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Best practices for managing virtual workers

Yes, it’s another opportunity to weigh in on interesting issues *and* get you or your organization mentioned in an online journal read by IT managers in and out of LibraryLand!

For an upcoming article, I’m writing about best practices for managing/supervising virtual employees or contractors (sometimes known as satellite workers). Before you say “but we don’t do that,” consider that if you have ANY telecommuting activity in your organization — for example, working from home every other Friday, working the occasional day from home due to emergencies, or even authorizing an occasional case of what I call “report-writing flu” — then you are managing virtual workers.

Likewise, if you are the tethered IT person who occasionally finds herself crouched in a conference hallway thousands of miles from the library, negotiating a server restart, then you’re a virtual worker, too. How do you manage *yourself*?

Some possible questions: how do you communicate expectations to these workers? How do you ensure the work is done? What tools do you use to communicate with distance workers (for example, instant messaging, Skype, email)? What has worked best (and maybe, not so good)? Has virtual employment changed workplace expectations of what ‘work’ is about—making it more outcome-based? Do you need to set boundaries so workaholics don’t grind themselves into the ground?

Input due by COB (however and wherever you define “close of business”!) this Friday, July 27… thanks!

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