The news media and business publications have actually concentrated a lot of attention just recently on handling remote workers in IT and information-based corporate settings. As a result, there have actually been plenty of studies done about the advantages for the workers, the benefits for the business– as well as the advantages for the earth– that stem from this kind of work plan.
However utilizing a mobile workforce is nothing new. Small and mid-sized entrepreneur who operate in select service areas have actually been handling remote staff members for years. Yard care and landscaping companies, delivery services, cable/phone/satellite suppliers, repair work employees and others should all follow the work. They’re not cooped up in a workplace or tied to one area– and they never have been.
Regardless of whether your remote work plans have actually happened in feedback to workplace trends or the functionality of your line of work, managing a remote labor force can be complexed. Communication concerns, dependability and accountability issues, time tracking problems and even more can turn the management of remote employees into a living problem. So exactly how can you simplify your business’s operations in order to get the most from your remote employees?
Hire Terrific Workers
It could seem simple, but avoiding issues begins with having a trusted labor force in place. That implies making the effort to veterinarian possible staff members completely and making certain that any new hires plainly understand their duties, the business’s expectations and the repercussions related to failing to fulfill those requirements.
It’s appealing to hire someone based upon their resume skills and certifications, however even excellent workers do not always make good remote staff members. Some individuals have to be managed in order to remain on task– which’s nearly difficult when you’re depending on the individual to police themselves in a remote work environment.
Measure Goals Not Actions
Avoiding micro-management (except in crisis scenarios) is important for performance in any workplace– after all, being micromanaged is the top reason staff members give up, whether they’re remote or not. This management style can also drive owners and supervisors crazy attempting to ensure everything gets done precisely the way it should.
Rather, take a go back and trust the employee you’ve employed to do his/her task. Measure and handle the conclusion of specific objectives and accomplishments, rather than tasks. If the task gets done, does it truly matter how it took place?
Accurate Scheduling and Time Tracking is Vital
Even with remote employees, conventional bookkeeping processes still use. Guaranteeing your employees are where they’re expected to be when they’re supposed to be there is important for developing client trust, preserving performance and removing crisis “issues” prior to they occur.
Also, remember that standard pay rates and reductions still apply– even if staff members aren’t in-house. You still have to track and pay overtime, employees’ settlement, taxes and everything else, just as if you were running a stationery business. Thankfully, there are lots of different software application and hardware options offered to help you can do this (a few of which are noted further down in this short article).
Keep Communication Lines Open
Remote business– whether it includes distributions, services or something else– have to be able to quickly adapt to change. Traffic, weather condition, client schedules and illnesses can all drastically change the face of your day in a heart beat. As a result, it’s essential that your workers remain connected. Mobile phones (particularly those with push-to-talk performance) are a great option, but also consider e-mail, walkie-talkies and cloud-based message boards as a crucial part of your company’s communication strategy.
Even if everything appears to be running smoothly on your end, your employees may have a very different impression. Allowing your workers to give feedback– and actively encouraging them to do so– allows you to spot potential problems with communication, scheduling and management styles before they occur.
As an example, your employees may be having trouble with the job tracking software you’ve opted for– however instead of bringing it to your attention at the risk of looking “stupid,” they might choose to keep quiet if you do not encourage feedback. Before you know it, the whole system is falling apart and a previously good employee seems to be the heart of the problem. Really, it’s just a usability issue that’s easily solved by a little on-the-job training. Keep your eyes and ears open for situations like this and reward any productive feedback you do receive!
Technology for Managing Remote Employees
If you aren’t yet using technological solutions to help manage your remote workers, consider any of the following hardware and software tools– including When I Work, of course– to make your job easier.
Push-to-Talk— Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all offer push-to-talk (or even “Direct Connect”) options that permit you to instantly call employees over wireless networks.
Fiels One— A web-based mobile management suite that’s customizable to fit any business or market.
HiveDesk— File sharing service which permits multiple workers access to the same documents.
FlexiServer— Allows you to unobtrusively track remote computer use.
Producteev— Web-based “to do” list that’s shareable across multiple employees.
Telenav from AT&T— A GPS-linked fleet navigation system which permits for employee reporting.
GPS Commander— Quite possibly the leader in GPS fleet tracking.
Remember, these hardware and software options are just as good as their execution. If you do choose to go the technological route, make certain to also buy proper training and continuous system management for best results.
Handling a remote workforce can be challenging but technology has made it easier today than ever before. However, technology can’t replace good management skills. Hiring great employees, ensuring accurate and timely communication and demanding employee accountability are the true keys to keeping your remote business running smoothly.
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