While increased productivity is a benefit regularly sited as a perk of implementing a mobile communications setup, some businesses have concerns that in actuality the opposite would occur. Broadening the physical reach of your unified communications network could mean that you have more employees working from home or offsite on customer calls. It’s reasonable to fear that after you’ve given the inch, the employee will take a mile.
To address these concerns, here are some ways to regulate how productive your employees are, even when they’re out of sight.
Scheduling regular touch points with your staff is one such way to keep them accountable. Implement a weekly or daily video conference call for all to set expectations for the week and report what they’ve accomplished since the last call. This will help keep everyone connected and will help you, as a business leader, to keep track of the work your employees plan to put in that week. To piggyback on this concept, you can also throw in a midweek check-in for each individual remote employee just in case they require assistance with a project or for you to receive updates.
If you’ve got a sales force on the streets, asking them to provide regular sales calls reports will help ensure that your customers and prospects are actually being visited. Keeping a call log also helps your reps keep track of customer interactions and aids them in making better decisions regarding their accounts in the future.
Use Project Planning Tools
Implementing a shared project planning tool increases your visibility to what is currently being worked on. Project planning programs allow employees and management to assign tasks to one another making something that may typically be communicated over and email more actionable.
Standing by a Well-Defined Company Culture
Lead the change and empower employees to be productive on their own by infusing standards into your company culture. If the atmosphere in the organization fosters the impression that working from home is a privilege given to your workers because you care about their quality of life, that you want to treat them like responsible adults and not sneaky teenagers, and that you’re trusting them to respect their paychecks you’ll have an easier time with compliancy.
Pay close attention beyond a person’s resume when hiring new employees. In an environment with no walls it is increasingly important that your employees share the same core values as your company. Having strict standards and being upfront about expectations helps to weed out the bad eggs before they become a problem.
While it’s natural to feel uneasy when most of your staff isn’t under the same roof, keep in mind that telecommuting has many benefits to not only the employer but also improves the lives of the employee by offering greater flexibility. Don’t worry, it’s not difficult to realize who’s slacking off… they’re the ones not meeting their deadlines!