Today, close to 4 million Americans do the majority of their work from home. That’s more than double the number of telecommuting employees than there were in 2005. While there’s no doubt that traditional office culture has undergone massive changes over the last ten years, many companies are still struggling to keep up with current workplace trends and adapting to them with ease.
Depending on your company culture, remote work can either cause more performance issues or solve many of them. Many employers believe that telecommuting makes managing employees that much more difficult, although there are now digital solutions, like remote work management software available to facilitate this kind of environment. On the other hand, it allows workers more freedom to use their time as they please, and enables them to work without facing increasingly bad motor traffic
The Rise of Remote Work
The percentage of employees who work remotely has risen for both part-time and full-time workers. The majority of these employees prefer telecommuting for a number of reasons, such as dealing with fewer distractions and boosting their overall productivity. This is especially true among millennials and younger workers who are more comfortable outside of the traditional office environment.
Millennials are not a generation keen on sitting in one place for too long. These modern workers are more likely to feel productive while working outside of the office, and in many businesses they can. Technology now offers solutions to facilitate communication from any location and won’t compromise the ability to collaborate. Yet the growth of remote work has also led many employers to expect their employees to be available outside of typical office hours.
Are Remote Workers Productive?
The first question most managers have about telecommuting is whether it will negatively impact employee productivity. While every industry and company culture is different, research actually indicates that employees accomplish more when working from home.
That said, companies that allow more telecommuting opportunities have to adjust their employee management strategies. These are some of the best ways to help optimize your approach to remote work:
Leverage digital solutions:
As mentioned above, there are countless applications available to keep remote workers in the loop and enable consistent communication. Switching to Google Drive, for example, will allow employees to view and edit materials no matter where they are, and others can collaborate in real time.
Schedule regular meetings:
It’s important to interface with each employee at least once a week, even if they don’t come into the office. Messaging and email are usually sufficient for daily communication and minor issues, but you should schedule time for regular one-on-one or team sessions to keep everyone on the same page. After all, it’s hard to manage someone you don’t take the time to get to know.
Meet up in person:
You may not be able to see every worker in person every week, but it’s still worth scheduling after-work drinks, retreats, and other events to stay in contact with your employees. This is a great way to reconnect with your staff and get to know them outside of work-related communication.
Remote work is quickly changing the way businesses approach employee management, and it’s not going away anytime soon.Your employees are your company and should be given the right digital tools to succeed no matter where they are in the world. Once you are able to set your employees up for success, trust that they will make the most of their time being productive.
These tips will help you get the most out of telecommuting workers and maintain a high-performing culture throughout your organization.