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Numerous studies have shown that remote workers are more productive, more efficient and less stressed than people who work in a more traditional office setting. Remote workers do not have to deal with typical office distractions like impromptu meetings, gossiping or loud co-workers. While 65 percent of workers believe they would be more productive if they were allowed to work from home, according to The Payroll Blog, only 19 percent are permitted to do remote work.
Even though you would think that employers would encourage remote work in order to gain the benefits that come with it, the problem for many employers is that they do not know how to manage remote workers properly. Therefore, it scares them to think they may not be able to hold their workforce accountable. However, you won’t have to worry about employee accountability if you prepare your employees for remote work and put a few rules in place.
Many remote workers fear that they will be forgotten since they are not in the office where their employers can see them on a day-to-day basis. Employers fear their remote employees will slack off since they are out of sight. Face-to-face communication can solve this problem for both parties. So, what is the best way to implement procedures so you and your remote employees can have conversations that mimic the ones you’d have in a traditional workplace? Look at portals and scheduled video conferencing to solve this problem.
Some companies have created portals that allow remote and traditional employees to talk to each other during business hours. It works like this: In the office, the boss sets up a screen that is dedicated to the portal. Remote workers can “pop-in” whenever they start to feel a little cabin fever or when they want to say hi. Portals can also be set up solely for boss-employee communications, but that requires the portal to be set up in the boss’ office. It’s a technological open door policy that lets your remote employees know they are an important part of your team.
It isn’t difficult to schedule video conferencing. Bring your employees in on the daily stand up, so they know what is going on in the office. Also, schedule one-to-one video conferences, so you can talk to your employees about their or your concerns.
Tech that Connects
Aside from the video conferencing technology that you use to connect with your employees, you should also consider using other programs to keep you connected and accountable.
- Cloud storage services like JustCloud give your remote workers a place to store their work and give you the opportunity to spot check the work they are producing.
- Project management software provides many invaluable tools to the remote employee and their employer. These programs allow employers to track work projects in real time. Basecamp and Asana are two popular project management programs that are well-suited for managing remote workers.
- Time-tracking software might not show your employees much trust, but it allows them to prove the time they are working. These programs, which are great for freelancers who charge by the hour, allow employers to track work hours and breaks. Toggl is a leader in this field.