How to manage remote workers

We might all have been unprepared for the crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to keep your employees safe and your business still running, you’ve had to change the way you work. For some businesses, this change to working remotely might have been smoother than others. You’ve had to scramble to make sure your employees have the technology to work from home adequately and change your processes and procedures to accommodate a remote workforce for an unknown/indefinite amount of time.

We put together a few obvious, but nevertheless, very important tips, behaviors and practices to focus on to help you and your employees work well at home during these strange and nerve-racking times.

Set up a designated workspace

Whether it’s from your kitchen table, a desk or your bed (not recommended), it’s best to have a space that is yours for the workday. Now that home and work lives are less separate, it can be more difficult to stick to a schedule and get work done without distractions. Identifying your work zone can help you establish a routine and make working from home, feel more like a regular day. It also helps you mentally switch from work to home, even if you aren’t changing your physical location. It’s important to have that distinction so you can have down time and outlet away from work.

Along with these, some recommend getting dressed in what you would normally wear to work to make things feel more normal. We think this is up to you. Some might work better in their pajamas while others work best in a suit.


We cannot emphasize this enough – communication is the most important aspect of working from home that you can control. Because everything else revolves around this, we put all of our other tips here.

Keep people connected with technology

How can you keep in touch with your employees when they are far away? How can you make sure everyone feels connected? Zoom meetings are free for the first 40 minutes. Slack, Microsoft Teams and other chat apps can make interacting with each other more natural. Decide when you want to have regular check-ins with your employees, on an individual and team basis.

Set work hours

When you are separated by distance, particularly if you are in different time zones, it’s best to keep the lines of communication as open as possible. Keep everyone informed of when you are available. The same goes for your employees. They should have defined work hours, for the benefit of their colleagues and their mental health, so there is a separation between work and home. Establish boundaries so colleagues and families or housemates know to help you keep things separate. You all need time to recharge, even if you are at home more than normal.


When you are remote, it takes extra effort to communicate with people – don’t be afraid to make the first move 😊. As a leader, you can set up designated times to hang out online. Employees can join if they want, and not if they aren’t feeling up to it. Virtual happy hours are a thing, but you could go on walks together, play games or just chat. Don’t let out of sight out of mind become a thing.

Define Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and duties

Are certain processes and procedures different when working from home? Adjust practices to accommodate these changes and make sure all your employees are on the same page. Set expectations early and maintain those standards throughout. Duties shouldn’t be changing much, but when we are alone without being able to turn around to our coworkers and ask a question, things can get a little muddled. Clearly determine who is in charge of what so employees can execute projects and make decisions independently and efficiently.

Be flexible and compassionate

Try to be accommodating to your employees, especially if they have children at home or have family members to care for. Set this tone for your employees so that they practice patience with their coworkers, clients and customers.  Remember that everyone is dealing with limited staff, budgets and resources with less emotional bandwidth. We are all in this together.

Pair accountability with trust

We know some work doesn’t stop because of what’s happening in the world; you have deadlines and quotas to meet. Once you have established your expectations, find ways to hold your team accountable for their work. If you are communicating well and with concern, it is easier for you and your employees to be transparent. However, it’s likely that your employees will not have trouble getting their work done, so before you think to micromanage and make their jobs more difficult and stressful, exercise trust. Chances are your employees want to keep their jobs and are not trying to take advantage of you while working from home. If you go in with that mindset, things will be easier for you.

Adapt, adapt, adapt

Things are changing constantly, and in order to adjust quickly, it’s important to be able to go with the flow. While so much feels out of our control right now, there are still many things you can control. Figure out what those are, what your goals are and how you can accomplish those with your employees throughout this pandemic. However, we know things are happening so quickly and it can be hard to keep up, but this can be a good exercise in becoming more agile and can help you learn how to deal with crises so you are better prepared next time.

Take care of yourself

This is an overwhelming time for us all, which brings a significant increase in stress and anxiety, with what feels like no way to escape it. Encourage mindfulness and encourage your employees to take care of their bodies and minds.