Managing Your Remote Workforce

October 20, 2021

Our October 2021 topic was “Managing Your Remote Workforce.”  Many companies require in-person attendance, while a bigger percentage manage workers who work remote either full or part-time.  This month we addressed successful management of remote workers.

Change the conversation about remote/hybrid/in-office:  What behaviors deliver the desired outcome? What does this job or role require as a production outcome?  Allow workers to attain the desired outcome in their own way. 

Flip the script.  It’s all about outcomes!

  • Timeliness
  • Deliverables
  • Resource Management
  • Quality Product
  • Customer Service, Customer Requirements

Ask yourself, “what do the customers demand and how can that best be accomplished?”

Create KPI’s for those who do not work well at home, with a stronger requirement for them to be in the office.  Working at home may require an innate skill that some have, and some do not.

For example, Toyota has remote employees; however, they have clear productivity expectations, down to the hour, that must be met.

If we don’t hire those who desire to work from home, who will we hire?  Hiring remote or hybrid workers is a way to combat the labor shortage. 

Sometimes tangential problems are brought to light in meetings about another subject: an “accidental issue.”  Without being together, or setting aside time to meet regularly, the “accidental issues” can be missed.

One size does not fit all, and a remote/hybrid/in-office plan needs to be tailored to each employee.  Consider making a plan to combat employee isolation. 

As leaders, we need to be critically aware of who can preform at home and who cannot. 

One member’s company has determined that interns and junior workers can no longer work remote.  In order to get the nurturing, training and learning that is required for growth, they must interact with others in-person and on-site.

A professional employee doing work from home must think like an owner.  Also, some functions can only be done at the workplace, so they need to understand there are limits to how much they can do at home.

Working at home can lead to working too much, and one member finds himself returning emails at 2:00am.  Work/life balance can be an issue for some, and they may need help separating work and life.  Be aware of time management to address work/life balance.

An individual may want to work at 10am – 7:00pm for example, with the benefit of expanding the companies’ hours and office coverage.  One important question to ask is does the employee really want to work at home or are they really looking for flexibility?

Companies must have a set of rules or best practices for remote working in their employee handbook.  Each employee must be required to be professional, first class.  Rules of conduct, such as   

  1. Be on time for remote meetings
  2. Show your face in remote meetings
  3. Dress properly-get out of your pajamas!

Other Ideas Shared:

Reframe: “Here is what I’m going to accomplish” instead of “how am I going to accomplish this with all these problems?”

Be aware that employees are feeling hopeless because of the condition of our country and our world.  Folks feel like they are fighting battles they are not winning. 

Ideas to assist with employees who may be struggling:

  • Find reasons to win, not fail
  • Make other people appear larger than yourself
  • Avoid gossip
  • Listen to each other
  • Be team oriented
  • Be flexible
  • Take initiative

Remember, God is in charge, he is leading.  Seek to connect with other business leaders.  We are not doing what we need to do for ourselves as business owners and executives to combat isolation. (Joining a Round Table is a good way to combat that isolation!  See our website for a Round Table near you:  Round Tables – Christian Business Round Table(

Feedback from our Monday Morning Moment with Rodger Price #2  (Healthy Conflict with Rodger Price 2 of 3 – YouTube

Success depends on how one leans in.

  • Leaning in to aggressively fight every point of contention can escalate and worsen the situation.
  • Leaning in positively, asserting your points but with an intent to find common ground and a positive path forward increases odds of success.

Upcoming Events:

Our Q4 events begin with our Global Webinar, Friday, November 19, at 7:30am-9:00am led by Rodger Price, Owner & Founder of Leading by Design. 

For our Detroit friends, please join us Friday, December 17 at 7:00-9:00am for CBRT’s In-Person Breakfast Social, with guest speaker Rick Warren, Chairman & CEO of Weldaloy.

On Friday, January 21, 2022 at 7:00am, join us for a Leadership Breakfast Event with Bill Schuhmacher, CEO of Leadership Lógos at the Kalamazoo Country Club in Kalamazoo.

Richard DeWitt, President and CEO of Marketplace Chaplains will speak at our Leadership Breakfast Event on Friday, February 18, at 7:00 am at the University Club in Grand Rapids.

If you are unable to attend our events, subscribe to CBRT’s YouTube channel where you can review all past event presentations.