Ensure Work-from-Home Employees Maximize Corporate Performance


The number of people working remotely will surely continue to grow, especially in light of current worldwide health concerns. In fact, many companies may soon be faced with mandated work-from-home provisions due to circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While remote work can be a win-win situation for employers and employees, corporate managers often fear employee misuse of the freedoms that come with the arrangement. Workplace Fairness, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for and promotes employee rights, has advice on how to best maximize corporate performance under these conditions.

Identify clear expectations from remote employees. Key elements of this communication include the hours to be worked, amount of work to be completed each day, task prioritization, guidelines for the amount/timing of communications with management, etc.

Ensure remote employees have the proper tools. Not only does this include corporate laptops and other needed tools, but also ensuring they can log in and input data via corporate portals that will assist management in tracking employee progress, performance, needs, etc. Doing so will reduce the need for managers to utilize valuable time in personally tracking and evaluating such data.

Regularly monitor employee progress (and needs). Employers must regularly follow up on employee progress to ensure that corporate objectives and expectations are met, and also to ensure that the company is there to offer assistance to any employee who, for whatever reason, is struggling with the “remote” proposition.

Interact regularly with remote employees. All employees need some degree of support and morale enhancement from their management and key associates. This, in turn, bolsters productivity and acknowledges that remote employees have not been forgotten nor their contributions overlooked for performance evaluation or promotion consideration.

Place trust and faith in remote employees. Virtually every employee wants recognition as being an important asset to the company. While some may intentionally or inadvertently misuse remote working privileges, most will not — especially if given the proper guidance recommended above. Managers need to avoid the extremes of micromanagement and inadvertently placing too little emphasis on mutual communication with their employees.

Properly managed, the remote workplace can benefit employers and employees alike.

A ‘Win-Win’ Proposition for Employee and Employer     

In the days to come, many employees who may not have considered doing so may be asked to work from home. In addition to the responsibilities of the employer, discussed above, Workplace Fairness offers tips to employees — which employers may find helpful to share with newly remote employees.

Create strict, uninterrupted times for work. Make sure other household members — and outside parties who might be inclined to call or visit — understand and respect work boundaries that the work-at-home employee has set. Don’t spend time on social media or personal calls — and don’t answer the doorbell.

Ensure care for any children at home. Daycare, family, friend, or maybe pair-up with someone else who has been asked to work from home, for instance trading childcare on alternating days or splitting each day so both have uninterrupted work periods.

Be sure to have all necessary work tools prior to starting the workday.

Pre-arrange with employer to have corporate electronic access through the company’s firewall.

Create an office workspace dedicated to the employment. This “office sanctuary” may have the added benefit of being an office-in-the-home tax deduction as well.

Stay “plugged in” to the employer. Communicating directly and often with management and key associates via conference calls and video chats will enable work-at-home employees to “stay in the loop.”

Dress appropriately when working from home. People are more likely to be in a “working mood” when showered and dressed than when working in their pajamas.

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