The Work From Home Employees topic is not new, in fact it has been used successfully in businesses for many years. But it is still a touchy subject with many business owners and management. The greatest fear is abuse of the situation, that the employee will actually be sitting in front of the TV or surfing the web instead of producing work product for the company.
As we coach our business owners and managers on the possibility of allowing work from home employees we suggest they consider these tips:
The Obvious First Tip to examine - Is this even viable within the product and services you offer? There are business environments that simply could not be supported with work from home employees. Perhaps a few of the job descriptions could be handled from a remote setup, but if it only works for a few it is probably not a good idea to allow it at all as it would likely create dissatisfaction on the part of the majority who could not enjoy this benefit. We advise our clients to give the overall affect on the company a thorough examination before starting down this path.
Consider Flexibility In The Plan - The second tip is to keep an open mind and take a flexible approach during the process of researching and examining how Work From Home Employees might be a fit for your operations. One example of flexibility is maybe it would work to allow them to work at home part of the time, maybe 2 days a week from home and 3 days a week on site.
Use Technology - There is an App... well for almost everything! Use them to help you oversee the productivity and work flow of Work From Home Employees. Do not just trust they will do a high level of productive work while they are working from home. Put technology and systems in place that prove out their work output. In fact you should consider doing this even if they work onsite. Some people are able to be highly organized, efficient, and productive without supervision or accountability and some are not. It is not an insult to any employee to put production and accountability in place. And in fact you will likely find that the high producing employees will welcome this.
Be Demanding but Do Not MicroManage - Micromanaging is one of the most negative impacts on employee motivation, and it is counterproductive because it means you are spending your time reviewing and watching over everyone's work flow instead of spending that same time planning the growth and prosperity of your business. So how do you be demanding without being a micromanager? See Use Technology above - same topic but set up the systems and technologies with minimum performance requirements daily, weekly & monthly.
If offering Work From Home is a good fit for your business, then move forward to create the plan, systems and technologies to put it in place. It is one of the most appreciated benefits you can offer your employees. Many employees would take a work at home option over a pay raise.
Not sure if it is a fit or unsure about the best way to set it in motion? Give us a call and Let's Talk About It!