Mastering the art of working remotely means dedicating the correct amount of effort and time, but completely worth the investment once you start seeing the amazing results. Due to the recent unprecedented events, it has forced many teams to transition and adopt new working environments. Excelling and delivering top performance results require commitment and organizational skills that should be embraced by each of the individuals on our teams. Remote working has several advantages, one of them being the amount of savings for our employees, such as: time, gasoline, working at a more comfortable environment, wardrobe expenses, etc., and even physical and mental energy that could be better spent on work-related activities. However, it also comes with opportunities that the savvy manager needs to prevent and the employee must learn to overcome. Whether you work through a staffing service or directly with a company/employee, this article will give you some pointers to take into consideration.
One characteristic that is near universal across industries, is the need for an adequate quality/level of communication. Advances in technology have been changing the way humans interact for centuries, but in the context of all human history, these still seem very recent. Face-to-face/in-person communication is something irreplaceable and authentic, but unfortunately, working remotely has a tendency to decrease and even eliminate this type of communication. Due to the effect of distance, most remote working employees will connect using traditional/easy access means, such as telephone or emails. Managers with teams working remotely should promote virtual meetings regularly (once or twice per-week if it is possible), and make sure that they are providing their employees with the tools and hardware necessary, to avoid connectivity issues.
Another challenge of working remotely is finding difficulty of measuring accountability and/or productivity. For centuries, employees could easily observe that those above or below them in the hierarchy were “putting in their time” due to their desks or work-stations being typically close to each other in a traditional workplace. Working remotely changes dramatically this aspect, because most of the times the company doesn’t have a clear idea of what the employee is doing within the privacy of their own home. A helpful way to manage this situation is for the company and employees (both employees hired directly and temporary personnel hired through staffing agency services), to be clear up front about the metrics that will be used to measure productivity – e.g. set adequate KPI’s to measure performance.
Lack of community among employees, specifically in some departments and teams may sound familiar, but the good news is that it doesn’t have to stay that way! Challenges can be addressed, turned around and be taken as an opportunity for temp and direct hire employers, to make inroads, build loyalty, bond with their employees and come out much better than before.