Remote work can take a toll on business creativity, productivity, and teamwork unless you know what you’re doing. Allowing everyone to remote work can quickly lead to disaster, especially if your employees have no incentive to perform better when working from home. Boosting your remote workers’ productivity is important if you want to allow for a flexible schedule without interfering with your business activities. Here are some tips to help your remote workers become more productive.
Set out the expectations from the start.
Before your remote worker begins working from home, set up clear outlines of expectations on both sides. If they expect to be allowed to work from home on certain days as long as they come into the office on other days, for instance, you need to make sure you both know and agree upon which days those are. Your policies should reflect how productive you expect people in particular roles to be.
Figure out who should be allowed to work remotely.
Some roles rely on interaction with other people, while others are relatively isolated and don’t benefit as much from communication within the office. Particular roles as well as individuals perform better than others; if one worker doesn’t do as well at home, you don’t want to find this out after they’ve settled into their schedule.
Make sure they stay accountable at all times.
Managers may need to set up one-on-one video calls, a regular time for email check-ins, or other methods of accountability. You’ll also need to let them know how their work is fitting into the bigger picture, what the company forecast looks like, and other crucial details they might miss while working remotely.
Use all the technologies and tools you can.
Stores like CleanItSupply help you find physical supplies for your business, some of which can be very helpful for managers working with remote workers; other digital tools are available for remote workers. Use technologies for mobile apps, inventory, customer profiles, and more to make sure that your remote workers are using the same information as everyone else.
Ensure you check in via audio and video.
Though some people (especially those in technology-focused or writing-focused roles) may communicate better through text, most people need audio or video to check in and feel connected to the company at large. Face to face meetings are also valuable, as are conferencing programs that allow you to share files while you talk. Programs and applications you use to check in are essential to get approval for if you need to budget them.
Set boundaries on both sides.
Since a remote worker can easily drop out of touch, it’s easier for them to set their own boundaries, but you need to ensure you work with them to set reasonable boundaries. They shouldn’t be expected to answer late-night emails every day, but neither should they go days without responding to a basic inquiry.
Remote working provides the chance for companies to grow, tap into resources such as employees who wouldn’t be able to work within a conventional schedule, and make the lives of their employees easier. It’s important to start with the right remote work policies so that this type of work is productive.
Tom Grant used several remote workers for his business. He also enjoys advising other business owners by posting on various blog sites.