In 2013, the global mobile workforce is supposed to reach over one billion people. One billion. Don’t ask me how I know this, I just do. (Or, you can do a Google search and find out all sorts of interesting facts yourself.)
So with the population of remote workers increasing, it’s not a matter of whether or not your company will start allowing mobile workers. It’s more a question of “when”. No time like the present to get prepared. Preparation is key! Just like Alexander Graham Bell said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” The entire business model is moving towards mobility. Will your business be able to keep up?
Perhaps one of the biggest concerns managers have when it comes to allowing remote workers is not being able to manage employees who aren't in the office. However where there is a problem, there is always a solution. Below are some steps you can take to stay consistent with your management policies, even if your employees aren’t right under your nose:
KEEP COMMUNICATION LINES OPEN
This is imperative! Regular weekly meetings to stay apprised of projects and weekly progress is a good place to start. Here’s a tip: start on time and keep them brief. When your employees realize they only have a limited amount of time to speak, they will become remarkably efficient with their words and their time. Need some help with meetings and conferences? Metro Offices video conferencing is a great way to accomplish this.
And make it fun! To encourage your employees to be on time to meetings, every month (or week or bi-week)you can have some sort of incentive. Maybe a gift card to Starbucks or a few extra hours of vacation.
HAVE CLEARLY DEFINED GOALS
Sit down and write out your projected plan for your remote workforce. This plan needs to have goals, and specific ways to measure progress on projects. Be sure to detail your objectives.
HAVE ON DEMAND SPACE READY
This is a no brainer! Of course you will need somewhere (other than their homes) to send your remote workers. Set up a DC meeting space here.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Feedback is great way to refine your ideas and help work out the kinks. Ask employees about their concerns with working remotely, and also why they may be in favor of it. Having their input can help immensely with a smooth transition.
KEEP CORPORATE CULTURE ALIVE
Now you need to be more aggressive with scheduling face to face time for colleagues. Be consistent with inviting everyone to company happy hours, team building days out, and holiday parties. This will help everyone socialize and network, which will strengthen their working relationships.
These suggestions are sure to help smooth out a potentially bumpy road. Hopefully it will give you peace of mind during transition time!
For more information about setting up a teleworking space, contact Metro Offices here.