Worried about how productive and efficient your telecommuting team members are? I would be surprised if you actually stated that you are NOT concerned.
As a hiring manager, you probably already know there are many advantages to providing a telecommuting option to your team members. Being able to work from home can provide better work/life balance and can reduce your team members stress levels.
But the disadvantages can be many. So how do you help your team members be effective telecommuters?
Setting expectations right up front is crucial. These expectations can include things like hours of work, availability for meetings, response rate to emails and telephone calls, and other similar areas. I actually recommend you put these expectations in writing and make it clear to your team member that the continuation of a telecommuting status depends on their successfully meeting your expectations. If you would like a template for this, just let me know and I will be happy to email you one.
Jointly set performance goals. I am hopeful you already have a personnel development process in place and consistently work with your team members to set targets and individual performance plans to meet their individual goals. But did you know that challenging your team member to focus on continual improvement becomes even more important when your team member is remote. Why? Passionate people are switched on and focused. You want your remote team members to be involved even though they don’t see your smiling face every day, and them having personal goals aligning with your company goals will do just that.
Establish clear performance metrics. Distractions happen! Laundry needs to be done, children get sick, and repair men have to be scheduled. The old adage “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” is not going to be effective with your remote work force as holding your telecommuters accountable is critical. Make it clear to your remote team member that their work-at-home results are expected to be as good or better than the results they achieved while in the office.
Ensure a firm communication plan is in place. One if the largest disadvantages of telecommuting is that the team member loses the face time with you and the rest of the team. Establishing a regularly scheduled daily huddle with all the team members (remote or in the office) will ensure everyone is on the same page. Additionally, don’t make the assumption that because your remote team member isn’t asking questions or raising issues that everything is okay. Be sure you are dedicating some one-on-one time with your telecommuter to ensure they are getting what they need to be effective.
In any type of work environment there will be disadvantages and advantages. Having a plan of action can ensure your remote team is effective, with the hopeful outcome of keeping your team members happy while still meeting the needs of the business.
Written by Natalie Prigge
Dedicated to Every Client’s Success,
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