Despite research that suggests telecommuting improves morale and lowers stress, many employers still fear that allowing employees to work remotely will harm productivity levels. These employers may need reassurance that remote workers are doing both the quantity and quality of work expected of them, rather than kicking back to watch Netflix.
To establish a work-from-home program that really promotes employee success, follow the five tips outlined below:
1. Give All Employees Equal Access to Work-From-Home Privileges
Implementing a work-from-home policy requires allowing all employees the same level of access to this particular benefit. There’s nothing more harmful to morale and engagement than growing resentment between employees. Such resentment is bound to happen if you allow one employee to work from home while denying the same to another.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Expectations for employee performance and behavior must be the same regardless of whether an employee is in or outside the office. It is important to make clear to employees that remote work is no different from an in-office day. Otherwise, employees may get the wrong idea about how they should spend their work-from-home days.
3. Set Firm Deliverables
One great way to ensure remote workers are doing what they need to do is by setting firm deliverables. Perhaps a remote writer needs to create X number of articles per day, or a remote customer service rep needs to solve X customer issues per day. By setting clear goals, you give employees focus for their day. Moreover, you can easily tell whether or not a remote worker is performing as well as they would in the office.
4. Establish Lines of Communication
Whether you use Microsoft Teams, Skype, or some other platform, it is important to keep lines of communication open between yourself and your remote team members. That way, you can easily check in on their progress, and they can stay updated on what’s happening in the office. Open communication is a great way to ensure employees stay on task even when working from home.
5. Trust Your Employees
In order for any remote work program to succeed, you have to trust your employees to do quality work. Your employees can tell if you don’t trust them, and they won’t be as motivated to perform. Without trust, the entire work-from-home program may have to be scrapped.
Building mutual trust can take some time, but a good place to start is by encouraging 360-degree feedback. Regular employee surveys and ongoing communication between employees and managers can help build the trust necessary for remote workers to succeed.
Katie Harrower’s current title is marketing executive at Youmanage HR Ltd, but she has considering taking on “scribe” as her preferred choice.