The Growing Remote Workforce

April 18th, 2012

Remote working is becoming more prevalent in the business world today. This is possible because of advancements in technology; i.e. smartphones, tablets, and the growing number of public places that have WiFi. There can be numerous advantages for the employer and the employee. Remote workers are often more productive, and they are less of a drain on the company resources. For example, you don’t need to have office space and furniture for remote works. And the advantage of adjusting their schedule to fit their life is a huge plus for the employee.

Remote Worker Challenges

A major concern for a lot of managers when deciding to have remote workers is, how does one monitor their work? How do you know that they are actually working rather than just watching movies all day?

By setting realistic deadlines employers can monitor their remote workers successfully. This is a change in managerial strategy; it puts the focus on the goal rather then the hours that the employee works. Ultimately, employees are the only ones who know when they perform most optimally, even if it is from midnight to 4am.

Setting Remote Worker Deadlines

This could be the easiest way to monitor your remote workers. Employers could decide that a certain amount of work needs to be completed by Friday. One other way would be to set up weekly or bi-weekly meetings via phone or video chat. To resolve any feelings of detachment some employers may ask that a remote worker spend one day a week in the office. This can help keep everyone on course and informed.

Off-Site Not a Permanent Condition

Employers should remember, as well, that remote workers do not have to stay that way. If employers see that their off-site employees are not meeting deadlines or are delivering sub-par work, they can require that these workers return to the office on a full-time basis. Trust continues to be the key element of a remote working relationship. Organisations must place some trust in their workers that they’ll complete their jobs on time. Workers must demonstrate that they are deserving of this trust by hitting their deadlines, turning in quality work, and replying quickly to phone calls or email messages.

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