Strategy & Operations » Leadership & Management » Remote staff managers need extra training, Regus survey finds

OPINION IS SPLIT on the performance of remote workers, a study conducted by international workspace provider Regus has found.

A slight majority think that remote workers should accept the use of IT systems which keep tabs on work activity (54%) and productivity (56%. Respondents agreed more on the way workers should be assessed – 84% believe outcomes should be used to measure performance as opposed to time spent working.

The study, which canvassed 4,000 UK professionals, also found 80% believe their senior management team support flexible working. Though according to 68%, managers need specific training to effectively manage their remote employees.

Regus, a workspace provider operating internationally, revealed 85% of those surveyed think managers should have contact with remote staff weekly, with 84% believing monthly face-to-face meetings are important.

By way of sustaining top talent, three quarters (75%) say their sector is increasing the opportunity to work remotely, though the possible requirement for managers to undergo extra training has been identified.

Managing director Michael Millward of Abeceder, an employee management services company, said he has “associates across the globe” whom he manages daily.

He added: “Regular communication is vital and although most of the communication I have with them is virtual, we make sure to schedule regular video calls. This allows us to operate as effectively as if they were on the doorstep.”

Millward believes relationships between managers and staff are improved through remote management, stating that the distance has “inspired a greater sense of responsibility” and made remote staff “highly valuable assets to the team”.

Richard Morris, UK CEO of Regus, which is set to expand into Iraq according to Business Traveller, said: “With its benefits to employers and workers, it’s no wonder that businesses are increasingly offering remote working options to staff.”