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What Are the Pros and Cons of Remote Management?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Remote management is a business tool that makes it possible to control equipment and various business functions without being physically present at the site of those activities. Commonly employed in industries like information technology and computer systems support, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, and even in mining operations, remote management can sometimes provide the benefits of quick resolution of emerging issues. At the same time, this type of management process can create difficulties with some activities, including the level of control and the quality and frequency of communication between the site and the controller.

One of the greatest benefits connected with remote management is the ability to enjoy access to expertise without the need to incur a significant amount of travel expenses. For example, if a textile plant uses machinery that is manufactured in another country, flying technicians in to handle a major issue with that machinery can be quite expensive. If there are tools for remote management in place, a technician can make use of online communications to manipulate the tools needed to effect the repairs. Not only does the company save money on transportation costs, but also have the benefit of avoiding longer periods of downtime that would otherwise create additional expenses for the business.

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Along with the ability to manage events in real time without incurring a lot of expense, remote management also has the advantage of allowing employees to telecommute rather than having to gather at a central location. Often, this means that central location can be smaller and more cost-effective to maintain, while still allowing employees to be electronically monitored for productivity and having access to managers when and as support is needed. Using this method can make it possible to draw on qualified employees from around the globe, connect them via a secure network, and make it possible for a manager or supervisor to have interaction with each employee through means of electronic voice and visual communications.

While remote management does offer a number of advantages, there are some potential drawbacks to consider. Unless the systems used to support the management process are efficient and also have a backup or contingency operational plan, the potential for communication failures is greatly enhanced. In addition, the processes used to measure performance and ensure that productivity remains within acceptable levels must be carefully designed if this approach is to work. Depending on the application, control of essential tasks may be somewhat more difficult with remote management. In order to minimize the potential liabilities and ensure that the benefits of remote management are enjoyed, investing resources in training personnel to properly use the management tools, as well as spending the money to create and maintain a fully functional remote access and management network is essential.

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Discuss this Article

Sporkasia
Post 3

I think remote management could improve the work of many people. Some workers don't perform well in a stressful environment such as a busy office. Working from home could be make these types of workers more valuable to their employers.

Laotionne
Post 2

Last year, my supervisor told us that the company was starting a new program where certain people would be allowed to telecommute two or three days out of the week. We were all immediately excited by this opportunity.

I was in the first group of employees who got to work from home. Initially, I was working two days from home, and all was going well. The company had a remote monitoring system where a manager would check in on us a couple times during the work day.

I did this schedule for a couple of months and then I was given a third day to work from home. Somewhere along the way, I got complacent. My productivity began

to decrease, and no matter how hard I tried I couldn't maintain a regular work schedule from home.

There were too many distractions at home, and I couldn't motivate myself to sit down and go to work at nine in the morning. Needless to say, I am now working in the office five days a week, as are a lot of my coworkers who had the same opportunity to work from home, but they couldn't do it either.

Drentel
Post 1

I think remote management is only as good as the people and the tools being managed. Owning a small business, I have employed a lot of workers over the years. Some of them work well when they are not being constantly watched by supervisors. Other workers have to be told what to do constantly and if they don't see a manager around they have a way of slacking off and doing less work.

I don't think this is even intentional with many workers. They just naturally feel more relaxed with no manager around, and they don't push themselves like they do when they know a manager is right there with them.

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