First consider communication frequency and communication methods…The default reaction of a rookie manager is to call and ping their remote employees simply to check in on them…The typically ‘yt?’ (you there?) message over instant message software provokes feelings of distrust. Instead schedule regular meeting, probably more frequently than if they were sitting in the same location, but try to leverage webcams to maintain the personal aspect itself. Secondly, many of the IM solution have webcam functions built in over IM for quicker response for urgent issues/questions and this quickly validates if your SEs are as productive as they can be. Give it a shot.