Whether you’re an employee or employer, you probably have some feelings about the benefits and drawbacks of working remotely. If you’re an employer, you know that some employees need the structure that accompanies a standard 9-to-5 schedule in an office environment to be most productive. If you’re an employee, you most likely value time away from the office to focus on your projects without any distractions.
If a company offers a remote work option, there are some easy and effective ways to increase the likelihood that the program will be successful. We’ve outlined a few of the best ways employers and employees can make it work:
Tips for Employees
- Stay in communication with your team. According to a recent blog post by Proven, a company that went completely remote in early 2017, communication is the number one tip for being successful as a remote employee. Using email, video conferences, and online chat, employees can make sure their work is seen and understood, regardless of their locations. Also, communicating schedule changes or other potential conflicts (well in advance of the event) will reduce frustration if someone can’t be reached.
- Create clear performance goals with your manager. While the task of committing to specific goals can seem daunting, it will provide you with a clear roadmap. This reduces the amount of confusion and uneasiness felt when it comes time for a performance review. In order to “hit it out of the park,” you need to know exactly what’s expected from you and your role.
- Stay organized. As Fast Company puts it, “A messy environment (physical or virtual) can make for a messy mind.” Staying organized while working remotely means tracking project deadlines, maintaining easy access to resources, and having a clear path for completing work each day. The more organized an employee is, the less work he or she will have to put in down the road.
Related blog post: Top 7 Tips to Increase Employee Productivity in 2017
Tips for Employers
- Ensure management is on top of each employee’s schedule. In order for an employee to be successful when working remotely, she or he would need to have a strong and open relationship with management. Employees should feel accountable, but not fearful about their job performance.
- Measure employee productivity digitally. There are countless tools for measuring and tracking employee engagement and productivity that help employers quickly find opportunities for improvement. Using a digital platform increases accuracy, and it makes pulling data at any time easy and fast.
- Provide clear expectations for employee performance. Workable’s work from home policy sample recommends that when employees plan on working from home, they file a request through the company’s Human Resource Information System (HRIS) at least two days in advance. Implementing such a process ensures that employees are held accountable for their job duties, regardless of where they set up shop for the day.
Each company is different, so finding the best approach for remote work will take some time. With a few processes in place, remote work programs can provide countless benefits for both employees and employers.
Related blog post: Working Remotely Makes Employees Happier and More Productive
This article was originally published on April 10, 2017.