ACCUR Recruiting Services has long been set up to accommodate remote work — that’s part of what allows us to serve many cities all over the world and coordinate fully with our partners. Employees working in different time zones and from different locations is already a part of our day-to-day.
Many companies world-wide are not so flexible we have found, however. And with many workplaces disrupted by the emerging coronavirus situation, managers are scrambling to put in policies that will allow their teams to continue to work, even from home.
What Our Poll Showed About Remote Work
In our own confidential poll of office workers in our database (conducted on Thursday), we found that the vast majority were still expected to come into the office. As that may shift rapidly in the coming days and weeks, and so we wanted to provide some guidance on putting in place a remote work strategy for your team.
If you are contemplating having your employees work from home, here are some key questions that you may be asking yourself right now (along with their solutions):
How Will I Trust My Employees?
This question is always top of mind for managers who have never dealt with remote teams before as it can be a huge mental shift to not have employees within sight during working hours. Everyone knows the expression “out of sight, out of mind.” So who’s to say your employees won’t be tempted to binge on Arrested Development or mindlessly surf Instagram during the working day?
The answer to this question depends entirely on establishing a sense of mutual trust between you and your employees. And we don’t mean trusting them blindly, rather setting up a series of tools and policies that help you know that your workers are on task, and deliver against your business objectives.
What will help most:
- Clear communication
- Tools that facilitate connection
- Specific, trackable performance goals
How Will I Stay Connected?
Many offices already use chat applications so that coworkers can ping each other on projects. To that sort of setup you’ll probably want to consider adding the following:
- Slack: Slack is a chat application with much more robust features for teams, allowing them to create discussion areas that are specific to a group or project.
- Project Management Software: remote work can be made easier by applications that allow teams to track projects in the cloud. Popular solutions include Jira, Asana and Trello.
- Conferencing software: Popular options include Zoom and GoToWebinar. Slack also has conferencing built in.
How Will We Communicate?
Different teams require different levels of communication and “hand-holding.” The key when implementing a remote work policy is to have a sense of how often you want to communicate and stick to it.
Consider the following:
- Virtual “check-ins” for the whole team at certain points of the day
- Conducting regular meetings via teleconference
Your remote work policy can be a great time to revisit the meetings that are part of your employees’ days:
- what is their purpose?
- can they be streamlined or eliminated?
- could other forms of communication (like Slack) take their place?
How Will I Track Performance?
There is no one size fits all solution for gauging and tracking performance metrics, but with your workforce now distributed, it’s important to discuss with each employee your expectations for their time and performance.
You may ask an employee to set out:
- Daily or weekly goals
- A quota of calls or tasks per day or per week
- Sales targets
- Other key performance indicators
Make sure your expectations are clearly communicated and that your employee knows what they are working on and how to meet the standards you’ve laid out.
How are you preparing your remote workers?