Soaring energy costs, downsizing, and commuter traffic are all factors in making working remotely the best solution for employees and employers. Remote work offers many opportunities and cuts costs, but it can be difficult to balance client and employee needs and happiness.
How do employers help maintain that balance? Here are some principles to help every working professional maintain a healthy remote work relationship:
When an employee works remotely, management needs to clearly communicate their expectations. State working hours and productivity goals explicitly, and make policies for rush delivery work and after hours work clear. Schedule deadlines, meetings. and conference calls well in advance and in a timely convenient manner. Presenting expectations as being in the employee and client’s best interest is essential. When management communicates expectations and planning for work-at-home employees, everyone wins.
A true craftsmen selects the best tool for every job, and so it goes with remote work. Whether it is a Virtual Private Network, or if your company already supports a service for teleconferencing by web or by phone, it is essential to choose the best service that meets everyone’s needs. There are a vast number of options available for multiple platforms, and when IT departments give testing feedback about each option, choosing the right app becomes a matter of choosing between best alternatives.
Remote-working employees will have issues come up. To think or plan otherwise is unrealistic. Illness, life events, and emergencies will interfere with their productivity. Having team redundancies in place and maintaining a healthy rapport with clients is key to minimizing the impact on productivity when the unexpected arises. Employees need flexibility to feel secure in their job while dealing with the occasional crisis. Building trust between all parties is important to any healthy working relationship, but it is especially vital when employees work remotely.
As with any successful and productive team, it is impossible to overstate the value and importance of effective communication. Team members working remotely should make themselves as available as if they were in the office. No matter which media is used, effectively sharing information and communicating regarding ongoing projects and work according to remote work policy is essential. Remote employees also need to communicate immediately if they will not be able to contribute or complete work so that workflow remains uninterrupted.
Productive team communication is essential to maintaining healthy and happy client, employee, and management relationships. These four principles are enough to get any business started on the road to remote work success. Maintain and maximize them within any business or organization, and reap the benefits of a happy and productive remote workforce.