With flexibility in jobs becoming more and more important to employees, remote working is on the rise. So much in fact, that it is estimated that by 2020, around 50% of the UK workforce will work remotely.
‘Flexi-time has increased by 12.35 per cent from 2012 – 2016 (ONS), and last year, the TUC found that the amount of people remote working has increased by nearly quarter of a million (241,000) over a decade.’ – smallbusiness.co.uk
Remote working is great for both employee and employer, with a long list of benefits for both, which were discussed in our previous guest blog. Staff are free from the stress of commuting and are able to work flexible hours, whilst business’ save money on office space, running etc. As long as your business can still run smoothly, there really is no reason not to incorporate remote working.
However, as with everything, remote working is not without its problems. It’s easy to imagine; having the freedom to work at home, sitting around in your pyjamas all day with a million and one things to distract you. Whilst remote working has the benefits of an improved work/life balance, it also requires a lot of self-motivation. Hiring remote employees requires an awful lot of trust, as your staff are essentially left to their own devices. Employers often worry that without the watchful eye of management, will the work get done?
However, as our guest writer discussed in our recent blog, the increase of remote working is the way the world is headed and all in all, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. This in mind, Triple Three Solutions will be discussing how you can motivate your remote workers from a distance, to make the most out of your business.
Trust & Communication:
Remote workers or not, one of the most crucial parts of any successful employee/employer relationship is trust. Businesses are sometimes unwilling to incorporate remote working as they think that work will not be completed at the same pace as within an office. However, with good communication and clear, set guidelines for working remotely, this needn’t be the case. Bear in mind that hiring remote employees may require you to reassess your management style. Ensure your employees have clear task descriptions and you answer any questions they may have. However, be sure to not be overbearing, constantly checking in with them throughout the day; as this can be off-putting, suggesting a lack of confidence and not to mention, time-consuming.
When hiring remote workers, it can be easy to get hung up on the hours that they are working. You see that they aren’t working 9-5 and wonder if and when they’re getting all the work done. However, in this case, it is crucial that you stay focused on the productivity of the employee, rather than the time that they work. Remember that one of the biggest advantages to remote working is the ability to work on your own timescale, allowing employees to work when they work best.
Take an interest in their working environment:
We have previously spoken about the importance of a good working environment. Be this the workspace itself, the people or anything else. Here at Triple Three Solutions, we believe that just because you are not providing the workspace for your remote workers, it does not mean that you shouldn’t care. There are a number of environmental factors that could be hindering a remote worker from staying engaged in their job. Get to know your employees and the situations in which they work; there may be something you can do to help.
One of the potential downsides of working remotely is feeling disconnected from a workforce. This can lead to a lack of motivation and productivity, along with a negative effect on mental health. With no frequent interaction between colleagues, remote workers can feel isolated and lose sight of their importance in the company. Luckily, modern day technology makes it easier than ever for colleagues to communicate. With web-conferencing apps such as Skype, project management tools such as Monday.com and more; there are plenty of ways to ensure your remote workers can speak with yourself and each other. Along with this, frequent newsletters may help remote workers to feel valued and keep in touch with your organisation as a whole.
For more information on remote working, employee engagement or any other HR issues, feel free to get in touch. Give our HR Consultants a call on 0333 050 3330 or contact us via email at email@example.com.