Working remotely is one of the biggest trends in business, as companies look for new ways to get the most out of their staff and enhance their overall productivity.

In fact, a recent survey from Global Work Analytics found that, in the US, 2.6 per cent of the workforce operate as telecommuters – roughly 3.2 million employees.

However, many work places are unsure about how to approach this new trend, with very real concerns about productivity among staff working outside of an office environment.

What's more, many firms have staff operating remotely because they have to – either due to travel commitments or because they operate on a global level with input from different parts of the world.

So, faced with these challenges, how do you make sure that your remote employees are being managed effectively?

The first challenge is to equip your company with the right technology to support virtual employees. Investing in technology like cloud-based business management software can make it a lot easier to track projects and input from staff, regardless of their physical location.

The next challenge is to make sure your employees have the right goals to suit their position. This requires setting KPIs which are tailored to working remotely and which reward completing work as it is needed.

Regular meetings are also necessary to assess the progress of company projects. Making sure that you are on top of progress in your remote workers can make a big difference to the overall success of your company. This will also allow you to keep tabs on your employees and ensure they are not overworking- a real threat when business and home lives begin to merge.

Managing remote employees doesn't have to be a challenge – done well, it can unlock greater productivity in your staff while also introducing greater flexibility into your business.