May 9, 2014

CIOs See Communication as Most Challenging Aspect of Managing Remote Workers

People in bubbleIn a new Robert Half Technology survey, 30 percent of chief information officers (CIOs) said communication (a lack of face time) is the greatest hurdle for managing remote workforces. An equal 22 percent voted both productivity (how work gets done) and technology (user access to information) challenges as other factors of high concern. The random sample for the survey came from U.S. companies with at least 100 employees located in 23 major metro areas.

“As remote work arrangements become increasingly popular, managers are often concerned that camaraderie and collaboration could suffer due to lack of regular, in-person interaction,” John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology, said. “Even senior executives in a technology-forward department like IT can feel disconnected from remote teams because of limited face time with staff and lack of visibility into how work is being accomplished.”

Based on the outcome of the survey, Robert Half Technology offers the following four tips for effectively managing remote teams:

• Keep mobile workers informed of when they are expected to be reachable during office hours, set goals to keep workers on track, and tell employees how frequently they should check in with the home office.

• Inform remote employees of expectations for communications. Collaboration with remote teams is facilitated by teleconferencing and online services providing online meeting spaces and file-sharing capabilities. Ensure remote employees have access to proper communications technology.

• Request that remote workers work on-site at least a few times per month to keep them connected. Encourage attendance at important meetings and other events and promote face-to-face interaction via video conferencing tools.

• Check in with remote employees on a regular basis to ensure productivity remains balanced over the long term.


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.