Over the past 12 years, remote work has grown by as much as 159%, and shows no signs of slowing down. It's a convenient schedule for both employer and employee and can even increase an employee's work output. However, this is only possible if you know how to set employee expectations for this new workplace scenario.
Remote work is obviously quite different compared to an in-office workplace schedule. It is important to explain to employees what the company expects from them while working remotely and if those expectations differ from working in the office.
Here are some tips to guide you through this new workplace scenario.
When it comes to managing employees who work remotely, one of the most important factors is setting an expected schedule. When an employee is in the office, it's easy to know what hours they work. Once they're working remotely, you will need an agreement on the schedule and a way to track their work output.
A remote work schedule may be more flexible for the employee, but they should have specific work times that they know are expected. Left to their own devices, they may fall prey to distractions, resulting in a drop in productivity.
While a remote worker should keep a regular schedule, they also need breaks, just as they would get in the office. A lunch break and regular short breaks away from the desk and the screen is important to an employee's mental and physical health
One company that has a fully remote work force consulted their employees on a preferred work schedule and they decided to start an hour earlier and take a two-hour break from 11 am - 1 pm. Employees are free to do personal tasks during this break.
It is also important to consider different work roles. Some employees may need different schedules than others.
With the right employee monitoring software you can easily keep track of your remote workforce. There are several excellent applications available to do this. The software tracks and monitors how much time a remote worker spends on a specific task, site or app. This helps you get a better idea of what they’re up to during work hours.
If you have employees in several time zones you will need to take this into account when setting employee expectations for a work schedule. If you prefer a more flexible remote schedule, you can set targets for production or work completed in a certain time period.
When it comes to remote working tips and setting employee expectations, you should always make sure that you clarify what you want from your employees. Clear communication is the key to success when setting remote work expectations. Make every effort to connect with your employees, as you would if they were working in person.
Most importantly, you should make sure that your employees know exactly what they're supposed to accomplish each day. While you might have a work schedule set, that doesn't mean workers will accomplish all that they're supposed to for that day. For that reason, you'll need to be clear about the goals you want your employees to accomplish.
A good way to do this is to set a certain goal at the end of each day for your employees. That way, the employees will reach this goal and complete all the work they need to for the day. If the goal of each workday is a bit different each day, it is also important to specify what goals your employees should accomplish for each day.
Once your remote employees get into the rhythm of things, it will be much easier for them to output a certain amount and quality of work. But keep in mind that there is more to business than daily goals. Your employees may need to also work towards weekly, monthly, or yearly goals.
Remote employees need as much engagement and feedback as employees that work in person. Arrange regular team meetings with your employees, so that you can stay connected and informed and give them a chance to interact with other employees. It also gives remote workers the opportunity to stay abreast of developments in the company.
Team meetings also give the employees a chance to communicate with each other if they feel the need. At the same time, you should avoid having team meetings too often, especially video meetings. There is such a thing known as Zoom fatigue.
This is a new term that many have started using due to the exhaustion and boredom that results from being in too many video calls and meetings for work-related purposes. After all, some employees may not feel comfortable showing their face on video meetings for everyone to see. Inform your remote workers of the function to 'hide self-view' so that they are not constantly looking at themselves, which can be very introverting.
Some may feel that video meetings are not always necessary and that the same information could be distributed in another way instead.
For that reason, keep in mind that your team meetings don't always have to be in video form. Instead, you may have a team meeting that uses audio instead. That way, employees won't feel uncomfortable or pressured to put their faces up on video chat.
Just because your employees are remote doesn't mean that there shouldn't be a strong sense of work culture and inclusiveness. In fact, your employees should feel just as included when working remotely as they should when working in person. This kind of work culture is important for a variety of reasons.
It makes your employees feel that they are part of something bigger and more important. When they start working every day, they will feel that they are accomplishing something important. This will give them a better perspective on their work life and they might even be more motivated to work.
Another benefit is that healthy work culture makes employees feel like they are part of a big family. They will be more likely to connect and care about their fellow employees. This, of course, makes the entire company structure much stronger and more tight-knit.
You might try certain group activities that all the employees can do from their individual remote locations. For example, icebreaker questions are very simple and they allow employees to connect with each other in a basic way. Once the ice is broken, it will be much easier for the same employees to connect with each other on a deeper level.
From there, employees may feel free to offer other employees helpful work tips and other remote working advice. As someone who manages employees, it is also important for you to be involved. That way, you can see firsthand how your employees are connecting with each other and if your work culture efforts seem to be working
If not, you may need to try a few different approaches before you find some that work. Whatever the case, building a healthy work culture will help show the employees what they should expect when working remotely. It will also make the employees more comfortable in their roles at the company and more likely for them to enjoy their work lives.
For more tips on of dealing with remote workers visit the Amazing Workplace resources page