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Face Value: CIOs Cite Communication As Greatest Challenge In Managing Remote Teams

Apr 22, 2014
8:11am

MENLO PARK, Calif., April 22, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- For technology professionals who work remotely, out of "site" isn't necessarily out of mind. In a new Robert Half Technology survey, nearly one-third (30 percent) of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) interviewed said communication is their greatest challenge in managing a remote workforce. Productivity and technology challenges followed, each cited by 22 percent of respondents.

The survey results are based on more than 2,300 telephone interviews with CIOs from a random sample of U.S. companies in 23 major metro areas with 100 or more employees. Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of IT professionals on a project and full-time basis.

CIOs were asked, "Which one of the following, if any, is your greatest challenge with managing a remote workforce?" Their top three responses:

Communication (lack of face time)....................................................

30%

Productivity (lack of insight into how work gets done)................

22%

Technology (ensuring user access to information)......................

22%

"As remote work arrangements become increasingly popular, managers are often concerned that camaraderie and collaboration could suffer due to lack of regular, in-person interaction," said John Reed, senior executive director of Robert Half Technology. "Even senior executives in a technology-forward department like IT can feel disconnected from remote teams because of limited face time with staff and lack of visibility into how work is being accomplished."

Robert Half Technology offers four tips for technology executives to manage remote teams effectively:

  • Outline expectations. Tell remote employees how often you'd like them to check in by phone or email. Let them know you expect them to be reachable during office hours. Also, set clear goals and benchmarks to help mobile workers stay on track with objectives.
  • Leverage technology tools. Make sure remote employees have access to the right communication tools. Teleconferencing, online meeting and file-sharing services foster collaboration among remote teams. Confirm that everyone can stay in touch easily and access the information they need quickly and securely.
  • Create opportunities for face time. To help remote workers stay connected, request that they work on-site a few times a month, if possible. Encourage them to attend important events and meetings in person, as appropriate. Also, use videoconferencing tools to promote virtual face-to-face interaction with off-site staff.
  • Check in with remote employees regularly. Remote work arrangements afford flexibility but they can blur the lines between work and personal life. Some employees who work from home have trouble 'unplugging.' Encourage them to create balance, which, ultimately, aids productivity in the long term.

About Robert Half Technology

With more than 100 locations worldwide, Robert Half Technology is a leading provider of technology professionals for initiatives ranging from web development and multiplatform systems integration to network security and technical support. Robert Half Technology offers online job search services at rht.com. Follow Robert Half Technology at twitter.com/RobertHalfTech or visit our technology blog at blog.rht.com.

SOURCE Robert Half Technology

For further information: Joshua Brost, (650) 234-6249, joshua.brost@rht.com


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