5 Steps to Ensure Work-From-Home Employees Maximize Corporate Performance
13 Mar, 2020
The number of people working remotely continues to rise as corporations recognize that employees – particularly millennials and contract workers in the “gig” economy – value the flexibility it offers. Remote work can also be an attractive option to employers, who see the benefit in reducing brick-and-mortar expenses, such as rent and utility bills.
The trend will surely continue, especially in light of current worldwide health concerns. In fact, many companies may soon be faced with mandated work-from-home provisions due to circumstances related to the Coronavirus pandemic.
While remote work can be a win-win situation for employers and employees, corporate managers often fear employee misuse of the freedoms that come with the arrangement. Workplace Fairness, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for and promotes employee rights, has advice on how to best maximize corporate performance under these conditions.
Here are 5 steps to ensure that creating a remote workplace environment for employees is a positive, beneficial step for the company.
1. Identify clear expectations from remote employees. Key elements of this communication include the hours to be worked, amount of work to be completed each day, task prioritization, guidelines for the amount/timing of communications with management, etc.
2. Ensure remote employees have the proper tools. Not only does this include corporate laptops and other needed tools, but also ensuring they can log in and input data via corporate portals that will assist management in tracking employee progress, performance, needs, etc. Doing so will reduce the need for managers to utilize valuable time in personally tracking and evaluating such data.
3. Regularly monitor employee progress (and needs). Employers must regularly follow up on employee progress to ensure that corporate objectives and expectations are met, and also to ensure that the company is there to offer assistance to any employee who, for whatever reason, is struggling with the “remote” proposition.
4. Interact regularly with remote employees. All employees need some degree of support and morale enhancement from their management and key associates. This in turn bolsters productivity and acknowledges that remote employees have not been forgotten nor their contributions overlooked for performance evaluation or promotion consideration.
5. Place trust and faith in remote employees. Virtually every employee wants recognition as being an important asset to the company. While some may intentionally or inadvertently misuse remote working privileges, most will not – especially if given the proper guidance recommended above. Managers need to avoid the extremes of micromanagement and inadvertently placing too little emphasis on mutual communication with their employees.
Properly managed, the remote workplace can benefit employers and employees alike.