The advent of employees working from the home continues to rise, a trend that will surely continue in the future. Corporations recognize that an increasing number of employees – particularly millennials and contract workers in the “gig” economy – value this option and that it is a tool to better attract and retain employees.

Benefits to reducing brick-&-mortar expenses, such as utility bills, are also an attraction to many employers. Still others are faced with mandated work-from-home provisions due to unforeseen events such as the coronavirus pandemic. All of these factors will ensure that remote workplace activity will only increase going forward.

Having said this, many corporate managers fear employee misuse of such freedom.

Here are 5 steps to ensure that creating a remote workplace environment for employees is a positive, beneficial step for the company.

  1. Identify clear expectations from remote employees. Key elements of this communication include the hours to be worked, amount of work to be completed each day, task prioritization, guidelines for the amount/timing of communications with management, etc.
  2. Ensure remote employees have the proper tools. Not only does this include corporate laptops and the like, but also ensuring they can log in and input data via corporate portals that will assist management in tracking employee progress, performance, needs, etc. Doing so will reduce the need for managers to utilize valuable time in personally tracking and evaluating such data.
  3. Regularly monitor employee progress (and needs). Employers must regularly follow up on employee progress to ensure that corporate objectives and expectations are met, and also to ensure the company is there to offer assistance to any employee who, for whatever reason, is struggling with the “remote” proposition.
  4. Interact regularly with remote employees. All employees need some degree of support and morale enhancement from their management and key associates. This in turn bolsters productivity and acknowledges that remote employees have not been forgotten, or their contributions overlooked for performance evaluation or promotion consideration.
  5. Place trust and faith in remote employees. Virtually every employee wants recognition as being an important asset to the company. While some may intentionally or inadvertently misuse remote working privileges, most will not – especially if given the proper guidance recommended above. Managers need to avoid the extremes of micromanagement and inadvertently placing too little emphasis on mutual communication with their employees.

Properly managed, the remote workplace can benefit employers and employees alike. Follow the above-mentioned steps to ensure it is an asset on your organization’s behalf.

Post courtesy of Workplace Fairness.org

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