With over four million UK workers now regularly working for home, it seems businesses are slowly coming round to the benefits of allowing their employees to work remotely. But, with distractions aplenty, no pressure to be productive and a lack of supervision, how do you ensure flexibility works out for both the staff and the business?
Here are four top tips for managing your remote workers:
1. Set overarching goals
When employees are present in the office, it’s easy to keep an eye on their workflow and what they’re achieving, whether that’s through regular meetings or informal conversations. Forbes recently reported that 93% of employees are at their most productive when they work from home, but how do you translate this into traceable and measurable achievements?
It’s important to set goals to ensure things are getting done, whether on a daily, weekly or monthly basis, but try not to micromanage. After all, if you can’t trust the person to do their job, what are you letting them work from home for?
2. Make use of technology
There are a plethora of online tools and software applications out there to track where people are up to with tasks and to communicate what needs to be done, so use them!
Whether it’s a ticketing system to allow you to know when a job has been completed, a fully-integrated project management system or simply Skype, communication regarding work doesn’t have to stop just because staff aren’t in the office.
3. Be flexible
In an office, 9 to 5 is the norm and is often unavoidable, but such strict scheduling isn’t always necessary when someone is working from their home office.
If employees are required to be online at these times, make it clear to them, but also outline that hours are flexible if other things need to be prioritised. Your employees will appreciate your acknowledgement that a work/life balance needs to be maintained.
4. Be open
Remote working can be isolating. As well as encouraging staff to make use of co-working spaces and the like, ensure you let them know that you’re approachable and there to listen to any questions or concerns they may have. If possible, set up regular face-to-face meetings or ‘office days’ so workers can meet up and talk things through.
At Goodwille, we can act as your HR adviser or provide you with a fully outsourced HR function to keep you up to date with current UK best practice. If you need help and advice on how to manage your remote employees, don’t hesitate to contact us or read more about our HR service offering here.