Telecommuting has risen 79 per cent from 2006 to 2016.
Remote work has steadily been on the rise. Having all your employees in one place and reporting to one office is just not a smart option anymore. Firstly, it limits your company to talents within your geographical scope and, secondly, relocating great talent costs a lot of money.
More and more startups are embracing this shift – what with the rising focus on talent rather than proximity – as employees are oftentimes scattered across several countries. Aided by the internet and a slew of services to help manage and increase productivity, implementing remote work for part or the whole of the workforce has been made easier.
But before you decide to let your employees work remotely, here are some things to do to ensure that your business operates smoothly and gets the most out of it.
First thing’s first: only hire people you can trust
Or, since you can never really be sure about employee work ethics until you actually get to work with them, only hire people that you want to risk trusting. Have a hiring process that allows you the chance to gauge how candidates’ work; do not limit your interviews to finding out what their skills are. Take more time to ask about how thy work in their previous jobs to give you an idea of what to expect.
Remember that you aren’t running herd on a bunch of five-year-olds.
Sometimes, it is a matter of self-fulfilling prophecies: people would act the way you treat them. If you over-police how your employees are spending their time, you run the risk of causing unnecessary ill will from employees who feel stifled and not trusted, which may in turn affect motivation and productivity. Treat your employees like the adults that they are and they will step up and be adults.
Make use of a reliable communication method
In this world of constant mobile connection and online collaboration, there is no lack of tools to use in communicating with anyone, anytime, anywhere. Choose one that fits well with your internal processes and that every member of your team has access to; require your team use it for all work-related communication. It has the added benefit of keeping everything organised under platform.
Cultivate a culture of accountability
A company’s culture should not be left for chance; it should be carefully designed and thoroughly implemented by the management. You should ensure that each employee is aware of the impact of his contributions to the company’s achievement of goals. A startup whose employees have a strong sense of accountability is like a well-oiled machine whose parts know exactly what to do.
Establish a strict updating system for remote work
While a culture of accountability goes a long way, you still need to be able to track and measure the performance of your employees. Establish a reporting process and ensure that everyone complies. One challenge of having employees working remotely is that you have very little information about how they are doing – how well they are adjusting, do they need assistance or mentoring, are there issues or questions they may need to discuss, and other such information that can easily be observed in an onsite employee. A defined process for updating not only provides you with information on how your company operations are running, but also gives you insight on the general well-being of your employees.
Have a remote working job you want to fill? Head on to the e27 jobs page and post your talent needs for free!
Feature image credit: solerf / 123RF Stock Photo
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