Adapt business meetings to prevent remote worker tension

Executives should try to prevent tension with remote workers by adapting business meetings to suit them.

In a blog post for management-issues.com, columnist Wayne Turmel noted that people working from home or from a separate office can feel left out – in comparison with the individuals who gather at meeting venues.

He cited advice from blogger Dave Rolston about how to prevent this situation becoming a problem, saying that notions such as “timezone equality” must be heeded, with all policies aimed at being as inclusive as possible and the leadership team being pro-active about keeping remote workers in the loop.

Mr Turmel said: “Many teams operate in a hybrid fashion when it comes to meetings. This means that the team that is local are gathered around a conference table or at least in the same room, while the others are connected by a squawky phone bridge and no visual clues at all.”

This type of issue was given a name by Mr Rolston on his workingnowhere.com blog: stepchild syndrome. He explained that this is when remote workers feel as “important and real” as their local counterparts, but slightly less favoured by management.

In his view, building trust in a group is hard enough, so managers should avoid making it harder by paying attention to this potential obstacle.