SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Small Business — tracks feedback from small-business owners. We run the poll question each Thursday in our e-newsletter.
Last week we asked: What worries you most when you think about allowing employees to work remotely?
- Employees won’t be as productive: 36.28%
- Managers don’t know how to manage a remote workforce: 26.55%
- None of these: 19.47%
- Conflicts will come up that will hurt the team environment: 9.73%
- Operational problems will develop and hurt the company: 7.96%
With more than 60% of respondents signaling apprehension with the people side of the business, it’s key to remember the importance of training in establishing a successful virtual workforce. Employees need to learn new ways to work, similar to training received as a new hire. Managers need to use different skill sets and will require training on how to communicate with and engage employees they don’t see all of the time. Telework has a lot of advantages, but it’s not a turnkey system. Proper training will yield positive results.
Sharlyn Lauby is president of ITM Group and writer of the blog HR Bartender.