Remote workforce? How to make it work for your team
A traditional approach to managing your team may consist of ensuring everyone is “clocking in and out” of the office every day. For some businesses to function, there may be a requirement for all staff to be working in a centralised office. However, if your business allows for remote working, it could be an option to consider.
Due to the rise of awareness regarding flexible-working, many employees are increasingly eager to work remotely and feel able to put the requests in to their employer. There can be many benefits depending on your business model for having a remote workforce; saving on office costs, retaining talent and saving on travel time. Remote working does not have to mean that you are disconnected from your team and thanks to skype, internal intranet business forums, and ease of access to conference calls keeping in touch with your team is easier than ever.
So, you’ve decided your business model can support remote working and you see the benefits? How can you make this work for your business and your team?
The most important factor is trust. A trusting relationship between you and your employees is essential for a remote workforce.
If there is a question of productivity, does being glued to your desk all day really ensure high-levels of productivity? For some, this is a definite yes, but others it is a case of work ethic and commitment. If your team have the autonomy to ensure their working hours are completed, it can actually make them more productive.
Here are a few things to consider if you have remote working in your business;
- Carry out a lone worker assessment; It is essential to establish a safe working environment for lone workers even if they are working from their own home. It will often be safe to work alone but before an employee is allowed to work alone, the risks must be assessed which include but are not limited to; ensuring the working environment is safe, how the individual will deal with a health and safety issue whilst working and how remote the location is that they will be working from.
- Involve home-workers in face-to-face meetings; as I suggested earlier, the ease of conference calling may encourage you to overlook the importance of having face-to-face meetings, but don’t let it! Remote workers should be as involved with team meetings and PDR’s as office workers are, this creates autonomy in the workplace and ensures you can treat all staff equally and fairly.
If you need any help with ensuring you are complying with remote-working regulations or if you need assistance with the transition of an employee’s work conditions, get in touch on 020 3936 9171 or alternatively email, firstname.lastname@example.org