5 ways to encourage remote employees to be more productive
Hiring remote employees at this age and time is nothing new to many companies and employers. The constant internet access, development of smarter devices, and the advancement of cloud computing and other office tools has largely contributed to the success of work-from-home setup.
The number of employees or companies adapting to this setup have increased since. It is a cost-effective setup where companies are able to gain more productivity at a lesser cost. Remote employees can work longer and beyond standard office hours which saves employers from added regular overtime pay rate.
While getting remote employees to work for your company may be cost-effective on your part, there can be several challenges you may take on with it. There are people who cannot be as productive in an under-supervised work set up as they can be in a setting where there is direct supervision. An underperforming employee may not be as cost-effective as the setup is all about. Hiring someone who has never had an experience of working remotely may take a much longer time to train. Quality control maintenance may become difficult because of the absent direct supervision. Communication may become a problem in settings where employers and employees have different cultural background. Having remote employees working more than regular employees can be a short-term benefit to companies. The longer time they spend working can later result to getting burnt out in the long run.
To sum all those challenges up, they all boil down to having the risk of getting underproductive working performance because of the limited supervision and support employers can give to their employees. However, despite the challenges, many companies have found ways to make it work for them and have done quite a good job at it. Here are 5 ways for you to do to help your remote employees become more productive,
Keep communication lines open
In a virtual workspace, communication is vital. It will not need to be frequent but it has to be scheduled. While emails are a great way to get your points, reminders, and the other important things be read and reviewed, word written (with the absence of the tone and the likes) are subject to interpretation. In many cases, they can be misinterpreted. Make an effort in handing down important things verbally prior to writing them down via email. Video chats are great venues of engagement between the employer and the employee. You get to speak while seeing your employee and be able to acquire ideas about your employee’s personality and on his or her office setup.
Know them on a personal level
Working remotely for a company can feel isolating. Connect and bond with your remote employee by asking about his or her self or family. Ask them casually where they can talk more relaxed and be able to answer you better. Remember that to know your employee better, do not just ask about the weather today.
Establish a performance measurement
With the limited employee supervision, keeping track of their performance can be difficult. One good way to beat it is the use of time-tracking tools. There are different types of software available to help you keep track of the time they spend working and if they are being productive. However, you must remember to track the performance and not your remote employee’s presence. This is most true in cases where the employee lives in a different time zone as yours. To make it work, allow your employee some flexibility. As long as they are being productive – with no work getting held up, it doesn’t matter what time they get their work done.
Offer opportunities to help them grow
All of us want to have meaning in everything that we do and this is especially true to employees. The company may provide benefits to its employees, but it means more to them if the company provides them means to help them grow. Allow them to participate in mentoring and other activities that will help them become better at their profession. They would appreciate being part of your team or company when they know that they are being groomed to something more.
Don’t forget to appreciate
Like regular office employees, appreciation plays a huge role in playing out their productivity. Appreciation makes them feel important to the company. It creates an assurance to them that even when they are only connected to you online, their efforts are seen and appreciated. Showing you appreciate them doesn’t have to be grand and expensive. It just has to be sincere. Words can even suffice.
There can be many other ways to help remote employees become more productive, but as long as they are happy in the way they are being compensated and appreciated, things would be much easier for you.