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As more people work online, either in jobs that have flex hours or for online freelancing gigs, it is vital that we rethink the way that we manage employees. While the Internet has helped bring people together, it has also left managers and employees further apart in some respects than ever before. On the one hand, working remotely can be a huge boon for those looking to add flexibility to their work lives and allows hirers to seek out the best people for the job from around the world. On the other hand, managing employees remotely can be quite challenging as it denies you many of the in-person tools that managers use to keep tabs on and touch base with their employees.

That’s why managers who oversee remote employees will want to keep these ideas in mind.

Make Use of Technology

Using the same old method of popping into people’s cubicles or giving them a call doesn’t work when they may be working hundreds or even thousands of miles from where you are. That’s why smart companies with remote employees make use of Skype, WhatsApp, Google Drive, and other apps and online resources to share their work.

Communicate Regularly

Given the distance between you and your employees, it is all the more important to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Take the time to communicate with your employees. Sending them a message every few days at minimum can help ensure that you understand them, they understand you, and that a general rapport and boost to company morale and cohesion is achieved.

Flexibility and Consistency

It is vital that you find a way to be flexible yet consistent when managing remote employees. Your employees are bound to have different schedules, motivations, and national and cultural backgrounds, all of which can be useful in cobbling together a team. You need to make allowances for everyone’s unique situation but also need to make sure that you’re being consistent in what the rules are and how you apply them.

Done correctly, managing remote employees can be a huge opportunity to grow your team and cultivate a positive online company culture.