Home workers are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts—and they're happier and less likely to leave their jobs too. However, managing at-home employees can be difficult if you don't have the right mindset and the right tools for the job. Learn the key questions you need to ask before you start transitioning some of your staff to at-home employees.
Do you have the right employees for the job?
Most people would probably jump at the chance to work from home—the advantages of not having a long commute and being able to work in their pajamas if they want appeals to a lot of people. But some people are more suited to working from home than others. Ask yourself if you have employees who would still be effective from home:
- Are they self-motivated? An employee you have to keep pushing to meet deadlines isn't going to be a good home employee.
- Are they trustworthy? You have to feel comfortable that your employee is not going to take advantage of the situation with minimal work.
- Do they communicate well? Since you'll be relying on communication tools like email, the phone, or video conferencing, you need someone who has the ability to grasp information quickly and convey their thoughts clearly and concisely.
Do you have the right technology?
Whatever department you want to move into at-home positions has to have the right technology for the job. You need to do a thorough overview of your available technology then consult with your communications solutions partner about what new equipment you need to bring on board.
For example, your at-home staff can probably benefit from the advanced cabling services that can handle voice-only calls and visual communications in order to make productivity easier. You may want to consider upgrading phone systems to wireless headset systems that make it possible for your employee to move around the home office while still participating in a conversation with either clients or other employees. For more information about these services, contact companies like ACC Telecom.
Do you have a feedback system?
One of the worst things that you can do when starting at-home employees out is to assume that everything is going to work right the first time. There needs to be a feedback system that you can use to make the experience easier for the at-home staff and help increase production. There are some problems that are bound to come up after you get started that no amount of pre-planning can prepare you against.
Make sure that you do more than just provide a feedback system—listen carefully to what your employees are saying and be open to change, even if you only agree to try something suggested on a temporary basis. The more flexible and open you are to suggestions, the more responsive your at-home team may become. Plus, that puts more responsibility on their shoulders for the success of the program from which they directly benefit.