Part of the problem, is that many managers fear they will be unable to keep tabs on their employees' performance, says Morgan Norman, CEO and founder of WorkSimple.com, a social-media website that helps corporate teams with setting goals and collaborating among workers.
Once that impediment is removed, however, having employees work from remote sites, is a "no-brainer," he says.
One avenue for success is to first establish tools that help supervisors measure productivity -- before establishing a telework program.
Without any metrics, Norman says, management is less likely to embrace the concept of virtual work (also known as telecommuting or telework).
Further, it's also important for employees to be able to manage their own progress, since many know which decisions will result in better results than their bosses.
That's aided if workers have access to information that includes the direction and mission of the company and its departments.
Having employees set their own goals and manage themselves to maximize their own productivity are key components in ensuring that a virtual workforce is manageable, he says.
"If you can apply those principles to the virtual workforce with the understanding that it's the way the company will work going forward," Norman says, letting workers work remotely won't be an issue.
But many companies won't do it because they're uncomfortable with the concept and close the door on the idea.
"That's the wrong answer," he says. "That's the wrong answer for the employee -- and the business."
For more information, check out these tips on Managing the Virtual Workforce from WorkSimple.com:
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