With the rise of the internet, remote work has been a possibility for several decades. The number of workers telecommuting has risen recently and seems unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Remote work offers advantages to employers and employees alike. However, to manage remote employees effectively, you may have to adapt new strategies to the situation. Here are some suggestions for ensuring accountability.
Provide Them With the Proper Tools
You have a responsibility to make sure that remote employees have everything they need to succeed. This includes the necessary hardware. In addition to the software needed to perform their tasks, you should also make sure that computers, laptops, tablets, or any other electronics used for work have sufficient security programs to prevent a virtual attack such as a zero day exploit that could compromise your data.
The other tools that your employees need to work remotely depend on their individual roles. Examples may include stationery and mail supplies, corporate credit cards, and policy manuals.
Create a Tip Sheet
Employees may have trouble meeting their commitments while working from home, especially if they are new to remote work. You can create a tip sheet by collecting helpful advice in a shared document that your entire team has access to. If you have team members who are more experienced with telecommuting than others, you can ask them for any tools or resources that they have found helpful. If you and your entire team are new to remote work, you can compile the tip sheet together as a learning experience as you figure out what works and what doesn't.
Schedule Regular Communication
It can be difficult for remote workers to feel as though they are members of a team when they do not share the same space. Communication among team members is important, and you should find a way to include everyone. There are many different tools available for remote communication, including video conferencing, email, and instant messages. You can decide which works best for you based on the needs of your team and the culture of your company. Even if you have a mix of on-site and off-site employees, you should include everyone in discussions as often as possible.
Not all communication among your team members needs to be related to work. You can schedule more informal meetings for purposes of team-building activities and socializing as a group. To ensure that you spend enough time communicating with team members face-to-face, you should schedule formal check-ins for specific days and times to help ensure everyone's participation. It is also a good idea to schedule more social activities to be sure employees are free.
Follow Up Periodically
Remember that not all communication with your employees involves the entire team. You also need to check in with team members on a one-on-one basis from time to time. Part of the reason for this is to monitor productivity, but you should also check in to see if employees are having any struggles and give them the opportunity to ask questions. Don't follow up only for negative reasons or employees will start to dread hearing from you. Take a little time to praise your employees when they do especially well and encourage them to keep up the good work. Positive interactions cost you very little, if anything, and they are extremely effective at motivating your team members.
Set Clear Expectations
Since you aren't there to look over your employees' shoulders and tell them what to do, it becomes more important for you to give them very clear instructions. However, setting expectations doesn't stop there. You need to have a clear policy in place for remote work to set standards for what is and is not acceptable. Remote work is flexible, which is to the employees' advantage, but they should know that they are still expected to complete work in a timely fashion.
Having clear expectations also helps employees, who can then adapt their practices to meet the standards and benchmarks that you have set for them. They can act confidently knowing what is allowed and what is unacceptable.
Publish Date: December 1, 2021 3:01 PM