With the advances in technology and mobile computing, many employers are more open to the concept of allowing their employees to work from home. Here are a few tips on how you can stay connected to your employees who are now working remotely.
The structure of today’s workforce is shifting away from the traditional nine to five, Monday through Friday workweek. More and more companies are allowing their employees to work remotely. Studies show that virtual workers are up to forty-one percent more productive and save companies over a thousand dollars per employee, per year in reduced absenteeism. Close to 80% of traditional workers would prefer to work from home and the majority would take a pay cut to do so. Not to mention that, in the past decade we’ve seen many technological innovations that make staying in touch easier than ever. In fact, getting AWAY from work is now virtually impossible given the abundance of methods of communication. So in thinking about all of those great statistics, you might be considering letting some of your employees to work from home. Of course, this naturally brings with it the concern about how you can ensure they’re staying productive.
So, how do you engage employees working from home? Here are three ways you can keep your employees motivated and productive while they’re away from the office.
First, use the technology that is available to you! Skype, project management platforms, private social media networks, texting and instant messaging are all forms of technology that are meant to make your life easier! Find a way to take advantage of them. They let you stay in touch with your employees without micromanaging them. You should trust your employees who are working from home, but they also need to maintain production levels. If they’re remaining productive and contributing, great! If they’re lagging behind with projects, make sure they know there are many ways they can reach you if they need assistance.
Second, set up a weekly meeting where everyone connects to go over their current projects. Find out what your employees are struggling with, what are they experiencing success with, and what you can do to help them stay productive. Also, use this time to call attention to accomplishments large and small. This enables everyone on the team to take part in the acknowledgment and will help your employees feel like they are a part of a team.
Third, continue to build a personal relationship with your employees who are not in the office. When an employee is working from home, they miss out on the “water cooler talk.” They’re not part of the conversations that include stories about the weekend, they don’t get to partake in the office celebrations where personal conversations occur, and they don’t get to grab lunch with their coworkers. Often times, managers and other employees only reach out to telecommuters when it is something work-related. Make sure you are keeping in touch on a personal level so that they don’t feel disconnected from the team when they do make an appearance in the office.
That’s all I have for today! I hope I helped you find some ways to work better with your remotely located employees. Make sure you check out our blog for more videos and helpful articles. And find us on Facebook and Twitter where we report on news and information on workplace and human resource issues, student achievement, and more!