How to Manage Remote Working Effectively
The school holidays often see parents running around trying to arrange childcare or, when not possible, work from home. However, although the new term is now in full swing, remote working is an ongoing, fundamental aspect of many organisations – one that is only set to grow in popularity. With a study by Global Workplace Analytics showing that 86 per cent of people believe they are more productive in their home office, it’s time for employers to embrace remote working. Here are a few ways to make it work for your business.
Keep an eye on progress
By its very nature, remote working has less structure than onsite work, so it’s important to lay out some ground rules. Organise a daily or weekly plan to outline the work expectations of each team member and the timeframes that the work is expected by. If your team don’t have time-tracking software to log their working hours, ask them to send through time reports detailing where the progress of each of their tasks is up to. However, don’t go too hard on your employees – trust is fundamental to productivity.
Communication is key in any business, but it needs to be paid extra attention with a scattered workforce. Without the luxury of being able to shout a question across the room to a colleague, miscommunication can be easy and getting a quick answer isn’t always possible, but it’s important to ensure that everyone is on the same page. Phone and video messaging services such as Skype are your friend here, as they’re the most efficient way to get an immediate response and to eradicate the risk of emails being misconstrued. However, this does make it harder to keep the wider team in the loop, so consider sending a follow-up email after each phone call outlining what was discussed and agreed.
Implement appropriate technology
Having the right technology in place can make a huge difference to keeping your team connected. Our mobile Time and Attendance software means you can access the system from wherever you are, allowing you to log your hours and easily keep track of any changes or issues as they arise. A file sharing system and a team calendar will also make sure that your employees know exactly what is going on and when.
It can be more challenging to manage a scattered workforce than one that you see face-to-face every day, but with the right tools and communication strategy, productivity can soar. What are your experiences of working remotely? Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn!