COVID-19 has left almost every business across the globe with
Hobson’s choice; remote work or nothing at all.
While the concept is new for some and tried-and-tested for
others, the myth around low productivity when working from home prevails. But,
if you put the right productivity metrics in place, the loopholes can be
identified, and remote work can be streamlined. In many ways, managing
self-monitoring employees is easier than overseeing staff who need constant
supervision and direction. Self-managed employees are typically responsible, self-sufficient,
and self-motivating. However, to ensure that work projects stay on track and
that goals and objectives are being met, an oversight system should be in
place. This ensures that staffers are on track and provided with the resources
they need, while keeping you apprised of their progress or difficulties they
To attain productivity in telecommuting, every worker needs
to have clear expectations and clear feedback. You should establish a structure
for checking in. Request status reports and project updates or be available for
periodic in-person meetings. This creates a level of accountability and helps
you stay on top of their performance.
Create Goals and Measurements
Remote employees should have specific work productivity goals
and objectives in place. For example, a sales representative should have
appointment or sales quotas he's expected to meet. Establish these parameters
with the employees to ensure they are appropriate and attainable. Revisit goals
periodically to ensure you are not asking too much or too little of your
staffs. Coach, rather than direct, to see increased results.
Communication in this period is very key. If you do not hear
from any of your employees on a regular basis, establish a schedule for
checking in via e-mail, phone or even text messages. This allows you to
maintain contact, makes you available if an employee needs managerial support,
and allows you to monitor projects and troubleshoot potential issues before
they get out of hand.
Conduct Performance Evaluations
Just as a regular performance assessment is conducted,
schedule a performance evaluation for your remote employees, as well. This
allows you to touch base on job expectations, check the status of goal meeting,
exchange information, set new goals and objectives and look for ways to improve
performance. It also provides an opportunity for employees to give you feedback
on your management approach.
Remote employees might not always feel as energetic as they
would if they are working from a physical location. As an employer, you should
encourage participation in staff events and activities, brainstorming sessions,
all-staff meetings and corporate retreats. Create a sense of camaraderie by
copying these employees on group e-mails and encourage them to participate in
internal surveys and focus groups. This will help to create cohesion, and potentially
will increase job satisfaction.