Business Review - “No One is an Island: Support Remote Employees”

Jul 2, 2020

Expectations and feelings of isolation are just a few challenges employers face when supporting remote workers. In this episode of the Business Review, Dr. Sara Perry, assistant professor of management at Baylor University, offers her research-based ideas on how employers can best help their employees.

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.