Heavy reliance on telecommuting offers companies significant flexibility and team-building advantages. However, the strategy comes with challenges as well. Namely, measuring productivity levels for a remote workforce can be complicated. Still, with the right policies in place, you can get as much from your geographically diverse team as you could when they all gathered together in the same place.
The coronavirus outbreak likely launched a golden age for remote workforces. In truth, though, COVID-19 only accelerated a process that was already well underway. Even before COVID-19 struck, remote work was on the upswing. For instance, one study indicated a 44% growth in remote work over a five-year period and a 159% increase since the mid-2000s.
But as organizations have become more reliant on remote workers, it has forced a revolution in management. Employers have had to alter their patterns of supervision in order to get the most out of their off-site employees.
While a work-from-home structure requires new forms of management, it doesn’t mean productivity needs to suffer. On the contrary, statistics suggest a sunny outlook for the modern workplace. For example, one data set suggested that remote employees actually put in more time on work-related tasks than their on-site cohorts. The figures showed that the off-site team members work more than 40 hours a week 43% more than staffers who come to a central facility.
Still, getting the most out of your work-from-home employees takes a coordinated effort by everyone involved. Here are some strategies for measuring productivity levels of your remote workforce:
Create a Productive Culture
Start with the basics. Every employee should understand that maximizing productivity is among the top priorities at your organization. Make it a central aspect of your working culture. Meanwhile, reinforce the commitment by keeping people connected and maintaining accountability.
Emphasize Results Rather than Process
With remote work, you aren’t able to oversee most aspects of your employees’ methods. Trying to micromanage every detail will likely get too expensive and cumbersome, and it can lead to significant tension with your workers.
Instead, give your workers significant freedom about how they conduct their work. At the same time, though, maintain high standards about the output they produce. In other words, focus on results rather than process.
Provide the Right Tools
Remote work relies heavily on technology to be effective. Give your team the tools they need to excel. Provide communication and productivity software that maximizes their ability to perform. At the same time, make sure they have the hardware and training they need to reach the highest level of output.
Set Transparent Expectations
Vague instructions can become a significant time-waster, especially when you’re operating with a large number of remote workers. If your telecommuting team goes off in the wrong direction, you might not know about it until significant resources have been squandered.
Do what you can to avoid this trap. Rather than trying to communicate with brief emails and five-word texts, take the time to detail your expectations in explicit terms. It will save a lot of headaches down the road.
Define Clear Deliverables and Quantifiable Targets
Another area that should be as clear as possible: what your workers are supposed to produce. They should know what constitutes “success” in your eyes.
As such, you should define key performance indicators (KPIs). These quantifiable targets make it clear whether someone is achieving expectations or not. At the same time, the products you expect your employees to create should be well defined. Establish what you expect in terms of a deliverable, so your remote workers know what they should be creating on a regular basis.
Whether you rely heavily on remote work or use it only to complement a sizable on-site workforce, team-building is the key to reaching the highest levels of productivity. With the right people, anything is possible. Finding these top-flight workers can pose a challenge. This is why partnering with a high-powered recruiting agency, like TriStarr, can make a huge difference.
Contact TriStarr today to find the type of team members who can take your business to the next level.