With all the technology available to us, sometimes we work with people for years before we ever meet in person. That can be terrific, or it can be a headache.
Digging around in my notes from conferences, I found these tips on managing a distributed workforce from a 2008 session at SXSW with Andrew Huff, Editor and Publisher of Gapers Block, and Jeff Robbins CEO of Lullabot.
1. The best system to learn how to manage a distributed workforce: the One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard.
2. Leave time for informal talk during online and phone meetings. Make it feel like in-person interacting.
3. Give clear communications of when to work and when not to. No need to be online all the time.
4. Declare a weekend off.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for increases in output when needed.
6. Write an employee handbook. Include that extra time will be required for daily reporting-in, and the worker will need to allow for it.
What tips can you add?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.