Working remotely and other flexible schedule options are becoming increasingly popular in work settings. Many employees love the idea of avoiding long commutes and having the opportunity to adjust their work obligations around their family and other responsibilities. And as Business News Daily notes, allowing employees to telecommute is a great way for business owners to attract talent to their staff.
While you want to trust your remote workers as much as possible, it is still important to make sure they are performing well and getting everything done in a timely manner. To do this, check out the following tips:
Provide Telecommuters with a Smartphone
As a business owner, you’ll want to check in with your remote workers on a pretty regular basis, either through scheduled phone calls or with email updates. To ensure your telecommuters have the tools necessary to stay in touch, provide them with a customizable mobile device like the LG G5 from T-Mobile, and let them know they can use it for work and personal purposes. When you give them the phones, show them how to use the Do Not Disturb features within the smartphone, including the phone’s versatile silent mode that lets workers decide who can call them when they are off the clock, and which sounds and alerts they can block. These features will also come in handy at work, reducing distractions and allowing telecommuters to get everything done by deadline.
Set Clear Expectations
While you want to trust your remote workers as much as possible and give them a reasonable amount of freedom to get their tasks done from their home offices, it’s also important to be extremely clear from the get-go about your expectations. Create a company policy for telecommuters that outlines things like their availability during work hours, the need for a quiet and dedicated workspace at home, and the importance of completing projects in a timely manner. Also, make sure the policy takes into account those funky situations that can and do come up — like when the remote worker’s home internet crashes or when a child is home sick from school. Add clauses to the telecommuter agreement that address these situations; for example, that you expect people with internet issues to find a local hotspot as soon as possible to continue working, and that they should probably not expect to be able to work and take care of ill little ones at the same time and instead take at least part of that day off.
Make Transparency a Priority
To make sure your remote group of employees accomplishes everything they need to do will require a great deal of transparency on their part about their projects and tasks. This approach will help ensure that no one flies under the radar and misses important deadlines, and that everyone can be held accountable. As The Muse suggests, adopt project management systems that can be easily accessed from any location and will allow your remote workers to see what their co-workers have gotten done and stay in touch. A great example of this is Basecamp, which is a secure and private online space where you and your telecommuters can organize and track everything that needs to be done. Remote workers can also access work files from any device that has an internet connection.
Remote work is a win-win for employers and employees. Your staff has the flexibility to work from anywhere and you get to work with the top talent regardless of their location. With a few guidelines and clear communication, letting your employees work remotely may boost your productivity and help your business succeed.