Why Managing Remote Performance is Different than in the Physical Workplace

‘Leaders Need Strong Remote Management Skills to Maintain and Improve Staff Performance in a Hybrid Workforce Model.’

With the recent shift to increase hybrid work models, managers can find themselves struggling to create the positive synergy and momentum they may have had in physical work environments. Remote models increase relational fragmentation and if not managed with a clear cohesion strategy, performance and productivity levels can start to drop.

Not working alongside an employee can make it difficult for managers to identify or relate to the day to day challenges employees may be experencing. Although not noticable at first, in time the degradation of performance and results become more obvious. For example, if someone is disengaged and not working productively at the office, then you will likely have visual cues early on. An employee may often be in a bad mood or easily get distracted. On the other hand, remote workers could be disengaged for some time before you notice.







The COVID pandemic threw many work teams into upheaval as they scrambled to regroup around remote models, in order to maintain operations and delivery of service. It is understandable that managers may not have been immediately able to focus on building their own skills to adapt to a remote model. Managing employee performance remotely is not the same as in the workplace and requires attention to develop more effective skills for virtual teams. The lack of physical presence can have a significant impact on team and individual performance and managers need to have clear strategy to support their team. 

If you can relate to some of the above, then you might find the 7 tips listed below helpful in managing employee performance remotely.

7 Tips for Effectively Managing Employee Performance in the Remote Workplace.

Promote Feedback and Dialogue

Set up mechanisms that create regular times for two-way feedback to ensure there are plenty of opportunities for honesty and transparency. This also assists those who tend to feel the social disengagement more than others in the team.

Focus on Results not Processes

Remote workers have increased work/life balance challenges trying to manage daily task demands, juggling family and maintaining a focused work environment. Let your team have flexibility to get results their way.

Regular Acknowledgement

Remote meetings tend to be more task focused and not as relational. The advantage may be efficiency but it is still really important to look for regular opportunities to acknowledge progress and achievements.

Demonstrate Employee Trust

The more you can demonstrate trust in your employees, the more employees feel supported. If we micro-manage people, even in a remote model, they will start to disengage and we can unwittingly be setting them up to fail.

Design a Remote Culture Blueprint

If you have a clear plan which sets out a framework of expectations, standards of virtual communication and performance requirements for each role, the team will normally rise to the standard. If performance issues arise there is a clear set of standards that can provide a line of sight when necessary.

Provide Training Support

Remote working teams generally need more training not less. It provides opportunities for greater social interaction if the session is facilitated correctly. A good workshop will go a lot further than just skills and knowledge, it also improves team cohesion which is needed for remote team health.

Set KPI’s that are Remote Relevant

Whether it is a remote or even a hybrid model, KPI’s often need to be adjusted to adapt to the new remote workflow. It is not uncommon for additional skills and expansion of existing job descriptions to be required for successful remote work objectives. This promotes role clarity.

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