According to the Microsoft 2010 U.S. Remote Working Research Summary, 62% employees believed that they would be able to work perfectly well at a remote location. In today’s wired and connected world which connects people in real-time, given the proper resources, an employee can opt to work from a remote location. With a computer, an access to a company’s internal network and an internet connection, an employee can easily work at a remote location. This radicalization has changed the way people conduct and operate their business.
According to the survey conducted by the Telework Research Network,
- Currently, 20-30 million Americans work from home as least one day a week
- 10-15 million people run home businesses
- 15-20 million people are mobile workers and work at least 10 hours per week remotely (away from home)
- 15-20 million work from home on a part-time basis (50% do so 1-2 days a week and about 3 million people work from home full-time)
Working remotely is not just beneficial for the employees; it is also beneficial for the employees as well as the environment. As less people commute to work, it results in less fuel consumption with less air pollution and traffic congestion. According to a report by the American Electronics Association, 1.35 billion gallons of gas can be saved in a year if US employees with the ability to commute work remotely at least 1.6 days a week.
However, for employers, there are a lot of issues with regards to ensuring that the employees that are not working in-house remain motivated and productive. Here are the best corporate practices to manage remote workers.
1) Use Technology
Time and attendance software, an automated payroll system, HR management software, employee management software and scheduling software are just some of the tools that will help you focus on developing your workforce in a diverse, remote setting to help your remote workers overcome any obstacle that may arise in unforeseen circumstances.
2) Trust Them
Remote employees tend to work best when they are trusted and are allowed to be independent. Although it is customary for companies to track them with the help of employee management software or evaluate their work performance through time and attendance software, self-motivation is still their greatest ally. Help develop a dynamic in which they are responsible for meeting their own targets.
3) Use a 360 Degree Feedback Method
Give importance to your remote employees and give them valuable feedback. Ask the clients and workers that interact directly and work with them to gather Intel to create a report. It will give a manager a broader and richer perspective on how the roles of each remote employee are perceived by others.
4) Make Use of Video Conferencing
Skype, Telepresence, Google Video Chat and MegaMeeting can help you get communicate face-to-face in real-time with your remote employees to discuss any important matters which need to be resolved immediately.
5) MBO for Realization of Goals
Management by Objectives is much better than Management by Observation for setting goals and objectives effectively and for developing action plans for remote employees. This will help you evaluate their performance because of their actions and output.
6) Interaction Is the Best Policy
According to the best psychologists in their fields, workers who work remotely usually work alone and are at an increased risk of fatigue and burnout. It is essential to communicate with them to tell them how important they are to the organization and to provide them with human support and contact to help build trust, a supportive and close relationship. Help alleviate their stress by validating their duties.