How toRemote Work

How to handle a difficult remote employee

By January 11, 2018 No Comments

It has already been said what characteristics does a person have to have to fulfill the requirements of becoming a remote employee. You have expressed your expectations clearly, thoroughly went through the CV of your worker-to-be and finally decided that this is a person you were looking for. What is more, you have repeated the same procedure a couple of times, putting a lot of effort to complete the remote team from your dreams. So finally you have a group of 10 people that you carefully selected out of 100 candidates. It’s no wonder that now you expect every single person from your team to be driven, communicative, productive, etc. But it’s more likely, that especially within larger groups, you may be up against a troublesome employee. Let’s take a look at some examples of difficult employees:

Lazy bone

Those who always come across ”unexpected obstacles” while doing the task. Such people really need a spur either to start working or to continue it. Obviously it’s more difficult to check when you have remote workers. In such a case you should use productivity tracking tools and organize videoconferences regularly to keep your virtual workers active and accountable. Finding out what might be motivating for a lazy worker is also worth trying. Once you have it, implement a plan that will reward him for what he is responsible for.


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The know-it-all

As the name suggests itself, this is a type of person that knows a solution to every single problem the team or the company comes across. Moreover, this solution is usually expressed in an abrupt and – what’s even worse – a disrespectful way towards the other team members, including manager.
For that type of insubordinate delinquent, you should appoint someone (most likely yourself) to be his point for communication. Try to help him understand not all the ideas that come out of his brain are great and teach him how to express his thoughts and ideas in a more gentle manner.


The procrastinator

We all know this expression and yes – we are all procrastinators sometimes. However, when you run your business or are responsible for leading a team in your company, you would rather like to avoid. It’s someone who agrees to work on a project, takes the challenge but doesn’t follow through. He is not there when you need him because of the upcoming deadline. For remote procrastinators, have a variety of contact options (phone, text, instant messaging, chat rooms) to use for daily check-ins.


The poor communicator

This person seems unable to keep his colleagues updated on his progress concerning task or project, and he’s always ”away” when somebody needs him. If you have such a remote employee in your team, you can expect catastrophic consequences of his attitude, e.g. missed deadlines or uncompleted projects. Ask him which communication method he prefers to use, or simply impose one and use it whenever you communicate with this employee. Then require him to be available at certain times, and apply consequences if he isn’t.


The naysayer

Also known as a ”die-hard” – a type of worker that is extremally resistant to any changes, introductions of new policies or processes. By no means he should be put in a role of a leader. Also, make sure such a person doesn’t poison your working environment. He might be trying to convince other cooworkers the new policy that is about to introduce makes no sense, or something like that. He can achieve ”positive” results especially talking with those that are prone to others suggestions.


When you face any of the mentioned problems, you have actually two ways to solve them. So either you help the difficult employee overcome his challenges by talking to him or imposing your point of view, or fire him.
The above mentioned types of difficult workers are absolutely not all the ones that exist. If you came across any other types, please share your experience with us!


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