More companies are adopting and embracing programs like telecommuting, giving employees the freedom to work from home on their own personal mobile devices at any time.
Although telecommuting programs have had success in cutting company costs and increasing productivity among employees, there are still ways to ensure that employees aren’t taking advantage of their new-found liberty.
With that said, here are seven methods to maximize the effectiveness of telecommuting employees.
1. Express Your Expectations
All of your employees should share the same vision as your company has. If your employees are distributed all over the place, it’s your job to make sure that all of them are marching toward the same goal.
Once your employees know your company’s mission and what you expect of them, they can execute orders independently without comprising your company’s objectives. Remember that your employees can’t follow directions unless they know what they are.
2. Create an Online Presence
If you want to maximize how effective your employees are at working at home, make sure you push them to create an online presence and maintain it. Since everyone is using the online platform to get ahead, it’s important that you tell your employees to showcase their personalities while doing so.
This helps them connect more to potential clients and customers. Being that they’re working from home, encourage them to use their surroundings to engage others online.
3. Employ People Who Can Write
Since most of the communicating you’ll do with your employees who work from home is done through email or instant messaging, it’s important that you hire people who write well.
Although you should still try to use the phone or any other convenient media to communicate whenever you can, most of your communication will happen in writing. If you don’t have employees who can communicate clearly in writing, you won’t maximize the effectiveness of your employees working from home.
4. Empathize With Employees
It’s no secret that people tend to be more empathic toward others in person rather than over an Internet connection. During personal encounters, people are often understanding and kind, taking people’s feeling and emotions into account.
Contrarily, through email, those same people can end up being more critical and rational than need be. Since body language can soften some of these interactions, remember to remain mindful of that when you’re communicating online.
5. Encourage Transparency
If you want your company to succeed, you need to be as transparent with your employees as possible. This is even more important in a virtual setting, where people can easily get lost in the shuffle and not know what’s going on inside the office.
Employees need to know and feel that they’re not being excluded just because they’re working on the go. Encourage people to open up and trust one another no matter the physical distance between them. Set an example and your team will follow.
6. Measure Performance
When employees work from home, it’s easy to forget that they’re part of the company and need guidance like everyone else who works in the office. To become better workers and contribute more toward your company, employees need to know how well or poorly they’re doing.
Without proper reviews of performance with constructive feedback, employees at home can get in the habit of turning in mediocre work without ever knowing it. Remember to measure performance on a periodic basis and keep your employees in the loop about how they’re doing.
7. Adjust Accordingly
To maximize the effectiveness of telecommuting employees, you have to sometimes be honest with yourself and your employees. If you’ve taken a look at your workflow automation software and noticed that some of your work-from-home employees aren’t performing well — even after you’ve let them know about their lack of performance — then perhaps it’s time make an adjustment and bring them back into the office.
There’s no shame in admitting that something isn’t working out, but ignoring the problem or not being aware of it is one way toward failure. Also, if an employee isn’t working at home, don’t rush to make any rash decisions.
Maybe that employee is better suited in the office and will work out for you in more ways than you ever thought. Remain diligent and adjust according to how you see fit.
Managing and motivating employees who work from home isn’t an easy task, but if you implement some of these methods it’ll definitely help you in your quest to mobilize your company.
Have any other tips? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.
Author Bio: Jane Miller is a freelance writer who loves to write about anything from tech to mommy stuff. She is featured in many blogs as a guest writer, and can write with authority on any niche or subject.