Find the right fit. While most employees may need to work remotely at one time or another, not everyone is suited for the role, at least on a regular basis. When you are interviewing, ask questions that uncover the candidate’s work ethic, style, and goals. If the candidate asks for a remote option on the front end, be sure they are up to the task. Investing more time to place a better match on the front end will save you time in the long run.
Hold employees accountable for their work, rather than for punching a clock. Let your employees know what is expected of them and hold them accountable for completing projects up to standard and on time. While coming into the office late doesn’t warrant a performance discussion, missing a deadline does. Provide ongoing coaching and feedback to make sure your employees stay on task.
Provide tools for success. If your company has even one employee who works remotely, providing the technology to do the job is a must. Running into a technical issue while trying to accomplish a task is frustrating for your employee and costly for your business. If you have inconsistent or unreliable systems, upgrade your technology. Investing now will save you money later.
Make sure your employees feel connected. If you have multiple employees who work remotely, you may have already noticed there are few days when everyone is in the office. Schedule team meetings when all your employees are onsite and plan regular face-to-face check-ins with each staff member. Teambuilding outings, lunches, and other group activities go a long way towards building camaraderie. While your employees will appreciate being able to work remotely, there is no substitute for in-person connections.
While you may be considering the pros and cons of a remote workforce, chances are that sooner or later you’ll need to offer a work remote option to stay competitive in recruiting and keeping top talent at your organization.
Sherrie Whatton is President/CEO, LBMC Staffing Solutions, a division of LBMC, a premier Tennessee-based professional services firm. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615-309-2428.