How To Manage Employees Working From HomeJan Cankusic
Today’s workforce is telecommuting or working from home more than ever before. 4.3 million people work from home full-time or part of the time.
With this new generation of employees who prefer to work from home, managers need to find ways to keep staff accountable and productive daily. How do you manage your employees working from home?
You may be surprised by some of the answers. It turns out that there are advantages and disadvantages to having your employee work from home. While it’s not for everyone, plenty of people thrive as telecommuters.
For these individuals, working from home offers many perks over an office setting. They include more independence. As well as flexibility while saving time on commuting and wardrobe expenses.
That said, there are some pitfalls to working remotely that you should keep in mind before allowing anyone in your team to telecommute.
Communicate With Employees Before They Work From Home
Before you sign off on allowing employees to work from home, you need to first talk to the team members who want to make the jump. It may or may not be a good fit for their lifestyle, schedule, or work-life balance.
It is essential to talk with your employees to learn more about their expectations and how they would feel about working remotely. This also allows you to see how they feel about their job and if they’ve invested in the company.
Employees who don’t want to work from home may have underlying issues leading them to consider this type of arrangement. If you offer remote work, you must be careful who you select.
Make sure you have employees who are truly invested in the company and want to be there – no matter the physical location.
Set Clear Expectations
If you’re allowing employees to work from home, you need to be very clear about the expectations of this type of work arrangement. Before you start working with remote employees, sit down and outline what is expected while they are working remotely.
Remote employees need guidance and structure just like employees in an office setting. Be clear about how often they need to check in and what is expected from them while they’re remote.
Be as specific as possible because no managers are watching over these employees. That means remote employees need structure and guidelines to help them stay on track. For example, tell them how often they need to check in with the team, what type of technology they need to use and what type of schedule they should follow.
You may even want to consider having your remote employees sign a contract. The contract outlines the expectations while focusing on employee management.
Set Up a Meeting Agenda
Even though you have employees working from home, you still need to have regular team meetings and keep the entire team on the same page. Because you don’t have managers keeping an eye on everyone, it’s even more important to have regular meetings.
Meetings where everyone is expected to participate. In addition, having a regular meeting with only your remote employees is a good idea.
This lets you know how they are doing, what they are working on, and what they need from the company.
While this meeting may feel more one-sided than your regular team meeting, it’s essential to keep in contact with your remote employees. And make sure they feel like part of the team.
Require 24 Hour Email Responses
While you have employees working from home, you need to require them to respond to email within 24 hours, just like you would with any other employee. This is important because it shows you’re just as serious about keeping your remote employees accountable as you are about keeping those in the office.
Email is one of the main ways employees communicate with one another. So it’s essential to keep a close eye on email correspondence and make sure all employees are responding promptly.
This also lets your remote employees know that you expect them to be just as responsible as employees in the office. And that they can’t simply forget about work when they’re working from home.
You can do this by using a virtual clock time system that monitors when employees are actively working. This helps you track what they’re doing and gives you the ability to check on them and correspond.
Check-in With Employees
If you’re allowing your employees to work from home, it’s a good idea to check in with them regularly, even if that’s not part of the initial agreement. While you may have initially agreed that you’ll only check in once weekly or once monthly, it’s essential to keep in touch with your remote workers.
To do this, you may consider using a software solution that allows you to monitor when your remote employees are online and for how long. This will let you know when your employees are online, which will help you keep track of how often they’re checking in.
Be Diligent and Track Progress
Timestamps are essential for tracking progress and deadlines but aren’t always accurate. Employees working from home often struggle to keep accurate timestamps, either because they forget to log in and mark their activities or because they simply don’t want to keep you in the loop.
When working with remote employees, you must be diligent about tracking progress and deadlines. For example, you can use software tools that let you know when your team members are online and for how long.
You can also use tools that require employees to log in and mark out any activities that they performed.
Managing Employees Working From Home
When it comes to managing your employees working from home, it’s important to remember that not every employee is a good fit for the arrangement. You also need to be clear about what is expected from these employees and have a system that keeps them accountable for their actions.
If you’re going to have a team working from home, you need to have a strategy in place to ensure they are working as productively as their office-based counterparts. Don’t forget to contact TimeTrak Systems for more remote worker management help.