An employee’s successful performance in the office setting does not automatically translate to a successful performance when working from home. Successful telecommuting requires more than general knowledge and talent. Employees also need certain performance skills, like the ability to work independently and drive their own progress.
Unfortunately, many businesses fail to provide their remote workers with the training and guidance they need to effectively work from home. This missed opportunity can lead to lost productivity, inefficiency, and a lack of employee engagement. But with some initiative, business leaders can provide their staff with the guidance they need to successfully transition from the workplace office to the home office.
The following 8 training and management tips can help employees stay productive while working from home:
Tip #1 Train in Phases
Unless an emergency situation creates an immediate need for remote work, management should implement a training program that rolls out in phases. Here’s an example of how that could look:
- Inform staff members of the switch to remote working
- Provide training/ refreshers on the tech tools that will be used for telecommuting
- Provide soft skills training to include time management, organization, and communication
- Start staff members with one day of teleworking a week
- Identify weaknesses and provide additional training as needed
- Gradually increase the number of teleworking days per week
A phased-in training process gives employees an opportunity to ease into the transition, while still having the safety net of coming into the office most days per week. It also provides more time to ensure that the right tools and resources are in place before a full roll out teleworking occurs.
Tip #2 Provide Technology Training
Remote work requires the right technology to facilitate adequate collaboration and communication. Business leaders must recognize that each worker has their own specific level of tech knowledge and skill. Even the most senior staff members may not be proficient in the necessary remote technologies.
Employers should devote adequate time and resources to training employees on chosen tech tools and resources. If teleworking is a future endeavor, in-person training is a viable option. However, for a business that has had to transition unexpectedly, many software companies offer online support that can assist with training employees remotely.
TimeSolv legal billing software offers web-based billing and time tracking software for all types of businesses. Its subscribers can receive extensive virtual training from their software experts, making tech training seamless for employers and their staff.
#3 Time Management Training
Time management is an absolute necessity for remote productivity, so why don’t employers offer training to help with this valuable skill? A variety of resources can be found on the internet for remote training. Business leaders may also find benefit in contracting time management experts to conduct training for them.
Remote employees need tips and strategies related to:
- Time tracking
- Establishing work routines
- Daily planning
- Scheduling downtime
- Usage of productivity tools
By providing employees with these educational tools, business leaders demonstrate their concern for and dedication to productivity.
Tip #4 Effective Goal Setting
Clear objectives also promote productive remote work, and goal setting starts from the top. Leaders must share the mission of the overall business with remote workers. They should set specific goals for them, with measurable results. By putting set goals in place, management can efficiently evaluate employee output and time management.
Employers should also encourage employees to create their own measurable objectives, which promotes greater independence and productivity. With goal setting at all levels of the business, employees feel like an integral part of the organization while also pursuing their own independent success.
Tip #5 Provide Assurance
One of the most intimidating aspects of remote work is the thought of working independently without the support that comes from working within the physical office environment. Remote workers need to feel confident in reaching out to their managers when the need arises, whether it’s for tech assistance or problem-solving.
Tip #6 Check-in Regularly
In a remote working environment, regular communication promotes greater productivity. Management should check in with remote employees weekly to assess their performance and personal well-being.
When working away from the office, staff members may not recognize areas where they could improve on their performance. Regular communication allows management to consistently review performance and offer guidance before small issues become larger problems.
Regular communications also help employers check on the wellness of remote workers. In an office environment, an employee’s demeanor or appearance can offer clues that something is amiss. Managers lose those physical cues when employees work from home, so they have to take a more proactive approach to promote a healthy work-life.
Tip #7 Encourage Employee Bonding
While some employees thrive in a remote working situation, others have a difficult time adjusting, especially when the transition happens without warning. Employee bonding can help thriving employees assist their struggling co-workers.
Management can encourage workers to connect by implementing a mentor program and creating opportunities for social interaction. With video conferencing and virtual team building activities, managers can successfully create bonds among remote employees.
Tip #8 Only Essential Meetings
Nothing kills productivity faster than unnecessary meetings. While regular communication is important for remote working environments, management should not overwhelm employees with unnecessary meetings and messages all day every day.
Of course, some meetings need to occur, but they should be precise and to the point. Managers should follow an agenda, so employees get the information they need and get back to work.
Business leaders should also choose a couple of communication tools and stick with them. When too many messaging and meeting systems are used, it can become confusing and frustrating for employees. It also creates a breeding ground for missed messages and costly mistakes. Employees shouldn’t create a remote culture where employees spend more time answering messages than doing actual work.
Use These Tips to Increase Productivity
Transitioning to a remote working environment can prove challenging, but there are steps that business leaders can take to promote efficiency among their remote staff. With these 8 training and management tips, remote employees can be productive no matter where located.
About Erika Winston:
Erika Winston is a freelance writer with a passion for law. Through her business, Personal Touch Edits, she helps legal professionals deliver effective written messages. Erika is a regular contributor to TimeSolv and a variety of other publications.