Manager and Supervisor Guidelines

Review guidelines to help you manage teleworking staff.

Manager and Supervisor Guidelines

When you oversee staff who routinely telework, either part-time or full-time, it is best to set the stage and engage your employees in a way that supports their continued success while working from an alternate work location. Below are some guidelines to help you manage your staff, sustain expected results, and encourage a high level of cohesion and participation from all your staff.

Lead by example

Managers and supervisors must be committed to using telework to the fullest extent possible in order for it to be successful. Teleworking managers and supervisors are familiar with working at an alternate work site and experiencing a teleworker’s typical day, which enables them to work through any technology, equipment, communication, workflow and associated issues with their employees. This experience will help managers and supervisors to spot workflow gaps and fill them so that telework becomes more seamless and transparent.

Take telework training and stay informed

In addition to the list of telework training on this website, your department may also have training available.

Address your concerns

You may have concerns about allowing employees to telework.

Will I hear from my employees once they are teleworking?

Create an environment where your employees feel comfortable contacting you. Let your employees know your expectations for their availability while they are teleworking.

Worker productivity will drop if I’m not able to see my employees.

Many organizations find that teleworking increases productivity and most experience no decline in productivity due to telework. At a minimum, you should expect telework to have no negative impact on productivity in terms of the amount or quality of work completed.

Telework stands in the way of effective teamwork. 

Successful teamwork does not require all team members to be together in the same physical place. It does require planning and adopting communication strategies to support collaboration.

Treat employees equitably

Treat teleworking employees the same as an employee working in the office with respect to performance management, conduct, training and promotional opportunities.

Performance standards for teleworking employees should be the same as performance standards for non-teleworking employees.

Often, shifting your focus from how much work the employee looks like they are accomplishing to how much they are actually accomplishing will help you monitor work better. By focusing on the work product instead of the work activity, you may find you are better able to communicate clear expectations to your employees. When supervisors and teleworkers agree on job expectations, it often increases employee productivity and job satisfaction.

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