Communicating with Offsite Workers

Written by Robert F. Abbott

How do you, or would you, communicate with employees who work offsite?

Perhaps you have telecommuters reporting to you, or sales reps who work out of offices in other cities. How do you communicate with them?

Let's start withrepparttar strategic issues: what do you want to accomplish by communicating with them? And, why would they want to communicate with you?

Strategic means you'll probably want to deal with issues like productivity, accountability, and predictability. You want to know whatrepparttar 140921 offsite employee does, how she does it, and what she will do inrepparttar 140922 future.

Still inrepparttar 140923 strategic vein, you'll ask yourself why she would want to communicate with you: some reasons might includerepparttar 140924 need to maintain human contact withrepparttar 140925 office, to get resources from you, or to work on her productivity.

To return to our sales reps example, you might want them targetrepparttar 140926 certain prospects or to focus on high-margin products, Fromrepparttar 140927 other side, you might ask them about their needs and discover they need to know about product availability and a competitor's new products.

Once you have a clear, articulated understanding of why you're communicating, you can move torepparttar 140928 tactical issues. Issues such as: how often, what issues to raise, and by what means.

Normally, you'll findrepparttar 140929 tactical matters tend resolve themselves if you do a good job on strategy. That is,repparttar 140930 answers to tactical questions tend to flow out ofrepparttar 140931 decisions made in setting uprepparttar 140932 strategy.

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