Best Practices for Remote Workforce Management 

Episode 61

Episode Overview

Pete and Ricky discuss the best practices for remote workforce management in this episode of the Hire Calling Podcast. They cover the pros and cons of a virtual workforce, important qualities to look for in a remote worker, and how to plan and create the right structure for your team. Pete also talks about a new partnership with ActiveComply, which gives employers extra security and confidence that their remote employees are in a safe environment. 

The in-person versus remote work debate has been a hot topic since March 2020. But after three years, it’s safe to say that the option to work virtually is here to stay. So, rather than trying to change the facts, we must learn to embrace our new reality and find ways to maximize the potential of a distributed workforce. 

Here are some of the approaches Pete and Ricky highlight during the episode:

  • Recognizing accomplishments
  • Making time for social interactions
  • Keeping communication open without micromanaging 
  • Investing in technology and tools 

Tune into this episode to learn more and receive some excellent advice for ways to set your remote team up for success!

39 minutes

View transcript

Tips for Remote Workforce Management

  • Embrace technology. Pay attention to the tools available and incorporate them into your workflow. Utilize tools like Slack to increase efficient and effective communication. 
  • Take the time to communicate about things that aren’t work-related. Do it appropriately, but have a little fun with it on occasion. If it’s all business all the time, that would be depressing.
  • Recognize accomplishments. Call out wins and give feedback when necessary. Make employees feel like they belong as part of the team and let them know that they matter.
  • Create policies and share them. Communicate dress code and office environment expectations, don’t make assumptions.
  • Pull all the stops during onboarding. Make sure you’ve got the right processes in place to do it virtually, and make it as humanistic as possible. Ensuring new employees get off to a good start is key.

Additional resources

Pete Newsome

About Pete Newsome

Pete Newsome is the president of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed staffing and recruiting firm he founded in 2005. His mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way, while building an organization with boundless opportunities for ingenuity and advancement. When not managing 4 Corner’s growth or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his sales and business expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Hire Calling podcast.

Ricky Baez

About Rick Baez

Efrain “Ricky” Baez Jr. is a published human resources professional specializing in strategically aligning HR competencies to business goals with a down to earth, common sense approach. Ricky is a four- year veteran of the United States Marine Corps and holds a Masters degree in Human Resources (MHR) from Rollins College and an SPHR certification from the Human Resources Certification Institute. Ricky is also a faculty member for the Master of Human Resources program at Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.


Pete Newsome  00:01
You’re listening to The Hire Calling Podcast, your source for all things hiring, staffing, and recruiting. 

Pete Newsome  00:06
I’m Pete Newsome joined again by Ricky Baez. Ricky, how are you on this beautiful morning?

Ricky Baez  00:11
Halfway through 2023. Pete, is your Christmas tree still up?

Pete Newsome  00:15
No, it’s not yours I hope not.

Ricky Baez  00:20
Okay, here’s the secret. You’re ready. I took mine down. About a month ago. I bought it a month ago. That’s it.

Pete Newsome  00:28
I’m sorry for your neighbors. Their Christmas lights up, too. Are you that? Are you that guy? You’re that one?

Ricky Baez  00:34
No, no, no. So here’s the thing, like the lights that come off around the beginning of February. I’m Puerto Rican, we celebrate Three Kings Day. 

Ricky Baez  00:42
So but inside my house, as I’ve been to Tennessee, there’s this place that just celebrates Christmas all year round. I love Christmas. 

Ricky Baez  00:50
So it was really a hard time to take that tree down. So yeah, last month is when we did.

Pete Newsome  00:54
Christmas in May. Okay, fair enough. We’re not quite July, you’re off the hook.

Pete Newsome  01:00
But today, Ricky, we are talking about the best practices for managing a remote workforce, something that is on a lot of companies’ minds these days. Pretty big deal. In 2023.

Ricky Baez  01:13
Yeah, well, I mean, three years into it. It’s the remote workforce management aspect is nothing new for us. 

Ricky Baez  01:21
But it is something new for everybody came, you know, come 2020 In March, in March of 2020. 

Ricky Baez  01:29
So this is something that whether people were ready or not, they were thrust into that. So it’s good that we’re talking about this right now.

Pete Newsome  01:36
They were thrust into it. And they’re to stay right. You can’t get out of it, whether you want to or not. 

Pete Newsome  01:43
And that is a different show, of course, because we know that. 

Pete Newsome  01:47
That’s also a big struggle right now, where companies are, I think companies if they felt it would it was working well, and that they could manage their workforce effectively. 

Pete Newsome  01:59
And productively. Right. That’s a big, big piece of this, you think they’d be inclined to stick with it? 

Pete Newsome  02:05
Because there are inherent cost savings as we know. 

Pete Newsome  02:09
And employee satisfaction increases, which we also know.

Pete Newsome  02:12
I just read a study a couple of days ago, that is saying that the majority of college students now coming out into the workforce, expect to be able to work from home. 

Pete Newsome  02:23
And that’s shocking, really, I mean, it’s not shocking given where we are in this evolution. 

Pete Newsome  02:30
But imagine that three years ago, well, four years ago, imagine that stat it wouldn’t know a college student would have expected to work at home that it had been less than 1%. Probably.

Ricky Baez  02:43
I agree with that. 

Ricky Baez  02:44
Now, even before I was an HR, I did have a job where I did work from home, we had a work-from-home process.

Ricky Baez  02:51
But that was I like you said, I made up a small percentage of the US population that actually worked from home versus right now. 

Ricky Baez  03:00
Exactly. Look, I’m a professor as well, you know, part-time at night. 

Ricky Baez  03:03
And I do see some college students that have that, that that expectation, and you should think Pete, I feel bad for people who have that expectation. 

Ricky Baez  03:12
This is just me. I feel bad. Because Don’t you miss the whole office environment?

Pete Newsome  03:19
Um, we’re recording this. So I’m going to say yes, I miss it a lot. Um, no, I don’t I don’t I miss some aspects of it. But as a whole? 

Pete Newsome  03:36
No, I think there are so many conveniences that come with working at home. I just enjoy it. I have to, I have to be transparent with that. 

Pete Newsome  03:47
And I do see that there are pros and cons to it. And as I’ve expressed to you before, I’m concerned about young professionals, who don’t get the chance to build their own networks and learn from more senior people. 

Pete Newsome  04:03
And there’s a downside to that as well as being isolated at home. For those who may live alone or just with a roommate. 

Pete Newsome  04:12
You need human interaction, I get a lot of human interaction. already. I do have a large network. 

Pete Newsome  04:19
I’ve been in the professional workforce for more than two decades, and I have a very full house with four kids. 

Pete Newsome  04:26
They’re not all here anymore, unfortunately. But I’m not someone who needs to go find a human interaction. It comes to me whether I want it or not. 

Pete Newsome  04:37
So that is one thing. But for those who are younger, I do worry about it. Do you think that’s a valid concern?

Ricky Baez  04:49
I do because it’s we just prove that it’s we’re two different individuals and we have different points of view on it. 

Ricky Baez  04:55
And there’s a huge chance that organizations today are going to hire this This exact type of employees that we’re talking about right now, some people who do light work from home some people who do not like rift, who do not like to work from home. 

Ricky Baez  05:09
So that’s why I’m glad we’re talking about this because from a leadership perspective, how do you manage that? 

Ricky Baez  05:14
Because if you pick one over the other, you run the risk of alienating an entire side, an entire percentage of the workforce. 

Ricky Baez  05:21
So from a management perspective, how do you make everybody happy?

Pete Newsome  05:25
Well, you can’t, right? We know that that’s an issue that probably shouldn’t be anyone’s objective or goal because you’re going to fail. 

Pete Newsome  05:34
And if you took a poll, just by asking the question, I think you’re getting yourself in trouble, right? 

Pete Newsome  05:41
Because if it and that’s something I’ve learned over the years with good intentions.

Pete Newsome  05:45
And we know what happens with good intentions, were those lead, if you ask if those who answer one way and don’t get their way, right, they say I want to work at home and you say, well, everyone’s coming back to the office there, they’re not going to be happy in that scenario. 

Pete Newsome  06:00
So better not to ask at all. But you do want to consider all of the pros and cons. So let’s talk about those for a little bit. 

Pete Newsome  06:08
So from a management perspective, let’s focus on that I can go I think we everyone talks about the employees, and we know where employees stand with us. 

Pete Newsome  06:16
But from a management perspective, what are the pros of a remote workforce, I’ll start with cost savings. 

Pete Newsome  06:23
Okay, enormous cost savings in terms of physical office space, which is expensive for many companies, that is their second largest expense after they’re after payroll that can go away, can go away. I mean, that’s a big, that’s a big pro.

Ricky Baez  06:43
Yeah, so I agree with that. 100%. 

Ricky Baez  06:47
Another pro, that I see from a management perspective is now this is just from my point of view, I like the idea of giving employees, the flexibility, of war of picking where they can work with they’re comfortable, right? 

Ricky Baez  07:05
So that’s just from my perspective because I get, I get the cost-saving piece, right? 

Ricky Baez  07:11
And I also understand that I want to make sure that my employees have everything they need, so they can be successful in their roles. 

Ricky Baez  07:17
So I think this is part of it, if you give somebody that kind of flexibility, and that kind of trust because, at the end of the day, it does involve some kind of trust. 

Ricky Baez  07:27
I like the idea of giving the employees that kind of environment so they can thrive. 

Ricky Baez  07:32
And now understandably so, that is something that not every employee likes, because a con to this, Pete, a con is that if you as a leader, are managing an entire team that’s virtual, the risk you run is there is a loss of humanity. 

Ricky Baez  07:51
There’s a loss of human touch out there, that I think leaders have to make up, make up in some other form or fashion that where the employee feels like they’re part of a team. 

Ricky Baez  08:01
What do you think?

Pete Newsome  08:02
Are they I think that is a must, you need to do that. That’s part of the so that’s a con. Right? 

Pete Newsome  08:11
That has to be considered, you have to think about it. And that’s hard, right? Because we’re creating, or having to create new habits that didn’t previously exist. 

Pete Newsome  08:22
But let’s stick with the pros for Matt, because you, you you touched on the ability to work anywhere, I think. 

Pete Newsome  08:28
And so we know the benefit of that again, for the employee. But from a management perspective, there are real concerns that come with that. 

Pete Newsome  08:37
So while it’s a pro, in I think of it as a pro or to expand your workforce, or I’m sorry, your candidate pool, right? 

Pete Newsome  08:47
You can now you’re no longer limited to hiring from your local geography, you can hire potentially, any corner of the globe. 

Pete Newsome  08:55
An interesting phrase, since a globe is round unless you’re, you’re not a flat earther. Are you? 

Ricky Baez  09:05
No. Okay. Would have been an interesting turn of events for this podcast. If I would have said yes.

Pete Newsome  09:10
We’d have to create a new one entirely new podcast. But, you know, if you so that is that’s a great thing. 

Pete Newsome  09:20
I mean, indisputably I think, but where are your employees actually going to sit brings up a potential con along with it. 

Pete Newsome  09:30
Now, I’ll say I don’t know if I’ve told you about this, but 4 Corner Resources has a relationship that we’ve established with a company called active comply. 

Pete Newsome  09:42
And what they do is a remote employee assessment that allows employers to know where they’re to confirm where their remote employees are sitting, right based on their IP address and their geolocation. 

Pete Newsome  09:58
They have the ability to Put all of about seven different things in a custom report. Internet speeds, even the ability to ensure that your employee is, is working in a private location with your camera, right? 

Pete Newsome  10:14
They have active compliance gives employers an extra level of security and confidence that their remote employees are where they’re supposed to be working in a safe environment. 

Pete Newsome  10:28
If you just think about the potential risk, right? If I tell my employee, you can work anywhere, and we do tell our employees that.

Pete Newsome  10:36
But if you’re in an industry where employees type in confidential information onto their, onto their computer, and they’re sitting in a Starbucks doing it was thinking about that, right?

Pete Newsome  10:48
Someone needs to be well, that’s the solution that active compliance, has created. 

Pete Newsome  10:53
So it can be used for pre-employment, where the only staffing company for corner resources, the only staffing company in the country, that is offering that with pre-employment.

Pete Newsome  11:03
Just like a drug test, or a background check, where we can verify that the remote employee is where they say they are and in a location that is, is safe and private. 

Pete Newsome  11:16
So those kinds of considerations weren’t something that wasn’t something anyone’s thinking about in the not-too-distant past. And now it’s a must. 

Pete Newsome  11:24
So really excited to have the partnership with Active Compliance, because these guys are yeah, they’re trailblazers in this space. So would you have thought of something like that even a couple of years ago?

Ricky Baez  11:39
Absolutely. As a matter of fact, once we’re done here, I’m gonna look them up, I want to see the existing pre-pandemic, this seems like something that was spawned. 

Ricky Baez  11:47
Now, obviously, there are organizations that always had people working from home even before the pandemic. 

Ricky Baez  11:53
But now that that happened, it must have come like Zoom and mostly shot up their stock like 3,000%. 

Pete Newsome  12:02
Let’s just say the company hasn’t been around that long, right? So this is, you know, they’re innovators in this space. 

Pete Newsome  12:08
And they are, it’s not a coincidence that they’ve come to market recently. But I love the solution. I’m really excited that we’re able to offer it but back on track back on track to the remote employee. 

Pete Newsome  12:22
So that is something that does have to be considered as a potential risk for you as a business. 

Pete Newsome  12:29
But what are the other pros, can you think of any, other so expanded candidate pool cost savings?

Pete Newsome  12:37
And by the way, I meant I said rent, I didn’t even talk about furniture, and the other things that go along with being in an office, I mean, that’s expenses really add up, and trust me, I’m paying for an empty office right now. I know.

Ricky Baez  12:49
And I’m sure that hurts, I get it. 

Ricky Baez  12:54
But you know what, you’re doing it right p because you’re letting people pick where they get to work so long as they perform and that’s what you know, it’s that’s an expectation across any for-profit organization in the nation. 

Ricky Baez  13:06
So, let me throw this one in there. Because you said something earlier about it expanding from a recruitment perspective. 

Ricky Baez  13:13
It expands your recruiting canvas, and I agree with that, that’s a pro now it can easily become a con if I gotta throw my HR stuff in there, man. 

Ricky Baez  13:25
If HR does not partner with these initiatives, you can’t just open up the border. 

Pete Newsome  13:35
Hey, now I need a little we need a little laugh track with that right now. Ricky? Hold on. 

Pete Newsome  13:43
Okay, did you beat me to it? Okay. I was gonna play. I was gonna go with this one. Oh, mine’s not working. Alright, you’re the pro there.

Ricky Baez  13:56
It’s if you open up that recruiting Canvas, you got to be strategic about it, right? 

Ricky Baez  14:02
Because you don’t want to have all your employees. All of a sudden they moved to San Francisco, California, nothing against San Francisco, California. 

Ricky Baez  14:09
But if you’re in HR, you know, California is a beast of his own. 

Pete Newsome  14:13
Okay, Ricky, first of all, no one’s moving to San Francisco, California. And secondly, yes, you’re right. 

Pete Newsome  14:19
That is a great consideration to bring up given. I want to interrupt. I’ll let you finish your thought. But I’m really glad you brought that you’re bringing this up.

Ricky Baez  14:29
Right, you’re right, wherever they happen over there. I got I’m sorry, San Francisco ins. Is that what they call San Francisco let’s just go with that. 

Ricky Baez  14:36
Yeah, San Francisco. It does not look, it’s you want to partner with HR because you want to make sure from a business perspective that are you doing. You’re being fiscally responsible with your recruiting efforts. 

Ricky Baez  14:49
You want to go into a state that does not have a lot of burden on the employer sick pay all those things. 

Ricky Baez  14:54
If you’re in the restaurant business, if you go to Washington State, their minimum wage for service is like For $13 An hour plus the tips versus everywhere else 13. 

Pete Newsome  15:04
I didn’t know that. So it’s an entirely different model than the rest of the country on how servers are paid for it.

Ricky Baez  15:09
And I know that because I used to work for DOD and restaurants. And we had a lot of issues with that. And that created some PML of concerns for the leadership over there. 

Ricky Baez  15:18
But yeah, it’s, it’s crazy, but everywhere else, it’s you can’t just blindly say, Yeah, I’m just gonna move over to New York, or Connecticut, or that tri-state area, or the highest tax state in the land, Pennsylvania. 

Ricky Baez  15:34
So from a from a work, it’s come from a fiscal perspective, let’s be strategic about when you open up that recruiting landscape.

Pete Newsome  15:42
And you think that companies find this out very quickly. 

Pete Newsome  15:47
But I don’t know if companies who operate just in a single state realize how, how different the laws are from state to state in terms of employer obligations for what they have to provide employees. 

Pete Newsome  16:04
And California I think, is the worst by far. In terms of, we’re in Florida, and so different, so different. So your employer burden, your cost of payroll is infinitely higher? 

Pete Newsome  16:22
Well, it’s not infinitely higher. It’s it, there is a limit to it. But it’s a high limit. And it like you mentioned with the Washington State, restaurant, payroll, the way that that’s different. It’s, it’s an entirely different list of considerations. 

Pete Newsome  16:40
So, I’m glad you brought it up, because that can be a pro, but it can also be a con. 

Pete Newsome  16:46
And I think it’ll be interesting to see how that affects state laws over the years to come because companies aren’t stupid. 

Pete Newsome  16:56
I mean, if it’s costing you 25% more to have an employee on your payroll in one state versus another. 

Pete Newsome  17:03
Why would you do it, then? Now, let me ask you an HR question on this. Is there any? You know, that’s clearly the state you live in is not a protected class? Right. 

Pete Newsome  17:14
So could that be considered discrimination? Have there been has that been challenged in court where an employee could say, they didn’t hire me because of where I live?

Ricky Baez  17:26
from a state perspective, I’ve never seen one. I’ve, I have never seen one so I would not venture to guess that there will be any kind of a lawsuit. I mean, again, I don’t know what I don’t know. 

Ricky Baez  17:38
But where somebody claimed discrimination because of a state. Now, a zip code, that’s different zip code that’s different. 

Ricky Baez  17:46
Because if you say, I do not want to recruit from this specific zip code, and that specific zip code has a protected class that’s predominantly more than another class, then you might run into an unintended discrimination issue there, which can get you. Again, that’s just zip codes. 

Ricky Baez  18:06
When it comes to the state. I mean, that cities are different towns or counties in a state? 

Ricky Baez  18:10
I don’t think that that’s a possibility. But if you say, I’m not going to recruit out of that area that can come back and bite you. Yeah, of course. Different micro level, not a macro level. 

Ricky Baez  18:22
Okay, so I’m selling attorney, by the way, one everybody to know, I am not an attorney. And everything I’m saying it’s just based on my experience alone. How to throw that out there? 

Pete Newsome  18:32
Got it. Fair enough. Alright. Not an attorney, not financial advice. Okay. So any other pros you can think of for removing one?

Ricky Baez  18:43
There, they’re all the pros I can think of, to be honest, for the employee. I don’t know why I can’t think of a pro for the manager above and beyond.

Pete Newsome  18:53
Well, look, I mean, the cost savings alone is huge. I mean, that’s, that’s big enough. 

Pete Newsome  18:58
And the candidate pool, I mean, those two things. That’s plenty. Those are enough pros, because those are, those are historical, big struggles that companies deal with that can’t find the candidates they need. 

Pete Newsome  19:11
And they have a limited candidate pool, depending on the specialty and in the business that they’re in. 

Pete Newsome  19:16
And then, of course, expenses, right? Every company wants to lower expenses. Now the cons. If we move on to those now, you have to start something real quick.

Ricky Baez  19:25
I’m about to ask you a question that I don’t think you’re gonna see coming. 

Ricky Baez  19:31
If a pro is it’s cost savings, and that is music to the ears of CFOs of profile for-profit organizations. 

Ricky Baez  19:44
Why are we having so many issues with leaders wanting to bring people back into the office? 

Pete Newsome  19:52
Now we’re on to the cons, right? You have to balance you have to balance that you know, and so the cons are employee pride. activity. 

Pete Newsome  20:01
And it’s kind of funny to me that you see studies talking about how productivity is increased. Yeah, well, they’re all produced by the employees. 

Ricky Baez  20:16
We know that’s not relevant.

Pete Newsome  20:18
But it can, right, I’m not necessarily going to take a stance on that, because I think it is so much about the individual. But that’s part of the consideration. 

Pete Newsome  20:28
My experience has taught me that for one individual, there are almost two types of workers, right, there are those who need supervision, they need direction, and they need to be in a structured environment. 

Pete Newsome  20:43
And then there are those who don’t. And so the ones who don’t are going to thrive remotely just as if they would thrive in the office, but the ones who do are going to be fish out of water.

Pete Newsome  20:54
And that situation, and that is not an indictment on those individuals. It’s just about human nature, and, and their personality type who they are. 

Pete Newsome  21:04
And it’s just, I don’t think anyone would dispute that it sounds like a knock on those individuals, but it’s true. 

Pete Newsome  21:11
And so there are competent depending on your workforce, you may find that your employees aren’t as productive in the office.

Pete Newsome  21:20
You may find things like communication, and training, there was a guy, how Gosh, he was an executive, in some large organization, I just saw a quick video clip on Twitter a couple of days ago, where he was making the case that creative creativity is going to lack right.

Pete Newsome  21:37
You’re not going to have good business ideas that just materialized with people sitting around the same conference table. Now I challenged and questioned that. 

Pete Newsome  21:47
Because I think creative creativity generally comes in moments where you have time to think not where a bunch of people are talking together. 

Pete Newsome  21:58
I mean, that’s just not where I’m most creative. But maybe that’s again, maybe that’s just me. 

Pete Newsome  22:04
So the cons are, is your business going to suffer? Because you have a remote workforce? And if and that’s going to be yes, in some cases, I think.

Ricky Baez  22:16
I think it depends on the business, though, right? It really depends on the business and what kind of plan and structure you put in place to be ready for it. 

Ricky Baez  22:25
You can’t just wake up one day and say I everybody’s remote out. That’s what happened in March 2020. 

Ricky Baez  22:30
But the companies who transition from working in an office to a remote workforce back in March of 2020, the companies who plan appropriately and did it right, laid out a really good fun this year. 

Ricky Baez  22:37
So the organization that is still thriving with that model today. I mean, that that, that that’s a no-brainer.

Pete Newsome  22:50
So let’s talk about that. Yeah, but one more con for me is training and development. I think that that is something that’s better done in person in a perfect scenario.

Ricky Baez  23:01
I agree with that. Although although they are it’s every month that goes by there’s a new app.

Ricky Baez  23:07
There’s a new widget that comes out that makes training virtually just that much more exciting. 

Ricky Baez  23:14
I mean, look it. We talked about this a few years ago, the metaverse is going to be big in training here in about 10 years, right?

Ricky Baez  23:22
 Because we haven’t talked about the metaverse in a while. But that that was happening right now it’s going to set the stage to have a virtual reality type of training like we’ve never seen before. 

Ricky Baez  23:32
And I know that’s not what we’re talking about right now. But when it comes to virtual reality, when it comes to AI, I know we’re going to talk about that later on. 

Ricky Baez  23:40
That’s going to change a lot of things that are going to make working remotely, that much more comfortable than what it was 5-10 years ago. 

Ricky Baez  23:50
But how we get there, organizations just need to make sure that they set up the right process in place because otherwise, that cost is going to be a big one than training and development. Pete, I’m the first one to tell you, I hate boring training programs. 

Ricky Baez  24:05
And if you tell me I gotta go to training. And the person kind of talks like this, like Siri, you lost me before.

Pete Newsome  24:12
So yeah. It’s interesting that you would say that because I agree. I think everyone would most people would, you know, sitting it sounds like if it feels like school, then who likes that? 

Pete Newsome  24:24
Right? No one likes school. Yeah, no way. 

Pete Newsome  24:26
So but I think of training more of just proximity to seeing your experience people where our employee doesn’t get the benefit of overhearing a conversation or having someone overhear their conversation and jump in and say, Hey, here’s a better way to say it. 

Pete Newsome  24:47
Here’s a different way to approach this scenario. Those things happen all day, every day in the office. 

Pete Newsome  24:53
And now those are taken out of the equation and I do see that as a detriment for both the business and The individual and their development because it everything now has to be planned and done with a purpose in mind versus just happening. 

Pete Newsome  25:12
And while I, so that’s the segue into this, is let’s talk about how to plan, but you can’t plan for it, everything, you can’t account for those little hallway conversations. 

Pete Newsome  25:25
And like I said, overheard conversations that are going to happen, someone dropping in I mean, our new employees, now I don’t have the chance to build rapport with them.

Pete Newsome  25:36
I don’t have the chance to develop a relationship with them to run into them and in the hallway, so to speak, and just get to know them individually, and vice versa. 

Pete Newsome  25:45
So I can guarantee that the perspective that they have about me is different than the perspective they would have. If we were in the office, and vice versa. So that’s you, I don’t think you can replicate it. 

Ricky Baez  26:03
But yeah, you can Yeah, you can and I cannot agree with you more, Pete that camaraderie is big. That’s a human aspect. That’s a human connection. And that is my biggest con of a remote workforce. Right? 

Ricky Baez  26:19
That one is right there. Just because again, I rather work in an office, right? Unlike how you said, you know, that you rather work at home. I like I get my energy by talking to other people. 

Ricky Baez  26:31
I get creative and more creative. I have a hard time starting an idea. Once I have the idea. 

Ricky Baez  26:37
I am a machine it rolls through I work best when I’m around other people and somebody shoots an idea that I can work off of. I don’t get that at home. 

Ricky Baez  26:46
I mean, what do I have? I got my son when he was out of school. Right? You know, I got maybe the sopranos playing on TV on mute. Right? 

Ricky Baez  26:54
I don’t want to get any ideas from Tony Soprano when it comes to HR. Right? I’m not there yet. So yeah, it’s I need I need some human connection. Pete.

Pete Newsome  27:02
Well, so back to the planning right? There. Well, let me ask, Do you not feel that right now, do not feel that through online interactions, I do.

Ricky Baez  27:14
Not as much because as soon as we’re done here, I mean, normally, if I if, if we’re having this conversation at the office, normally we’d go get some coffee, we go, you know, walk around.

Ricky Baez  27:24
We go talk to somebody who we see, you know, just impromptu conversations, where this is structured, not that structured is a bad thing. But somebody who’s a free spirit structure is a headache. 

Ricky Baez  27:37
And that’s me, if I don’t like structure, and I know that’s not what people want to hear, I like to talk about it as proof of this podcast at this very moment because we’re not going on task, we’re making the left here real quick, I work best, when I’m able to address a topic at hand and ideas that come up in hand.

Pete Newsome  27:57
Well, we’re gonna, we’re gonna put you on the couch after and we’ll do your counseling session separately.

Ricky Baez  28:05
So there you go. 

Pete Newsome  28:07
the, but you do have to plan and you do have to account for the different individuals in planning takes technology into consideration, we use Slack heavily. Now, it’s not something we use previously.

Pete Newsome  28:21
And I love it for the reasons you just described, you can just kind of pop it on someone if they’re available. And people can choose to make themselves accessible that way or not at any given time. 

Pete Newsome  28:35
And if they are, then you can have those chats on the fly, you can do it on video. 

Pete Newsome  28:39
So I think the technology has to be embraced and thought out as well as part of this plan and understand how you’re going to use it and embrace it as an organization. 

Pete Newsome  28:52
Because it can make a difference in those scenarios like you just described. 

Pete Newsome  28:58
And I feel, in a weird way, even more connected to individuals than I did before because we’ve brought in our vendors and to Slack who we work with regularly. 

Pete Newsome  29:09
And so I don’t have to schedule a meeting with them. So it’s not it’s true. Yeah, there’s, it’s evolving, right? 

Pete Newsome  29:17
It’s evolving, but you have to pay attention to the tools that are available to you. Try them, see what works, and then incorporate them into your workflow.

Ricky Baez  29:28
And that’s the key. That’s the key right there. Because I love Slack. It’s you know, how I feel about it. 

Ricky Baez  29:34
But you got to communicate differently. Because now in Slack versus in person, it’s very easy to take things out of context, right? 

Ricky Baez  29:44
So for example, if I say, oh my god, I can’t believe this happened in all caps on Slack. 

Ricky Baez  29:50
How do you take that message? It really depends on the contents of the conversation or what else happened and what kind of emoji I use, right? 

Ricky Baez  29:59
If I’m using them What do people think of screaming? If I use a happy emoji? Do people think I’m excited? Yeah, right. If you don’t use those tools, your message can be completely misunderstood.

Pete Newsome  30:09
So it is right so and yes. 

Pete Newsome  30:11
And to that point make sure that you’re taking the time to communicate about things that aren’t work-related, have a little fun with it on occasion, and do it appropriately, every company is going to handle that differently. 

Pete Newsome  30:25
But if it’s all business all the time, that will be depressing. 

Pete Newsome  30:29
And, as we’ve talked about now, those just those interactions that don’t happen on Monday morning, where you get to talk about the weekend, we don’t get to do that but use Slack for that. 

Pete Newsome  30:40
There’s there you create channels for different purposes, and have a little fun with it to what other considerations are there for managing your remote workforce. 

Pete Newsome  30:55
One thing we haven’t talked about is recognizing accomplishments with just about to say that that’s something that you, can’t forget to do those things just because you’re not all together.

Ricky Baez  31:08
And let me give you an agreed example for everybody listening out there from an employee’s perspective, right? 

Ricky Baez  31:13
Because from a manager’s perspective, it’s difficult, it’s different from what he or she has been doing prior to the pandemic, but from an employee’s perspective, you already feel disconnected. Right? 

Ricky Baez  31:26
You just got to do the work. And that’s it. There isn’t any popping over I almost call it assault via cubicle hanging on some coffee. No, that doesn’t exist anymore. It’s work, work work. 

Ricky Baez  31:38
That’s all you have to do. So, yes, from any an employee’s perspective, when they’re this a win, as a leader, call that out, recognizing given them some feedback, do whatever you need to do. 

Ricky Baez  31:53
Because I know you can never replicate the human connection, but do whatever you need to do to make the employee feel like they belong as part of the team and let them know, whatever means you are able to do this to let them know that they still matter. 

Ricky Baez  32:06
I know that’s kind of sound cliche, but what they’re doing for this organization affects the bottom line, if you as a leader are able to connect the goal of the organization.

Ricky Baez  32:17
The reason the organization exists, down to how this employee makes a widget and how that affects it, you’ve done your job there, you’ll be able to do that online as well, you just need a little bit more creativity, more elbow grease for that.

Pete Newsome  32:30
So with everything else we’re talking about plan ahead for that. Don’t just assume it will happen. 

Pete Newsome  32:36
Make a point and have a plan for it. So the last thing I want to add on this for today is that I think all of this is about we keep talking about planning and the need for that.

Pete Newsome  32:50
But share your create policies and share them we have to create new policies for this dress code being one that of course comes to the top of mind, right I mean, how you dress should be something you communicate to your team don’t don’t make assumptions. 

Pete Newsome  33:08
What other policies need to be in place?

Ricky Baez  33:12
I think the other policy that needs to be in place, yes, it’s a dress, but how your space looks? 

Ricky Baez  33:20
Make sure that your space looks appropriate for work. Right? Yeah, it’s I mean, I can come up with a lot of different examples. 

Ricky Baez  33:27
But make sure that your background, at the end of the day, what you have to do, folks is whatever vision comes on the other end, from this, this online environment needs to be as close to what your office will look like as possible. Right? 

Ricky Baez  33:42
I’m not saying you have to have a teamwork picture up there with the people rolling with it.

Pete Newsome  33:48
We can all picture immediately when you say that, yes,

Ricky Baez  33:52
of course. Right? Like, why is that doing in your bedroom? That’s not what I’m saying. 

Ricky Baez  33:56
All I’m saying is that because I saw this when the pandemic first started that I’m talking to some people and Pete There’s like a mountain of laundry in the back. Right? 

Ricky Baez  34:06
And it was so big and I’m like, do I have to go over there and help you? I hate laundry. But that’s distracting. Let me go over there to help you with that. That’s a really nice way of saying, oh, I need to blur my background.

Pete Newsome  34:19
Well and yes, and you know, credit to Zoom for figuring out how to give people options to have other pictures in their background. Right?

Ricky Baez  34:27
Absolutely. And some of them are really good. And I’m like God, how much am I paying you over you got a corner office over there? 

Ricky Baez  34:33
Because it looks really good. Those backgrounds, but um, no, it’s you’ve got to share those policies, right? 

Ricky Baez  34:39
Because you can’t just let it out. Be out there like the Wild Wild West, create those policies, make sure those policies have fair, and share them and share them. 

Ricky Baez  34:49
Can I add one more to that Pete? If people thought it was hard to onboard people the right way before, imagine virtually.

Ricky Baez  34:58
You’ve got to pull all the stops to let a new employee know that they belong to the organization, you can’t just do a virtual onboarding orientation for an hour. 

Ricky Baez  35:11
So you’ve got to make a spectacle of a spectacle. 

Ricky Baez  35:16
Oh my god, I can’t talk right right now, you’ve got to be able to set up meetings in person with people that are local, make sure that you pull out all the stops to make sure that person feels like they’re part of the team. 

Ricky Baez  35:25
Because if you start that person, firstly, on the wrong foot, they’re not going to last very long. They’re not hungry. 

Ricky Baez  35:32
Now, make sure you’ve got the right processes in place to do that virtually, that it makes it as humanistic as possible.

Pete Newsome  35:39
I like it. That’s a great way to finish. Make sure people get off to a good start. And that is as important if not more important, virtually than it would be if you were in the office. 

Ricky Baez  35:51
I’m going to go ahead and go on eBay right now to get you one of those team posters. 

Pete Newsome  35:55
You are in the back. I mean, I you know, I wasn’t gonna go here. But you’re talking about your background and your environment, and I’m staring at yours. 

Pete Newsome  36:04
And you used to have the Martha Stewart look behind and now you’ve got all kinds of stuff going on. Now. 

Pete Newsome  36:12
I’m trying to figure out you’ve got the kid, the kid from the Christmas story. You know, so I don’t know. I don’t know what’s going on. Ricky. You got it. 

Ricky Baez  36:21
You got to do things that made me comfortable with Star Wars to Return the Jedi.

Pete Newsome  36:25
Ralphie. Thank you.

Ricky Baez  36:28
How do you not know Ralphie?

Pete Newsome  36:30
It’s okay. I don’t like the movie. I’m not a fan. I know. I know. I didn’t want to tell you that. I’ve never said that out loud to you. Not a fan. Nope. I’m a Christmas vacation guy. 

Ricky Baez  36:49
I think you’re the first person I’ve ever heard say they do not like a Christmas story.

Pete Newsome  36:54
Okay, well, I’ll own it. I mean, I’ve I it does nothing for me, folks. 

Ricky Baez  37:00
You heard it here first. Pete hates me. Yeah, you heard it here first. Is it because I said I’m gonna buy you the teamwork poster? I was just kidding.

Pete Newsome  37:08
Yeah, no, no, it’s it trust me that movie does not is not in the rotation during Christmas at my house it’s not I mean if my kids have ever seen it it’s not because I watched it with them. 

Ricky Baez  37:24
Every year TBS 24 hours of A Christmas Story. Never miss it. All right. Well, now streaming service has ruined it for me because now I got an HBO plus I avoided this until Christmas Eve.

Pete Newsome  37:35
This is what makes the world go round. So for everyone out there, you know you can be on different sides of any issue and still be friends. It’s okay. 

Pete Newsome  37:47
I don’t I don’t I don’t. Hopefully, you don’t think I’m awful for that. 

Ricky Baez  37:51
So are you gonna tell me you hate Star Wars? 

Pete Newsome  37:54
Okay, so that will wrap up today’s podcast. I don’t hate it. I don’t hate it. I don’t hate it. It’s just you know?

Ricky Baez  38:06
It’s because we’re aligning. We’re having a couple of beers. I doubt you will hate it so much.

Pete Newsome  38:10
I don’t hate it. I don’t hate it. My wife hates Star Wars. I don’t hate Star Wars. So thank you for listening today. 

Pete Newsome  38:17
Ricky and I are you going to debate movies offline now? We’d love we’d love feedback. If there’s a topic you’d like to hear us talk about please email us at

Pete Newsome  38:24
If you’ve gotten this far, please rate and review us and check out active compliance if you haven’t already. We are. We’re excited to be working with them. But you could of course work with them directly as well because the world is you know, we don’t want to keep that secret.

Pete Newsome  38:36
The world needs to know what’s going on over there. So great, great stuff for remote employees and you’re going to close with Ralphie. So I think that that is goodbye for today.

Ricky Baez  38:56
Have a good one folks. Drive safe. Thank you.

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