web.

Step #3: Get Together When You Can (Staff Parties!)

Encourage your remote team to come visit whenever they can.  Depending on how far away they are, it may be once a month, or only once a year, but it’s huge for keeping people connected and happy.  We’ve done some fun stuff over the past few years, from a simple pizza party in the main office, to a bowling outing, to brewery tours around the area!  It’s always good to take a break from the laptop life and do something fun to relax with everyone.  Plus, it gets people chatting and becoming closer, which helps to build the team up with more trust and respect.

Of course, for some really distant freelancers and VAs, this is a lot harder.  But generally maintaining a happy and friendly tone with your trusted team members goes such a long way.

staff party

Step #4: Be Available and Responsive

No one likes the unapproachable boss.  You want a boss who, in addition to good news and successful progress, you can come to with issues, concerns, and questions.  My core team members have my cell number and know that they can text or call when they need to.  Now, that’s not to say that there’s obviously a limit to expectations.  I can’t be expected to pick up the phone at 3am or be on call 24/7 when I’m taking vacation time.  But making sure you’re responsive to issues from your team when they need you is important.  In my experience, mutual respect in these situations is ideal.

Final Thoughts

Working with a lot of remote employees means overcoming obstacles like time differences and varying schedules, as well as the lack of face-to-face communication.  These are a few of the core approaches I’ve taken to keeping everyone connected and communicating well with each other, while staying on top of goals.

Have you had similar experiences with remote workers?  As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

About the Author Jon

I am a 33 year old husband, father of 3, engineer and a huge fan of developing systems to build useful and profitable websites. The reason I build online businesses is to provide financial independence for my family and yours AND so I can spend time outside skiing and biking with my family.
Jon Gillham, Online Entrepreneur

Leave a Comment: