Do Naps Count as Breaks? 5 Insights for Managing a Remote Workforce

WFH.  Three little letters, immediately conjure up images of employees and coworkers lounging around in their underwear, catching up on Ellen, occasionally moving the mouse so the Skype doesn’t register “away.” Coffee features more prominently than work often. At least that’s what I heard from a friend, I mean I wouldn’t know anything about that behavior myself.

Working remotely seems to come and go in and out of fashion.  Famously about five years ago Best Buy and Yahoo abandoned the work-remote concept dubbed Results Only Work Environment (ROWE).  This concept was developed by two Best Buy employees, who now have a consulting company based on this practice.  Since you can find articles, or consulting companies to support either stance, it goes to show that this issue remains unsettled, and that it’s not the right solution for every employee or every work environment.

Employees at my company, SCM Connections find themselves at client sites because in the immortal words of infamous bank robber Willie Sutton, “That’s where the money is.”  So, as a natural extension I find myself managing people in a far off lands, sometimes going years without a handshake. 

While I do not claim to be a workplace management expert on ROWE or any other methodology with a cool acronym; I do have unsolicited opinions, and an offer to write a blog, so without further ado, here are my top five insights gathered over years of managing a remote workforce.

Click on the image below to start a slide show that will outline the best practices I’ve come up with and the reasoning behind them.

5 Best Practices for Managing Work at Home Employees

In conclusion, a working from home environment is not for everyone or every environment. However, it can and does work effectively, I’ve seen it happen.  Just be aware of the differences and adjust as needed.  Then form your own fancy consulting company, create a unique and ironic acronym for your process (dibs on UN1Q and IR0n1K) and sell your approach to startups all over Silicon Valley.

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