It’s a mobile world, and your employees may be asking to work from a location other than your office. Adapting to this request can allow you to keep quality talent and accommodate workers who may have health or other issues that make working in a traditional office difficult. But managing employees from a distance can require a different set of skills. Here are suggestions to help make the process easier.
Begin on a trial basis. Working outside the office is not for every business, nor every employee. Instead of jumping in, try telework on a trial basis before committing full-time.
Be selective. Working without direct management requires an employee who is self-disciplined and self-motivated. Establishing a screening process can help you choose which staffers will be most likely to succeed in a less structured environment.
Establish a workflow process. When employees can’t walk down the hall to ask questions, share information, or deliver projects and paperwork, you’ll need to turn to technology. Software to consider includes secure file transfer, project scheduling, and communication with other employees.
Provide training. Employee manuals, feedback, scheduled in-office sessions, and online group meetings can keep your employees up-to-date and working as a team.
Develop productivity metrics. When is that report due? How many hours do you expect that project to take? Clearly convey your expectations and how you plan to measure them.
Keep connections open. “Out of office” does not mean “out of mind.” Set up weekly video chats to keep in touch with remote staff. Establish a regular communication schedule and method, such as a daily text or email, to track how projects are progressing. Make sure your employees know your door – both real and virtual – is always open to express problems or concerns.
If you would like more information about how to manage work-from-elsewhere employees, please contact us.