How Should You Handle Telecommuting Employees?

| January 15, 2016

How Should You Handle Telecommuting Employees?

With communications technology rapidly advancing, most companies are offering their employees the chance to work from home. However, some business owners are reluctant to do so. They believe that the productivity will suffer and their company will bear the brunt of it. There are several advantages of telecommuting as well. If you implement it wisely, you’ll be able to get the best productivity from your employees and offer them the flexibility that today’s technology allows people. Here are the steps you should follow.

Trust Them

Most employers hesitate to offer telecommuting to their employees simply because they don’t trust them to perform well. It’s a good idea to establish this trust before your start allowing remote work to your employees. The first thing you need to do is take a survey of just how many employees are willing to work from home or a cafe and how many would rather work from office.

According to the results of the survey, you can implement a plan that wouldn’t hamper productivity but would give your employees the flexibility and freedom to work from anywhere.

Don’t Change the Schedule Entirely

While telecommuting is well and good, face to face meetings are also vital. They allow the employees to feel like they’re a part of your company. Meetings will also allow employees to interact with each other and reconnect. It’s a good idea to reserve telecommuting for a 2 or 3 days in a week and call the employees in for the rest of the weekdays. This would allow you to communicate with the employees and help the employees stay connected with the company.

Clock in and Clock out Times

This is a great way to monitor your remote employees and telecommuting employees. It’s also a good way to help them stay organized and not work overtime. This way, you maintain a schedule that’s similar to the office schedule. There are software available that can allow employees to sign into work and sign out of work.

You should keep in mind that remote workers are just as likely to work overtime as they are to slack off. You need to make sure that neither of these things happen. Monitoring their working hours is the best way to do that.

Be Clear About Your Expectations

Once you’ve decided that you’re going to allow your employees to telecommute, it’s time to lay down the rules. This, again, would help you keep track of your employees’ productivity. Your employees will know what you might expect of them. Make your telecommuting offer conditional and let them know that you’ll only allow it if they perform according to your expectations. You should discuss the following:

  • Attendance to Meetings
  • Hours of Work
  • Productivity
  • Goals
  • Communication and Availability

If you keep these things in mind, you’ll be able to manage your remote employees well. You might end up cutting costs, increasing productivity, and encouraging creativity. As your employees can work for anywhere, they can work from gardens, cafes, or even silent home offices. That might just improve their performance.