Remote work is here to stay for many businesses. Since it was so effective at cutting costs and providing social distancing during the pandemic, many firms have adopted it as a new norm. A strategic way to maximize remote work is to communicate with remote workers through periodic performance reviews.

How Remote Work Makes Worker Evaluation Difficult

“Dunbar’s number” theory suggests people have a limit of about 150 relationships they can manage. With online jobs, a company might have hundreds or thousands of remote workers. Dunbar’s number falls to 50 when it comes to remote or hybrid work. These dynamics present significant challenges for communication with remote workers.

Fairness in the Remote Performance Review

Modern employers that offer online or hybrid work must emphasize fairness and flexibility. Since labor shortages can occur when workers suffer job burnout, it’s crucial to show team members you care about their well-being.

Academic organizations have long used a work performance system called Organizational Network Analysis (ONA). This model allows for team members to ask each other questions and offer advice. It further allows for objective positive or negative commentary. The data-driven ONA approach reveals which players want to be major or minor contributors.

Steps Toward Meaningful Remote Worker Evaluations

Follow these steps on making evaluations worthwhile for the company to help determine the best talent:

  1. Prepare each review by gathering relevant employee documents
  2. Schedule the employee review and let them know what to expect
  3. Take notes during the meeting
  4. Advise the worker on improving performance
  5. Use reality-based evidence to support your evaluation

At the end of the meeting find out the best time to meet with them on a regular basis to reiterate goals and measure progress.

Tips for Successful Remote Performance Evaluation

Here are major keys to making remote performance evaluations valuable for your operation:

  • Avoid judgmental language
  • Be clear in your communication
  • Learn about each worker’s background
  • Emphasize your company’s culture and core values

An emerging fresh approach to performance evaluation is the performance appraisal method. It involves tracking performance metrics on a regular basis. Offering monetary incentives for achieving goals is a reliable way to stimulate team spirit.


Managers can build a loyal and productive remote team by interacting with workers through performance reviews. The key is to view workers as assets. Successful team building means identifying and rewarding the talent that matches your company goals.