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Handling the challenge of remote workers

Employee recognition programs are useful tools for engaging workers and encouraging them to be more supportive of their fellow coworkers.

New Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made a big announcement this week that has many companies examining their own workplace policies. In an effort to boost cooperation and make employees more accountable for their performance, Mayer has put an end to telecommuting at Yahoo.

Workers are now required to come into the office so managers can oversee their productivity more effectively. There are times when face-to-face contact is more effective and businesses need to be mindful of how they use remote workstations. CNN states not all businesses experience a lack of productivity when employees are allowed to work from home. The source notes that if done properly, these can be perks granted through employee reward programs that increase efforts to complete projects on time and can effectively motivate workers. Technology has made it easier to connect with employees working remotely and even include them in team building exercises through social media.

However, Michael O'Leary, a professor at Georgetown told MarketWatch that direct oversight by managers is essential to building a cohesive office culture. New employees or teams of representatives from other offices especially need more personal communication. Meeting and working with others allows these employees to develop appropriate behavior faster. This creates more consistency in business practices and can lead to stronger performance. Employees that know each other are more willing to help each other with deadlines and large projects.

In today's busy world many employees enjoy the flexibility of working from home occasionally. Allowing workers to develop their own work schedule is a common perk in most technology companies and when appropriate it can work efficiently. However, companies should be mindful of when more direct management is needed.

Mayer's decision was based on the need to create a more cohesive work environment at Yahoo.  Employee recognition programs are useful tools for engaging workers and encouraging them to be more supportive of their fellow coworkers.

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