Even before the recent global pandemic hit, it was estimated that more than 50 percent of the labor force is working from home to one degree on another. In fact, 8 out of 10 workers today say that they would love to have the opportunity to work from home at least one or two days per week. Seeing this as a way to minimize expenses, it is not surprising the many companies are moving towards this reality. At the same time, it is important to develop ways to keep productivity levels high when the entire team is not working together in person. Here some ways that you can effectively do that when your employees are working from home.
Make the Expectations Clear
It is not wise to just send an employee home to work without first setting clear expectations. If you need them to be near a phone between certain hours of the day, then you need to make that clear. Let them know about daily report requirements, important deadlines, and the speed with which they need to reply to all emails or messages. Setting these expectations upfront will allow you to better manage each employee remotely. It is better to have more expectations early on in these arrangements than it is to be overly flexible and then have to go back and change things after a few weeks.
Be Regularly Engaged With Your Staff
If your employees are used to seeing you in the office, then you need to work just as hard to be engaged with them when they are working from home. Be available to them. Set up regular meetings via video conferencing when feasible just to check in and see how things are going. You do not to be invasive, but you do need to be available. If your employees feel that you are not present, then it is human nature to begin to let productivity levels slip as a result.
Use Remote Desktop Solutions
One of the more difficult aspects of telecommunicating to manage are matters related to information technology. When your employees have a problem with their system, they will need assistance in order to get back up and running again. For this, you will want to implement remote support solutions that enable your IT staff to be able to fix problems remotely. This will really help increase productivity as well.
Make Transferring Files An Easy Process
Just because your employees are working from home does not mean they will have everything with them that they need. Much data is contained in files, but technology is able to solve this rather easily. Make sure that you have a system that allows your employees to file transfer services as needed.
Create an Inclusive Environment
Working from home might seem glamorous, but it can be extremely lonely. You still want to do whatever you can to create a team-oriented environment that everyone can feel apart of. Make sure that everyone is included and that nobody feels left out.
These strategies should help you to more effectively manage your employees when they are working from home. Remember that the goal is to encourage productivity and focus. You want to trust your people to do the job that you have given them to do. If they feel that trust, they are more likely to deliver. Do not focus so much on what they are doing at the moment. Instead, look at their output as a representation of their productivity. This is how everyone will benefit in the end.