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No One Is An Island

No one is an island

I’m CJ Jackson and this is the Business Review.

In this digital age many employers are managing remote teams. Dr. Sara Perry, Assistant Professor of Management, presents ideas for employers who are supporting employees working remotely.

In the remote work literature, one of the biggest concerns is isolation. We all have a fundamental need to have strong social connections and often that need is met by our coworkers. You might think about setting up periodic check ins virtually where people actually proactively have a conversation without a specific agenda. Really the idea is just to connect with each other. It's an opportunity for us to support each other, share stories and it doesn't have to be long, but that can go a long way for providing support and encouragement for people when they are remote and may feel isolated.

Dr. Perry says that expectations need to be clear, while also giving most employees autonomy over their work. However, employees who have less emotional stability may require more support.

One of the things that I always recommend is managers should be really clear about where they're flexible. Those things just need to be clearly laid out up front so that everyone knows what to expect and what they're being expected to uphold. You have to let employees figure out what works best for them in terms of the schedule and the setup and when they'll be available. The bottom line is that when we send our employees off to work remotely, we need to give them autonomy. But there's one group of employees who may suffer if you leave them too far alone, and that's the group that has lower emotional stability. So we need to figure out how to support those employees best and not leave them too far out on their own.

The Business Review is a production of Livingston & McKay, and the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University.

C.J. Jackson drives on sunshine and thrives on family, NPR and PBS. She is the assistant dean of communications and marketing at Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business and host of public radio’s “Business Review.” Previously, she was director of marketing communications for a large, multinational corporation. C.J. has two daughters—Bri in San Antonio and Devon in Chicago—and four grandchildren. She lives with a little yellow cat named for an ancient Hawaiian tripping weapon.