BCS: Helping business clients with opportunities and through crises since 1995

How to fire a remote worker

With more and more people working from home, it is becoming more likely that you will need to fire a remote worker. Whether your company is struggling, or the employee is not pulling their weight, you need to take care of how you terminate their employment.

Here are some tips to ensure firing a remote worker goes smoothly:

  • Be prepared: It is not okay to fire someone and say that you will sort out the paperwork when you are back in the office. Go into the meeting with the details clear and the paperwork ready.
  • Be present: Do not use remote as an excuse to hide. Firing someone by email is like impersonally dumping your girlfriend by text message. It is not cool. If you cannot meet your employee in person, use a video call.
  • Be honest: You need a valid reason to fire someone. Share that reason with the employee you are firing.
  • Be careful: The employee may be recording your virtual meeting. If you fire someone badly, your words could be shared with other employees, or go viral on the internet.
  • Be human: Yes, we are in the age of artificial intelligence, but some things need a human touch. As Maya Angelou said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Firing someone who works for you is difficult for both sides. If you do it poorly, you can end up with legal problems. If you are unsure about something, getting the advice of a legal professional can avoid future problems.