Owning a business comes with a ton of responsibility.
You have to manage your marketing campaign, social media profiles, website analytics, and customer complaints and inquiries – among other things. There's one topic, in particular, that's occupying the minds of business owners around the world. They want to know whether or not they should let their employees work from home.
A two-year study from Stanford revealed that remote workers are generally more productive than their office-dwelling counterparts. The remote workers in the study were 13% more productive, took fewer days off and were more likely to work their full shift every day.
If you're considering letting your employees work from home, here are some insights you can use to make their time as productive as possible.
Invest in time management software.
Procrastination is the biggest hurdle that many remote workers face. Time management software can help employees in allocate and use their time efficiently. You may have to pay to give your remote workers access to these tools, but it could drastically improve their productivity.
When employees use programs that track their time – and more than likely track their work through periodic screenshots – they are far more likely to stay on task and get their allocated work finished daily.
Establish quarterly goals (with rewards).
Another way to help your remote employees stay on task is by assigning them quarterly goals. For example, if you have an employee that is working remotely as a cold call marketer, you may want to establish a goal of at least 200 calls per day and an average of two sales per day.
As the quarter progresses, you may notice that some days they exceed their goals and on other days they don't hit their targets, but that's expected. The important thing here is your employees know exactly what you expect from them, and they understand their job criteria and goals, which helps break up the confusion that may arise when you're not meeting with your employees face to face every day.
You could take it a step further and offer incentives to employees who reach their established goals. Let's go back to the cold call example. If your employee goes above their goal of two sales per day, you could offer them a per-sale bonus on their paycheck. This tactic is commonly used in-house by telemarketing companies. These companies offer their employees an extra five dollars per additional sale, which could easily add up to an extra $100 to $200 on their paycheck if they do exceptionally well.
Hold video conferences.
Video meetings are a great way to help employees be more productive. Isolation is a massive problem among remote workers, and a face-to-face meeting can help with this problem. There are certain behaviors and nuances that we lose over basic text chat. A video conference is a great way to connect with your remote workforce.
You'll build solid working relationships with people when you're able to talk freely, ask questions and discuss barriers. There are plenty of video conference software options you can use to hold your meetings.
Besides fighting isolation, a weekly video meeting can help your remote team stay on track with their weekly or quarterly goals. If you have a meeting where everyone discusses their goals and whether or not they are on track, you can smooth out any task management issues before it escalates into a problem that costs your company time and money.
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Communicate with remote workers every day.
In conclusion, there's one core element to making your remote workers more successful. The key is communication. We've all grown accustomed to seeing our employees in person every day, so it makes sense to have daily check-ins with remote workers.
As you're planning to switch your employees from office to home office, think about some of the ways you're more productive when you work from home. Also, consider what you do to stay productive when you have work-related things you need to complete from home. Odds are, these are the same factors that will help you create a happy and productive remote environment for your employees.