How to manage employees who work from home
Telecommuting has seen a surge in popularity among employees and companies. As technology continues to evolve it improves connectivity and allows employees to work comfortably from home.
This can have a many positive effects for employees such as more time with family and friends and reducing the cost of commuting. The cost savings can also benefit the employer. As more businesses adopt telecommuting practices, the benefits are becoming very clear. One of the major benefits is the reduction of operational costs. An insurance giant in America known as Aetna reduced its office space by 2.7 million square feet. This saved them a massive amount of $78 million.
Productivity can also be improved for staff who telecommute. A study was conducted by Lonnie Golden the professor of economics and labour employments relations at Penn State. This study found that staff that are working from home log 5 to 7 more hours than staff in the office. They often will work even though they are ill or on holiday. Naturally achieving the higher levels of productivity must not come at the expense of the wellbeing of the employee. In a research paper by Leslie Perlow of Harvard Business School it was noted that office-based interruptions are all too frequent. However, interruptions don’t disappear once the employee is working from home. There are many ways that the employee can become distracted while telecommuting. The dog could be barking, washing machine is beeping and the home phone is ringing.
The first step to introduce telecommuting to your company is the put in place clear guidelines for the employees who are considering working from home. Having a telecommuting policy or set of guidelines in place can inform staff of the responsibilities and requirements that will be expected of them.
It is also worth noting that not every staff member will be able to telecommute. This is where the telecommuting policy can be very useful. An employee’s work ethics, responsibility and personality will come into play at this point. Taking the time to assess how the employee works and the expectations of that employee can be the most effective way to decide it telecommuting is the best choice for the worker and the company. Detailed assessment can allow managers to accommodate on a case by case basis.
One element of working from home is the security and compliance to GDPR regulations. This can often be overlooked when employees are accessing servers or cloud-based software. Setting up safeguards with the IT team can prevent potential breaches or hacks. This could be a part of the telecommuting policy ensuring that any equipment or programs supplied by the company must only be used for work related purposes.
Once the employee is working from home, they should be available during office hours while completing assigned tasks and projects. Some staff might be working in different time zones with different shifts to local staff. In order to keep track of the working hours being performed and project timelines, a time management system such as 1Time Tracking is vital. With 1Time Tracking each employee receives reminders about recording their time, so that nobody must micro-manage the completion of timesheets. 1Time also monitors current and projected costs in its Project Profitability solutions. This tracks employee contributions so that employees who are working from home can have visibility on their successful additions to the bottom line of the company. The best way to see if 1Time can meet your company’s telecommuting needs is to see for yourself by trying the free trial.