Last updated: 28.11.13

Remote workers 'must be managed properly'

Thanks to the rapid advancement of technology over recent years, an increasing number of employees across the UK are able to work from home and have greater control over their job.While this has lots of benefits for staff and bosses, it is important that employers understand how to manage these workers effectively so that business performance thrives and communication is constant.According to Telegraph journalist and small and medium-sized enterprise expert Rachel Bridge, there are several ways managers can deal with remote workers properly, including giving them the tools they need to get the job done.She cited a survey carried out by HR company ADP, which revealed that equipping staff with the right technology plays a significant role in boosting their productivity and happiness.Ms Bridge said regularly setting time aside to chat with the team is also important for distance employees so they don't feel excluded from any activities, which could take the form of video conference calls or Skype training sessions."Make sure remote workers are given the same opportunity as office-based workers for ongoing work training. Don't forget to include them in training programmes and teach them how to use new equipment and processes," she added.Just because they are not in the office in person doesn't mean they don't share the same ambitions and desire to develop their skills as those based in-house. As long as they know they can talk to their manager whenever they need to and are kept in the loop, they should be able to thrive wherever they are.Bosses too should make sure they undertake regular training in order to stay up to date with all their staff, homeworkers and office-based employees, and for this they could turn to the services of West Yorkshire-based training company Virtual College.The provider's People Manager's Toolkit guides them through various processes and situations they are bound to be faced with at some point during their career, from motivating their team to dealing with long-term sickness absences.