Work from home has become the new normal for millions of employees around the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic, for better or worse, has forced business owners to restructure for remote management and plan for an increasingly at-home workforce.
The idea of having employees working from home can be daunting, especially for small businesses, so how do you know you’re getting the most out of your remote team and how do you keep them accountable? You will be happy to hear that businesses report seeing an increase in productivity when their employees are offered a flexible work-from-home schedule when combined with clear directives, innovative use of technology, and regular team meetings.
Here are some tips to get the most out of your remote team:
Set Expectations From The Start
Work from home is rewriting the way we do business, and it’s ok if your business goals and expectations evolve with this new remote management arrangement. However, this is also why it’s more important than ever to set clear expectations from the get-go to help keep each employee accountable.
Working from home offers more flexibility for the employee, but there is still some stress that comes along with giving up in office supervision. Writing clear expectations for weekly or daily performance will give business owners, remote management, and even employees peace of mind they’re hitting the mark fulfilling their role.
Clear Performance Metrics
Make it clear from the start what metrics you will be used to evaluate performance. Distractions happen, it’s inevitable, and if not properly managed these distractions can slow productivity. Setting short and long term performance metrics will ensure your team gets back on track quickly as they strive to stay within well-defined performance requirements.
Having clearly established performance metrics gives managers and employees a road map for success. The more focused your objectives and results the easier it is to hold your remote team accountable. The performance of your at home team should be just as good if not better than what you would expect in an office.
Keep Up With Regular Communication
It goes without saying that regular meetings with your remote team is important to keep up the work pace and address problems before they get worse. One of the easiest ways to build an accountable work environment is following through with consistent team communications.
Employees who are used to working in a vibrant office environment can find it isolating to work from home, so it’s important to use video conferencing software like RingCentral or Teams to continue cultivating the team spirit. Set aside time for one-on-one meetings and encourage team collaboration using remote technologies.
Harness Technology For Remote Work
Take advantage of the growing catalog of technology available for remote work teams. Remote work software offers a secure and private way to track your employees day to day activities keeping them accountable and on task.
Depending on your team requirements these programs could also offer built-in group video calling capabilities, internal communication, and messaging functions, and progress updates to provide a seamless experience for both the business owners and remote workers.
Addressing Technical Difficulties
It’s important to layout a contingency plan for employees in the event of technical issues like slow internet or outdated devices. Listen to any concerns your employees have about their new work from home arrangement and offer solutions and expectations for the technical problems that can come with remote work.
Many employees are choosing to offer flexible work at home schedules to employees, and that doesn’t mean productivity has to suffer. Working from home can offer employees a better work/life balance, cut down on commuting times, and reduce stress levels for some workers. Of course, there will always be challenges that come along with remote management, but if you make sure to establish clear directives and keep your team accountable with regular communications you just might find your team is more productive working from home.
If remote work is effectively implemented, your team can be just as productive and efficient as they are in the office. With the proper technology, communications, and technical assistance, your team can thrive in this new environment. TLC Solutions can help you choose, implement, and maintain a system that works for your unique team. Contact us today for a free consultation.