As the world embarks in a highly technological era, businesses have already begun to transition and let loose from the conventional in-office work to the modern mixture of both in-office and telecommuting. The conveniences brought upon by the exponential development of technology have allowed businesses to incorporate flexible work arrangements for in-office and telecommuting employees.
Work arrangements, with emphasis on telecommuting, have become more viable because of the presence of ever-evolving technologies, such as video conferencing and cloud storage sharing. This has made working in the office no longer necessary. While more and more businesses invest in telecommuting, managing homeworkers has also become more challenging.
Ripple VAs understands this challenge and recognizes the need for businesses to implement efficient management strategies when handling homeworkers.
Here are the 7Es which will serve as a definitive guide for businesses on how to manage homeworkers:
Establish clear expectations. Everyone holds a different perception of what an “excellently done” task is, making it difficult for both the management and the homeworker to be on the same page when clearing expectations. Make sure to be clear with your expectations by showing sample works or explaining the work details. Expectations become easier to clear when both sides are on the same page.
Empower employees. Address the basics of homeworking by investing in reliable tools and equipping your employees with the tools and skills necessary for the job. After all, the business' overall productivity is affected if your homeworkers can’t download files or attend virtual meetings. Moreover, don’t forget to schedule virtual coaching sessions with your employees!
Engage regularly. Working in isolation can be quite challenging; hence, engaging with your homeworkers can help solve the problem. Engage with them through small talks and non-work discussions or even conduct virtual coffee breaks and virtual pizza parties. Recognizing your homeworkers for a job well done and celebrating company milestones together are also great ways to engage and motivate them.
Employ technology. The distance between your office and your workers’ homes can easily be bridged by technology. Leverage technology to connect with your employees by conducting face-to-face virtual interactions through Hangouts or Zoom.
Exercise respect and trust. Be sure to set work-from-home guidelines and establish structured daily check-ins and work systems. Once everything is laid out, you have to trust your homeworkers with tasks. Clear out uncertainties by monitoring progress and maintaining personal-work life balance for your homeworkers - do not call them beyond work hours!
Enable communication. Frequent communication with your remote workers increases engagement and promotes inclusivity. Keep in touch with your homeworkers by using different channels to communicate - email, calls, and video conferencing. Enabling frequent and open communication will prevent them from feeling distant and disconnected than they already are.
Emphasize on inclusivity. Homeworkers often feel distant, thinking that they are only of secondary consideration for the company compared to office-based workers. To keep your homeworkers connected and productive, emphasize inclusivity by including them in meetings, listening to their grievances, and engaging with them as much as possible. Invest in communication because fragmented teams need constant communication to keep them unified and productive.