How to Make Sure your Remote Workers are Working
Going into a remote working relationship can be daunting however when outlined the benefits are clear.
15:31 30 October 2018
So, remote working finally being widely accepted as an alternative working arrangement, and employees are much happier for it, the benefits on both sides are clear. However, it can seem daunting for employers new to it.
Going into a remote working relationship can be daunting however when outlined the benefits are clear. Remote working allows flexibility in the maximum distribution of resources possible and on top of that it can have some serious cost saving benefits. In a 2009 survey, Cisco found that it had saved an annual 277 million USD by allowing employees to work remotely.
The study identified that on top of savings in electricity and office outgoings, 69% of employees also cited increased productivity.
Immediate questions that crop up commonly are ‘just how do I keep a track of my employees?’ (read: ‘how can I make sure my employees are actually doing their work and not just bunking off, getting paid for nothing?’)
This seems to be the main crux that some business owners and managers are unable to let out of their minds, trust is key, however to make the transition easier there are systems and programs that you can use to make it easier.
Tick is a project management tool that helps with time management, you can have running timers for each task within a project. With this you can effectively manage budget by assigning times to each task and project.
With HiveDesk you can utilise features such as screen sampling and easily check in and out for your remote team meaning they don’t have to notify you every time they return e.g. from a break. HiveDesk is great for keeping track of productive time from your employees.
TimeCamp is great to use as it has automatic time tracking for applications and sites being used actively. By downloading an add on you can see sites which your employees may be spending too much time on.
Timely uses an automatic time tracking feature using AI and your data is kept in a secure, private time line. Timely’s AI uses your recorded work and groups it together and suggests time entries, so you don’t have to log anything! You can check these entries to see if Timely got it right and, if not, you simply just change the entry titles.
Tsheets is a great, easy way to track your employees’ work; they are able to clock in and out with just one click. Tsheets works on both mobile and desktop, [It] works wherever you do. Other features include reports, logging overtime and scheduling.
Aside from the great number of apps that exist, you can always use good old-fashioned methods, such as communication. Keeping up communication with your remote employees is important both for you and them as according to a Buffer study 21% of remote workers said that loneliness is a disadvantage of remote working.
You, as a manager are in charge of morale and communication, even for remote workers. There are a few simple things that you can do to support your remote workers, while also making sure that work is completed.
Make sure that you have regular communication with your remote employees. It’s easier to create a schedule and stick to it, that way you and your workers know exactly what to expect. That familiarity of a 10 o clock call or conference can make the world of difference.
Emails are great, they’re easy and quick, however they’re also just words on a screen, fairly impersonal. Phone calls are better however why not try using Skype or video conferencing to communicate, putting a face to a name is important to build that relationship.
This goes without saying really to any manager. Make sure your workers know exactly what they need to be getting on with, and make sure there is a clear priority list on tasks so that everything is completed when it needs to be with the level of detail it requires
You’re going to be communicating a lot over the phone, so if there is a problem with a system you need to make sure you either have a system to fix it or be able to guide the user to fix it themselves. It can be frustrating trying to communicate over the phone, the more you know the easier it will be.
Ultimately, make sure you’re not sucked in to a regressive attitude when considering remote working for your employees, results show that it can improve productivity, worker morale and most importantly save you (as a business) money in the long term. Others are already doing it, why not consider it.
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