Get the best out of your remote employees

Working remotely is one of the hottest work trends of the year. It’s a way of working that offers freedom and flexibility for employees, and it helps the employer to cut overheads – saving on desk space, office supplies and even tea and coffee!

Did you know that when staff work from home, productivity can increase? Without all the distractions that come with offices like impromptu meetings and chats around the water cooler, you’ll find that employees can focus on the task at hand.

So how can you make sure that remote working…works?

Set expectations

Time management is important for all employees, whether they’re working in the office or at home. Make sure you outline expectations so that staff know how many hours they’re expected to be “on deck” while working remotely. It’s a good idea to let them know which hours you expect them to be available too.

Do you have regular meetings or phone calls a remote worker needs to attend? Make sure this is clear from the get-go.

Try to find a good balance between managing your staff’s time effectively and being bossy. No-one likes to be micromanaged! A relationship based on trust and respect should pave the way for a great working relationship.

Work together

Is there an “I” in team? No way! Try to encourage collaboration between your at-home and in-house workers. Are there weekly meetings or team events your remote employees can attend? This can be a great way for them to feel included with the rest of the staff.

Did you know there are some great tools to keep communication lines open for remote staff? Virtual meeting rooms, instant messaging, Skype and FaceTime or cloud-based tools such as Slack and Trello, to name just a few.

Create balance

What about burnout? For remote workers, this can be an issue. Talk to your staff about finding balance when working from home. Encourage them to take regular, short breaks away from the desk. Exercise, fresh air and taking a moment to chat with others is important.

Let staff know that setting time aside to network and socialise is important too. Without these, the line between work-life and home-life can blur and cause stress. Something as simple as popping into the office for Friday lunch with the rest of the team can make a big difference.

So. Working remotely looks set to stay. With management, care and communication, it can work wonders for any business. With benefits for both the employer and employee, it’s a working win-win!