Working from home has become the new normal for millions of employees around the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced business owners to restructure for remote management and plan for an 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. Documenting clear expectations for weekly or daily performance will give business owners, remote management, and even employees peace of mind they’re hitting the mark within their role.
Clear Performance Metrics
Make it clear from the start what metrics you will be using 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 clear, established performance metrics give 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
Regular meetings with your remote team are 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 by using remote technologies.
Harness Technology for Remote Work
Take advantage of the growing catalogue 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 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 work from home arrangement and offer solutions and expectations for the technical problems.
Many employers 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.
With the proper technology, communications, and technical assistance, your team can thrive in this new environment.
If you need any information on selecting the best communications software, the team at TLC Solutions is ready to help!