Top 10 Tips for Managing Performance of Remote Workers
When implementing a flexible and remote working strategy the question is often raised about how the performance of remote workers can be effectively managed.
Trust impacts productivity whether workers work in the office or remotely and the cream of the crop adopt a management by objectives approach as opposed to over observation so that trust is maintained while productivity is measured.
They set goals and action plans with remote employees, then evaluate performance based on outputs or results. When employees are fully involved in goal setting and action planning, they are also more likely to fulfil their responsibilities.
Here are some tips and approaches for managing remote workers:
- Establish clear objectives & team goals – Remote workers should have objectives from day 1 and understand how they fit into the purpose and vision of the team and deliver team objectives.
- Required standards / expectations should be clear from the outset and shorter timescales can be helpful
- Reflect on the worker’s performance objectives in regular meetings, specifically whether they are meeting their objectives.
- Observe the quality of work, for example whether the worker is frequently asked to re-do much of their work, just as you would an office worker.
- Considering whether the worker completes tasks in a timely manner and meets deadlines. Consider also whether the worker’s time spent on work tasks is comparable to their office based counterparts.
- Use NPS or client surveys to enquire about the level of service the worker has given your clients.
- Conduct random checks such as reviewing the workers telephone calls, email exchanges or internet usage but ensure that this is normal practice across the whole workforce, remote and office based so that you maintain Trust.
- Monitor the worker’s creativity and the value they add to the workforce.
- Understanding individual roles – ensure the worker has a clear job description and organogram showing how the roles fit together.
- Celebrate improvements in team performance on your weekly round up calls. Call out any drop in team performance but don’t name names. That should be done on one to one calls.
Offices can be extremely distracting places and that’s one of the reasons that we’ve seen increases in productivity. At home people don’t experience what is known as the “tea and cake break” But perhaps the over riding reason for increased productivity is attributed to the fact that the people at home worked more hours.
The beauty of employing remote workers is that they tend to start earlier, take shorter breaks, and work while everyone else commutes. They do not run errands at lunch and Sick days for employees working from home plummet. This is backed up by research such as CTrip who saw productivity increase by at least 13.5% 9% of which was because the remote team were working while the control team commuted.