Working from home? You’re not alone — the number of employees working from home rose by 173% between 2005 and 2018. The number of remote workers is likely to increase, considering there are myriad benefits to remote work for employees and employers.
Employees save time and money by forgoing commutes; they don’t have to spend as much on work wardrobes or eating out; and enjoy more flexibility overall than if they have to travel to a workplace.
Remote employees also save their employers money. Smaller office spaces usually cost less than larger ones, and overhead is generally lower as the number of remote employees increases. Meetings that might have been in-person if staff worked in the office can be accomplished through Zoom calls. Further, many employees may be able to be even more productive without the distractions of a noisy office. However, with these benefits come new challenges, such as staying connected with and managing the performance of remote staff.
When employees work on-site, it’s easier to keep tabs on what types of work they are performing, offer feedback, and touch base. Managing the performance of remote employees can be more challenging, but it can be done efficiently and fairly.
For example, remote employees should be given specific work requirements, so they know what is expected of them. That may include their daily schedule and hours (and whether or not those hours are flexible), and allotted time for lunch. Regular check-ins between managers and employees can help team members stay on track and allow managers to better assess the type of work employees are performing and the quality of that work. It also gives managers a chance to address any issues that may have arisen while the employee works from home.
Managers should also be proactive in giving feedback, recognizing that remote employees rely on it to judge their performance and progress. Regular communication can also help alleviate employees’ feelings of isolation and reduce work-related stress.
The accompanying resource describes practical strategies for employers to use with their remote staff. More effective performance management can benefit individual employees and the company’s productivity as a whole.
Author Bio: Sara Drake is Director of Marketing for Advanced Resources, a talent solutions organization headquartered in Chicago. Drake, who has 15 years of experience in the industry, focuses on talent solutions through staffing, consulting and workforce solutions.