The latest trend in business is to allow employees to work remotely at home or other locations. The reasoning is that employees are now clamoring for more flexibility and want more control over their work conditions in order to successfully juggle their job and private life.
Remote workers are the wave of the future for many reasons. Monetary and productivity concerns are one of the underlying reasons why companies consider allowing their employees to work remotely.
Before plunging into this, you need to have a clear understanding of expectations and results for the tasks completed. Remote work does have many benefits for both the employer and the employee if set up correctly.
1. Set Guidelines that Allow for Flexibility
It is critically important that you set some guidelines for your remote workers from the very beginning. Remote work allows for flexibility in hours and in location. You can reward your employees by:
- Setting goals and metrics-rewards for reaching or exceeding these goals
- Allowing for input and feedback on progress through company channels
- Show support in allowing employees to set own hours as long as work is done on time
- Providing specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely goals and milestones
You need to understand that everyone doesn’t work at the same pace. At the same time, many of your employees will need some sort of stability to work effectively. When you set specific guidelines that your employees can follow, even if they are working remotely, you set the tone for your company.
2. Provide Clear Communication
In the past, you would have been only able to connect with your employees face-to-face or via the telephone. With the advent of the Internet and newer technology, you are now able to connect with them 24/7. Applications are now available that can help your employees to complete tasks that they wouldn’t have been able to do remotely in the past.
With live video conference apps and software, you are able to communicate any guidelines to your employees. The benefit of not having to provide equipment or office space can have a negative impact on your business if you don’t have clear and concise communication with your employees.
Good communications also increase productivity levels, so remote employees don’t get the feeling that they’ve been set adrift with no direction. Remote employees may not need the equipment or space that a traditional employee needs but they still need to be noticed and appreciated for their work.
3. Emotional and Physical Well-Being
One of the best rewards for working remotely is that there is less stress in trying to get to and from work every day. Remote workers are more likely to eat healthier than those who commute to work every day. Employees take less sick days and can work even when slightly sick with a cold. They also benefit from not being exposed to as many germs as they would be in the public building.
Work environments can vary, because employees themselves are responsible for the choice and design of their workspace. Remote workers have the freedom and full control over their work environment. However, being focused on the work in front of them, they might lose sight of time and forget to stretch and rest their eyes or it might slip their mind that the candles they lit to enhance their concentration and mood should have been extinguished hours ago, or they might not notice that the kettle they put on during the break should have long been removed from the stove.
That’s why it would be a good idea if the company collected some useful tips in the form of an electronic guide (a text, infographic or a video) in which they would share some recommendations as far as comfort and safety are concerned. Focus on the optimal ergonomics, lighting, ventilation, room temperature, décor, sounds, scents and home safety, to mention a few. This is a small but meaningful gesture on your part. It shows that you care about their well-being and want them to be safe.
Remote work is here to stay. In small and large companies, worldwide remote workers are providing more work than ever before. In the past, it was perfectly acceptable to reward traditional employees while ignoring those working remotely. More employees are clamoring for the flexibility that a remote position allows. Remote employees need to be respected for their work and rewarded accordingly.
Remote work is not for everyone. In some industries, work can’t be done remotely. You need to remember this when considering remote work. It is also quite possible that some employees will resist working remotely. It is necessary to consider each person’s emotional and social makeup before suggesting remote work. Routine, traditional work and having a set schedule provides some people with the emotional support they need.
Sandra Moncada is a cycling enthusiast, who frequently escapes to hang out with her literary and movie heroes. She is vitamin D’s biggest fan, who is passionate about meditation, Pilates and beating stress. When she’s not floating in the ocean or her outdoor pool, she loves to write about lifestyle improvements, self-development and stress-relief methods.
You can connect with her @SandramoncadaOh