Staff Management

How We’re Empowering Our Employees to Do What They Do Best

Dr. Gee, center, with his practice partners, Jessica Nguyen, OD, to his left (as you're looking at the photo) and Thuria Younis, OD, to his right. Dr. Gee says that he and his partners have found remote workers a great solution to freeing their support staff up to do what they do best.

Dr. Gee, center, with his practice partners, Jessica Nguyen, OD, to his left (as you’re looking at the photo) and Thuria Younis, OD, to his right. Dr. Gee says that he and his partners have found remote workers a great solution to free their support staff to do what they do best.

Freeing your employees to focus on how they can best help patients.

By Kevin L. Gee, OD, FAAO

Dec. 20, 2023

If you are like me, you probably have struggled with hiring staff over the past few years. I don’t know what happened to the working world when the pandemic occurred, but ever since then it has been especially challenging to find workers, much less qualified workers.

Almost at my breaking point, content on working my current qualified staff to the brink of exhaustion, I had an epiphany. What if I were able to task my qualified workers with doing what they do best? Here is how I did that.

What Tasks Are they Most Qualified to Do? 

My answer was most likely not to dissimilar to yours. My office staff is most qualified at taking care of people. They are people-oriented, they enjoy the interaction with human beings, and that translates into optical and contact lens sales. It also translates into topnotch customer service and personal attention.

Are they also qualified in verifying and billing insurance? Are they also qualified to answer my phones politely, and competent in fielding calls to triage and book patients?  The answer to these questions is undoubtedly, yes. But, what if they were able to elevate their services previously mentioned by being relieved of mundane tasks like verifying insurance and answering phones?

Finding a Solution in Remote Workers

I was introduced to remote workers, and it has been the best thing to happen to my office in a long time.

First off, the struggle to find help was lifted. Every candidate whom I interviewed showed a great desire to work. The remote staff placement company that I work with provided the compliance and candidates to me from around the world. I was skeptical about the English language skills and accent of someone working for me from another country (let’s face it, we’ve all been there talking to someone from a help desk or helpline).

I was surprised to learn that the first criteria for qualified employees set by our staffing agency is written and spoken English communication skills. We were so impressed with our first hired remote employee that within two weeks we hired our second. She had experience working in the remote world, and she also had social media content experience, so we decided to assign her that task.  Both of them now are sharing phone responsibilities, and our office phones rarely ring on-site.

At $1,700 per month per remote worker, that comes to just a bit over $10/hour. This allows me to hire at least two workers remotely to cover the cost of one in-person staff member. As a result, this gives us the option to divide tasks and responsibilities among the two or train both fully to do the same tasks. It is a win-win. Given that they are solely focused on the tasks that we assign them to do, they are not sidetracked or disrupted and are able to work at full efficiency.

Use Technology to Audit Calls Taken By Remote Employees

We utilize our VoIP phone technology to audit calls inbound and outbound, and when our remote employees need assistance, they are able to simply put that call on hold for someone in the office to pick up and continue the call.

After hours, our remote employees they are also standing by, ready to answer and capture contact lens inquiries and orders.

Finding Additional Roles for Remote Employees

Finally, I have been so impressed that I am looking for additional roles for additional workers to help with our office. Could they be used as a scribe? As a front desk receptionist via a webcam? What else?

Remote employees, who complement the work of your in-office employees, are a way to ensure your patients receive the best and most prompt service, even if you are struggling to staff up your in-person workforce.

Kevin L. Gee, OD, FAAO, is the owner of Gee Eye Care in Missouri City, Texas. To contact him:


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