The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Career Discussions. Allowing your staff to work remotely is double-edged sword. It can boost productivity and it cause a decrease in productivity as well. It’s something that has to be properly managed. The following contributed post is entitled, When Remote Work Goes Wrong.
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Not so long ago, remote options seemed like the holy grail of the working world. For the average workforce, there could be nothing better than the security of set salaries and the freedom to work when it suited. And yet, as recently as the last two years, remote work has become just another way that we do business.
Now, 70% of workers spend some time operating remotely. In large part, this is because employers noticed how beneficial it can be. Employees get to manage their life/work balance at last, while employers get to enjoy the benefit of increased employee satisfaction and productivity Not to mention that remote work can help to reduce the prices which come with a commercial space and even the need to waste time finding the perfect business premises in the first place.
But, for all the articles boasting about the benefits of this way of working, there’s little mention about what can go wrong. And, sadly, remote work can go very wrong if you aren’t careful, especially during the transition stage. That doesn’t mean it can’t still work for you, but it does mean you might want to consider the following before you implement it.
The question of health and safety
As a manager, you have a responsibility to keep your team safe. That applies whether they work in the office at home. As such, you should seek home working-specific health and safety training courses like those offered by EssentialSkillz straight away, and make sure to apply that new knowledge to your changing arrangements. Make sure, too, that you ask employees to assess their work environments, and let you know about any risks so that you can take the correct action.
The small matter of rules
You should also consider rules as you make this switch. If you still expect your team to work office hours, for example, you must make it clear to them. Equally, be transparent about things like uniform. If you have conference calls, the last thing that you want is a remote worker going live in a hoodie and sweatpants. To avoid that, be clear from day one that you still expect your team to present a professional image, even when they’re at home.
Can’t forget about contact
Contact is also vital. When your team isn’t next door whenever you need them, it can cause issues and delays which look terrible to customers. This is especially the case if you can’t get hold of remote team members for extended periods. Avoid that by implementing contact plans ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to conduct a morning meeting with remote staff using programs like Skype to start communications in the right way each day. You should then also ask every team member to stay logged onto a program like Google Hangouts, which will allow you to get hold of them at a moment’s notice whenever you need. And, that can go a considerable way towards smoothing the remote journey for all.