How To Ensure Your Remote Workers Remain Productive

In the new pandemic environment, businesses have had to adapt and be flexible to ensure their continued operation while observing health protocols. In that adaptation, working from home for those job roles that can be done remotely have certainly done so temporarily. This has represented a challenge for many companies that did not have a work-from-home culture. The struggle to create new policies to manage this effectively has been real.

My company has been operating with remote workers for over 13 years and below are some of the lessons we have learned. Some are more common sense than others. Some uncomfortable to address with the worker but all critical to making a successful transition. They are mostly around logistics of the working at home arrangement and also the nature of communications with the employee.

1.- Communicate Constantly: We highly recommend leveraging technology to maintain an adequate flow of communications with the employee. We have successfully used Whatsapp Groups to maintain timely communications among teams on certain company efforts. We have also instituted clock-ins and clock-outs so that team members keep each other accountable on time spent at work. We also require video calls to have the camera turned on which many employees dislike. Finally there are many tools out there to manage projects or regular activities that are free of charge and super easy to set up like Asana. They allow the data around projects or activities to be consolidated in one place allowing for a nice history and easy to find latest status.

2.- Managing Goals: We also recommend to require the employee to send once a week a summary of the weekly accomplishments, and additionally the goals for the upcoming week. Depending on the level of the employee this can be daily also. This exercise will stimulate both the employee and supervisor to think about the goals and objectives and ensure the focus is on the right efforts and activities. This exercise will also ensure full accountability and maintain productivity levels.

3.- In-Home Accommodations: I always require the employee to have an enclosed working space with a door. Working on the dining table or the living room is not an ideal situation unless they live by themselves. That enclosed space can be a study or a bedroom, with the idea of minimizing interruptions by other household members including children and pets. I also require a child care plan for children under the age of 16 for children receiving education from home during office hours.

4.- Working Habits: There is a topic here around personal grooming habits. Some employees may choose to wake up right before work and work in their pajamas neglecting their grooming habits. This tends to be very common in those employee with little experience working from home. We encourage the manager to use video calls everyday and also have a conversation regarding this topic. This kind of undesired work habits can even bring negative mental health consequences. Another topic is the consistency of the work schedule, and it needs to be discussed to avoid the employee having a different schedule everyday. We believe this kind of behavior needs to be discouraged, A consistent work schedule will also assist the rest of the family adapt to this new normal. Finally, working from home can lead to less mobility and less socialization. Each can be a problem on their own and we highly encourage the manager to discuss both with the employee. It will be up to the employee to find ways to compensate for both.

If you would like a free consultation on your transition to remote working please contact us for assistance.  We specialize in staffing services for remote international workers at a steep discount while attracting top talent.

Emerich Esqueda
Owner & Founder
Highland Force Staffing