The Growing Remote Workforce

Thanks to improved technology, an increasing number of employees are able to carry out most or all of their work from home. Smartphones, tablets, teleconferencing, and WiFi-equipped bookstores and coffee shops have made this possible. This presents a huge advantage for employers: the more employees that work from their home, the less money companies must spend. Many companies, for example, don’t have assigned computers and desks for each of their workers because so much of their workforce is working remotely. In addition, employees working remotely tend to be more productive; they’re not wasting time and energy driving to work every day. And they’re not exchanging office gossip in front of the water cooler when in the office.

Remote Worker Challenges

A major concern for most managers when choosing to have remote workers is, how does one monitor their work? How do you know that they’re actually working rather than just watching movies all day?

By setting sensible deadlines employers can keep track of their remote workers effectively. This is a change in managerial strategy; it puts the focus on the goal instead of the hours that the employee works. Ultimately, employees are the only ones who know when they work most effectively, even if it is from midnight to 4am.

Setting Remote Worker Deadlines

Setting deadlines is the easiest method to monitor the work being carried out by remote workers. Managers can set short-term and long-term goals or make something due every Friday. Additionally, a manger could have a weekly or biweekly meeting via cellphone or video chat to catch up on the progress of projects. This can put the manager and employee at ease.

Off-Site Not a Permanent Condition

Employers must remember, too, that remote workers don’t have to stay that way. If employers find 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 component of a remote working relationship. Employers must place some trust in their workers that they’ll complete their jobs on time. Workers must show that they are deserving of this trust by hitting their deadlines, delivering quality work, and replying quickly to phone calls or email messages.

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