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Studies show that working remotely increases job satisfaction among employees in countless industries. Remote workers have greater freedom and a better work-life balance and do not need to spend time driving to and from the office. For small businesses, allowing employees to work remotely offers several key benefits. It gives business owners access to a broader range of talent, for starters, because there are no geographical barriers. In addition, working remotely reduces costs, increases productivity, and allows for real-time collaboration via telephone, chat, text, or instant messaging.
The number of remote workers in the United States has tripled in the past decade, and there are no signs of this slowing down. If your small business has remote workers, you need to justify the benefits from an economic standpoint. However, if they are not pulling their weight in terms of productivity, you waste your business’s time, money, and resources. This Balboa Capital blog post features tips on how to hold your remote workers accountable.
Be wary of flexibility.
Just imagine life as a remote worker. You wake up a little bit late each day because you do not need to commute to the office. You make your breakfast, brew a pot of coffee, and sit on your couch with your laptop to check emails, read the news, and revisit your daily to-do list. Once you finish your breakfast, you make your way to your home office and take a seat at a desk, perhaps one with a window view, and begin your eight-hour workday without any interruptions.
Now for the harsh reality. This is not how most remote employees work on any given day, so you should feel a bit wary. Remote workers know they have more freedom and flexibility than their in-office counterparts do, and, as a result, they can easily be sidetracked and lose focus. Texting friends, using social media accounts, watching television, and spending time with family members during work hours can result in lost productivity. In some cases, remote employees waste time during the daily rush to finish their work, which is subpar.
Set rules and expectations for your remote workers.
You are too busy running your small business to worry about your remote workers’ productivity. Therefore, you must convey to them and their managers what is expected of them to succeed. Set expectations for work hours, projects, and individual goals, and put them in writing, so everyone is on the same page. Moreover, include all of your remote work guidelines and protocols in your employee manual to make it official.
This system lets your remote workers know what is expected of them, and it can keep them focused on their daily responsibilities. If one of your employees starts to lag in terms of their production or quality of work, you and your human resources manager will be fully prepared to discuss it with them, so there is no understanding or confusion.
Use project management tracking software.
The best way to track the performance of your remote workers is to invest in project management tracking software, which can be installed and deployed by your IT manager. This software affords you, your managers, and your remote workers a high level of transparency. It allows you to plan, track and report on daily workflow, all in an automated fashion. Furthermore, it holds your remote workers accountable for their work.
They will not work sparingly during the week and finish a pending task at the final hour. That is because project management software tracks every step of the process. In addition, many cloud-based project management software platforms are available that can be customized based on your small business’s needs and the number of licenses you need to purchase.
You do your best to hire the best employees and provide them with the training and managerial support they need to thrive. However, if your employees work from their homes, make sure you establish guidelines and convey your expectations. Doing so can ensure that they always give their best during your regular hours of operation.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.