Remote employees and freelance contractors are becoming more popular, which means employers must adapt their management styles to ensure objectives are met. While there are many different methods of tracking workers’ engagement and productivity, most emphasize physical activity over results.

Managing a remote team requires adaptability and a willingness to communicate in a new, perhaps unorthodox way. For someone who is accustomed to having daily progress reports and face-to-face meetings, working with remote employees who are completely off-site can be a challenge.

The good news is that remote workers are just as accessible as employees who work in the office. Cultivating strong, meaningful connections through technology is easier than ever, and remote team leads can now take full advantage of all the methods and practices in place to create a lasting and positive bond with their remote employees.

Align Personal and Professional Goals

Although their schedule may be more flexible, remote employees are just as committed to their careers as anyone in an office. Employers shouldn’t mistake physical distance for lesser emotional investment

It’s important to acknowledge that remote employees still spend the majority of their day at a desk, and they deserve to feel like their personal obligations and lives are just as important as any other employee’s.

Management needs to communicate how an employee’s contribution impact the overall growth of the company.

Keep Schedules Balanced

Take advantage of a time-tracking software to ensure that remote employees aren’t working unpaid overtime. When someone works from home, it’s easy to become caught up in assignments and completely ignore the importance of personal time. Some remote workers put in up to 16 hours a day.

Send friendly reminders to your remote teams about the importance of getting up to stretch, drink water, stay active and set designated hours for their workday.

Assign Real-Life Work Partners

Remote workers can feel more valued and integrated into the company when they work with in-house employees. A partner program will help team members share ideas and help one another on different projects while making sure everyone is on the same page.

Give Personal Time Off

Remote workers may hesitate more than office employees to call out sick. Managers should strive to encourage sick days and personal leave when necessary, which can help prevent burnout and lead to a greater sense of appreciation from employees.