Six strategies for effectively managing remote employees for maximum productivity
If you're reading this article then you've probably seen the many statistics about the growing number of remote employees. It's hard to look past the numerous studies that have found there are a lot of upsides when you decide to go mobile with your workforce.
But what those studies don't discuss is how business owners effectively manage their remote employees to maximise the benefits. You can't simply assign remote workers a role or project and expect everything to go smoothly because statistically they'll be more productive. You have to set them up for success and set expectations if you want results.
Use a specialised management SAAS
Software as a service (SAAS) develops out of business demand. Now that 37% of the workforce is working out of the office to some degree, the need for a system that keeps everyone together is greater than ever. Asure Software is a leading SAAS that offers cloud-based solutions that everyone can access from anywhere. From online timesheets to shared resource scheduling, the system is designed to make mobile working easier and more productive than ever before.
Keep emphasis on what gets done not when it's done
The time of day you're most productive or able to fully focus is different for everyone. Keeping the emphasis on results not necessarily when an employee is clocking in will lead to increased productivity and happier employees. You just have to be clear on what you expect to get done and establish hard deadlines.
Go part-time before full-time
In business, testing is a vital part of success. You wouldn't launch a product without testing it first and the same rules should apply for modifying work schedules.
Most employees prefer working remotely just two-three days a week, which is a great starting point. Decide which days are best suited for telecommuting (i.e. less meetings or lower workload) either office-wide or by employee. Let those days be the litmus test as to whether going completely remote with some positions is viable.
Know who to keep in-house and who to let work remotely
Not everyone was made for working on their own, and not everyone wants to work remotely (10-20% aren't interested in it). Some people have a lot of distractions at home and like the separation. Some employees, such as store managers, have to be onsite the majority of the time.
Each business is different, but researchers estimate that roughly 50% of positions are compatible with at least partial telecommuting. Before implementing a flexible work schedule, take a hard look at your workforce to create qualifiers for working remotely.
Give remote workers the tools they need
In addition to using a SAAS where employees can share resources, you'll have to make sure remote workers have ready access to tools and information. Their computers may need certain software or hardware. They'll at least have to have reliable internet and phone service, and you may need to verify their home office is secure. Call center reps, for example, may need a headset so they can type while they talk. Before a worker begins telecommuting, make sure they have everything they need so things don't get slowed down.
Keep remote workers in the fold
One of the hardest tasks associated with a telecommuting workforce is keeping remote workers in the loop. When they aren't physically in the office, it can be easy to overlook their accomplishments, forget to include them in brainstorming sessions or fail to notify them the second something changes.
To avoid isolation or a team member falling out of the loop, establish a communication system that makes it easy to ping everyone. This should incorporate scheduling so that remote workers can be included in meetings. It's also a good idea to have one-on-one check-ins once a week and establishing times when they will be at their remote desk to make communication easier.
Telecommuting is a part of doing business in our increasingly mobile world. When it's managed right, productivity can be improved, costs can be minimised and employee satisfaction can be higher than ever expected.
About Boris Dzhingarov
Boris Dzhingarov graduated UNWE with a major in marketing. He is the CEO of ESBO ltd brand mentioning agency. He writes for several online sites such as Tech.co, Semrush.com, Tweakyourbiz.com, Socialnomics.net. Boris is the founder of MonetaryLibrary.com and cryptoext.com.
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