No one would have ever thought that telecommuting would become so common. In the past, technology didn’t allow for it to be possible. However, with the internet and so many other innovative apps and programs, working from home is as convenient as having employees in an office every day. As time progresses, more and more people are working from home.
While technology has improved the success of remote work, there are still ways you can fail at doing it correctly. But this option is not something to disregard as there are ways to make it a complete success.
Communication is key.
Reactions to meetings can be experienced when done in person versus virtually. Many job task details could be lost in translation. Confusion can’t be distinguished if most communication is done via email or instant message. Because communication can become more blurred through technology, it is important to make everything very obvious when it comes to delegating work to your team. Be sure to delegate and over communicate. Have video group chat meetings whenever possible. Establish a project management tool or a messaging app where your workers can communicate as often and as rapidly as they would in an office.
Make sure not too much time comes between each form of communication and outreach. Treat remote work as if you do in an office. Each worker should account for all of their time spent on projects, as well as adhering to deadlines the way they would in an office. Encourage them to always ask questions if they are unclear of what is expected on a task.
Downsides for working from home and solutions.
There are an extreme amount of benefits when it comes to telecommuting. You spend less on morning and evening commutes, work attire, office real estate costs, happier workers, etc. Although it is very appealing to work from home, there are things that can be missed from having an office to work at. There are many things that take place within the cubicles of their co-workers. Conversations are had at the water cooler. Reactions to meetings can be experienced when done in person versus virtually. Many job task details could be lost in translation. Confusion can’t be distinguished if most communication is done via email or instant message.
Especially when someone is working from home, there can be many distractions that can keep them from being productive. Make sure that they keep this in mind and remind them that they are still on the clock even though they are not in an office environment.
You will also encounter workers feeling excluded, or isolated because of the lack of human interaction. As part of human nature, we tend to work better in teams. While video meetings and other interactions help, naturally we often need more of our social needs tended to. Encourage your colleagues to have virtual coffee breaks together. Possibly have an office birthday party virtually. Many companies that have local team members working from home will require them to come into the offices at least once a week. Or, you can offer holiday parties at various locations so that your workers can develop relationships outside of their virtual offices. There are many ways to engage your employees that will make them feel like they are part of a team, even if they are working from home.
More detail on monitoring progress.
As previously mentioned, you should always set up a project management tool to monitor the progression of assigned projects. A huge reason for this is because many people are productive when they know they are making progress. They also to better work when being told they are doing a great job. It is difficult to encourage your workers when they are remote.
While many performance reviews are based on punctuality, availability and teamwork, there are still ways to incorporate this into a remote worker’s review. A time clock app can be established to confirm your workers have arrived and are ready to go. When they complete tasks via the project management tool on deadline, this can be another way to monitor their productivity. Lastly, their dependability can be monitored by how fast they respond to emails or instant messages, as well as how well they help other co-workers that reach out for help.
Working from home can be both exciting and difficult. However, with the appropriate procedures and tools, you can set your remote workers up for amazing success.