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Whether for a day or a lifetime, we will likely all at some point be a remote worker in one capacity or another. An increasing number of businesses are now employing talent from overseas as well as more than 30% of employees working one or more days a week from home. As an employer, it is therefore vital to be educated on how you should be managing remote workers to achieve both maximum efficiency and happiness from your team.

By definition, a remote worker is someone who works outside of a traditional office. Reasons for remote working could include locality, illness and/or other responsibilities.

Like everything, home or remote working can bring its fair share of positives and negatives. You may have read my earlier blog discussing the benefits of working from home for employers, but what about the potential drawbacks?

From an employer’s point of view, having your employees work from home could bring any number of concerns, from relying on trust alone to potential security threats and poor communication.

So, how do you as an employer manage your remote workers and drive home working productivity?

Rely on the right remote working tools

Just as a craftsman cannot work without his tools, your staff will not be as productive as they could be without access to the same software they use at work.

Today’s technology advances have made this infinitely easier, from using productivity suites such as Microsoft’s Office 365 to installing managed remote desktops on your home worker’s computers. There are a variety of options available at business owner’s disposal when it comes to remote working tools and software.

Set clear expectations

Be clear with your team about what you expect from them as remote workers. Just because they aren’t in an office environment, should work continue as if they were, or are you happy for staff to work in a more flexible manner?

What should they do if there is nobody else available to watch their children two days a week or if they are only able to get a doctor’s appointment mid-way through the day?

You as a business should be setting clear expectations around what hours you require the remote team to work, their optimum email response time, availability to other team members as well as clients and anything else you deem important for the day to day running of your company.

Promote communication

There is little more important than great communication when running a successful business. If, for example your team move to home working for a period of time, ensuring they all remain in frequent communication with one another and you as a manager is key to delivering work on time and to the desired specifications.

Options for this could include managed mobile phones, managed firewall and router systems and installation of Slack or Microsoft Teams. Setting aside a couple of hours a week to have dedicated one-to-one video conferences with each member of your remote team is a great way to remain in touch, up to date, maintain trust and build on existing relationships.

Create task sheets

Another vital element of managing remote workers and boosting home working productivity is to know what they have planned for the week and if they have any additional capacity for new tasks that may come in.

A great way to keep an eye on this is by creating individual weekly task sheets for each member of your team, available to everyone in one online location.

Staying secure

A point we will speak about in more detail in our next blog, however I feel important to touch on none the less is staying secure.

As your staff’s computers will not be directly monitored by you, it is vital to ask them to install a reliable and up to date antivirus software as well as having a plan in place for maintaining your remote worker’s data security.

If you feel your business would benefit from our extensive knowledge in setting up and maintaining secure remote & home working software, then please get in touch with a member of our dedicated support team who will be more than happy to discuss potential solutions with you.

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