a close up of a computer screen with a triangle pattern
Improving remote employee performance

How To Ensure Remote Employees Exceed Expectations in Their Jobs

Managing remote employee performance is key to ensuring your remote team exceeds your expectations. Here are five ways to boost performance.

How To Ensure Remote Employees Exceed Expectations in Their Jobs


a blue clock with a white clock face on it
This is some text inside of a div block.
arrow right
a blue circle with the word linked on it
share on linkedin
the letter x in a black circle
share on twitter
the instagram logo in a circle
share on instagram

Key Takeaways

  1. Remote work offers many advantages, but it also presents several challenges, like potential issues with communication, accountability, performance, and overwork.
  2. To bring out their best work, you need to manage remote employees in a way that ensures productivity, improves communication and collaboration, builds trust and accountability, and prevents burnout and workplace conflict.
  3. Top strategies for improving the performance of remote employees include setting clear expectations, holding regular one-on-one meetings, making each worker feel like part of the team, fostering trusting relationships, and gathering the right kinds of data on their performance. 

Flexible and remote work arrangements are on the rise. This offers businesses benefits like overhead cost savings and access to a global talent pool. Likewise, employees can also take advantage of a wider range of job opportunities, flexibility, and a healthy work-life balance.

However, remote employment also comes with challenges, including maintaining clear and regular communication, monitoring performance and productivity, promoting employee autonomy and accountability, and avoiding burnout.

To overcome these hurdles and ensure your workers continue to perform optimally, it’s crucial to implement the right strategies for managing remote employees from the get-go.

In this article, we walk you through five essential strategies you can implement to manage your remote employee performance and ensure that they perform at their best every workday. 

Why Is Managing Remote Employee Performance So Important?

When you manage in-house office employees, you can see them daily, monitor them in person at work, and communicate with them anytime. However, there are unique challenges to managing remote employees. 

Despite remote work setups being in greater demand among employees worldwide, there is evidence to suggest that they may find it challenging to stay as productive in the office. One study found that the productivity of employees who needed to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic decreased by about 20%.

Furthermore, you may need to communicate with employees located in other time zones and who even have different cultural practices. It’s also essential to hold your employees accountable and build a trusting working relationship, even from a distance. On top of that, you must maintain a cohesive team that can collaborate to complete projects successfully.

All of this underscores the need to use a strategic approach to managing your remote employees and make efforts to ensure they’re being productive and meeting and exceeding expectations. 

5 Strategies For Maximizing Remote Employee Performance

Although managing employees remotely can require careful planning and adaptation, you can certainly do it successfully by utilizing the right strategies. Here are five effective ways to set remote employees up for success and ensure they drive your business forward.

1. Set expectations from the outset

The expectations of workers in a remote work environment may differ somewhat from workers in a normal office environment.

Before you even hire and onboard remote workers, make sure to align their expectations with yours. Give them a clear picture of their roles, what you expect from them daily, and how you would like them to perform.

For example, do they expect to be able to work any time of the day that is convenient for them while you are hoping for them to follow a traditional nine-to-five schedule? Settling these issues at the outset will benefit all parties. 

Give clear guidelines on how to perform their work

A remote work environment is unique in that your employees will not have anyone to guide them through their adjustment period face to face. Remote workers don’t have colleagues they can tap on the shoulder for help, nor can they just walk into your office to ask questions.

Therefore, it’s important you give them everything they need to succeed in their role. Provide clear guidelines about their responsibilities, how to go about their workdays, the platforms or tools they need to use, and company policies. Make it as easy as possible for them to integrate themselves into your company. 

Schedule remote employee performance reviews quarterly

You can keep track of remote workers’ performance by scheduling remote performance reviews. Through a simple video call, you can assess how they’re performing based on your key performance indicators (KPIs), whether this involves measuring their productivity or output quality. 

Before conducting these performance reviews, ensure you set concrete and realistic objectives and communicate them with your remote employee. This gives the employee goals to work toward and milestones to achieve every quarter. 

Ensure remote employees are doing a job that matches their abilities

No worker, remote or in-person, will succeed in a role they don’t have the skills and abilities to perform. An accountancy graduate, for example, probably wouldn’t do well in an HR role. Likewise, an entry-level IT professional is likely to struggle in a position requiring years of experience and specialized technical skills.

When hiring a remote worker, you need to be certain that their skill set and background match the job you’re hiring them for.

Ask yourself what the role entails and identify a candidate who is a perfect fit. Remember to look for not only the hard skills required to perform the role but also soft skills essential for a remote working environment, like organizational and time management skills. 

A remote hiring company like Near can help by connecting you with qualified professionals who match your specific needs. We source only the best remote talent from Latin America (LatAm) for US companies, performing a detailed investigation of each candidate’s skills, background, and abilities in order to match them with a position where they would excel. 

2. Schedule regular one-on-ones

One of the most effective ways to encourage employees to communicate and perform at their best is to show them you are available, hence the importance of regular one-on-one meetings.

Frequent communication lets your remote worker know you’re there to provide information and support when needed. It also gives you opportunities to regularly check on their progress and well-being. 

One on one video call, remote employee waving at laptop

Check in regularly

Make it a point to hold regular check-ins with your remote workers. But make sure these aren’t too long or formal. Use short, regular meetings to talk to your remote workers about their projects and how they’re feeling about the work. Make these a platform for them to provide constructive feedback or voice their thoughts and concerns. 

Make sure conversations are meaningful and personalized

While it may be tempting to hold all of your conversations with your remote workers via chat or voice call for efficiency, it’s worth making your discussions more personal. You want to build a good working relationship with them in the same way you would with in-office employees.

Tools and software like videoconferencing platforms are great for this. Enriching your talks can be as simple as turning on videos in your meetings to encourage a more personal connection or asking workers the right questions to make them feel thought of and valued. 

Encourage two-way conversation

Communication with your remote workers shouldn’t only be initiated by you. Keep your lines open and encourage them to reach out to you for anything. Let them know you’re there to listen to them actively, whether they have a question about a particular task or a concern about the job. 

3. Maximize team visibility

Remote workers can sometimes experience feelings of isolation, especially without the acquaintance of coworkers in an office setting. Therefore, making each member feel like part of the team in a remote working environment is even more important. 

Enable innovation

One way you can increase each member’s visibility is to welcome and value their feedback. If they are directly involved in your company’s processes and systems, they may have useful ideas about how you can innovate your approach and improve your operations.

Make opportunities for regular feedback in conversations, and let them know that you want to hear from them and put their feedback to work. 

Ask for status updates

Another way to make sure remote employees feel seen and like part of the team is to ask for regular updates on their tasks or projects. This will assure them that their involvement is important while giving you insights into where they are succeeding or struggling. 

Trust can ensure remote contractors exceed expectations

4. Trust your remote employees

Remote working setups are built on trust. It’s important to build a relationship with your remote workers that enables them to take ownership of their own work and productivity. 

Create a culture of trust and accountability

First and foremost, aim to create a company culture that promotes accountability. Allow your remote workers to define the tasks and projects they are accountable for, and encourage them to take responsibility for mistakes and failures. Giving them a safe space to acknowledge and learn from mistakes will motivate them to do better over time. 

Support remote workers’ autonomy

Remote working is appealing to many primarily because it gives them more freedom. With a remote work setup, they can manage their own schedules, work on their tasks when it is more convenient, and fulfill their responsibilities while still having opportunities to address personal matters.

Your remote working setup should encourage worker autonomy and give your workers the freedom to work on their tasks their own way.

There may be times when you need to step in to ensure productivity, but if you can, avoid using software that controls when the worker is online and which apps they use.

Rather than motivating employees, this makes them feel micromanaged and not trusted. Instead, try to adopt outcome-based performance appraisals and incentives to encourage employees to keep doing their best. 

Encourage healthy boundaries

Amid your efforts to encourage employees to exceed expectations, make sure that you’re not putting too much pressure on them. Don’t make them feel as if they have to overextend to prove their skills or value in your company. 

Encourage them to build healthy boundaries and not to take their personal lives for granted. After all, a healthy work-life balance is key to happy and satisfied employees and promotes organizational commitment

5. Gather the right kinds of performance data

Employee performance isn’t just about how fast they do their work or how much they can do in a given day. Performance levels also consider their workload, the effort they put into activities, their relationship with other coworkers, and their rate of improvement. 

Look out for behavioral concerns

Some degree of workplace conflict is inevitable, with 36% of employees reporting that they deal with it often. But make sure you’re keeping an eye out for any behavior issues that don’t help foster a healthy working environment. Nip virtual harassment and other remote workplace misconduct in the bud. 

Monitor workloads to prevent burnout

The last thing you want is for your remote workers to feel burned out. Monitor their workload closely and ensure that everyone has a healthy balance.

Remember that this isn’t just about the number of tasks—also consider how certain deliverables may be more difficult, time-consuming, or stressful than others. Check in regularly to ensure that your remote workers are not overwhelmed. 

Use a more flexible performance assessment

Many companies rate employee performance using numbers, scores, and rankings. But this doesn’t tell the worker much about what they’re doing well and what needs improvement. Instead, focus on giving narrative assessments that tell them exactly how they’re performing. 

Provide more qualitative insights into how they’re doing, what issues you’re seeing, and how they can improve. When evaluating remote workers, always acknowledge their efforts instead of just focusing on the big picture or the end result. 

Final Thoughts

Managing a remote workforce requires active effort and strategizing. But with these tips, you can motivate your remote workers to be more productive and even go beyond your expectations. 

If building and maintaining a successful remote team seems overwhelming, you don’t have to do it alone—you can enlist the help of a remote hiring firm with experience building a robust remote workforce, from streamlining communication channels to adopting efficient scheduling systems.

Near not only helps companies hire top remote workers but also provides support in helping them adjust to their new role so that they stay motivated and productive on the job.

Ready to start building a successful remote team? To start interviewing remote workers and make a hire within 21 days, fill out our short form to receive a list of candidates suited to your organization and role.

Frequently Asked Question

Receive remote hiring insights delivered weekly.

a green lightning bolt with a black background
a white and yellow background with a diagonal triangle

Discover Why Hiring in LatAm is a Cheat Code. Download our FREE Guide Now.