Telecommuting has become one of the most popular benefits companies offer.
Whether it’s one or two days a week or full-time work at home, telecommuting can be a challenge.
Not just for the folks who work off-site, but also for their direct supervisors back in the workplace.
Here are four ways supervisors can ease the difficulties and help telecommuters get top results:
1. Communicate up front
Managers should let remote employees know when they expect them to be online, available by phone, text, email or chat.
Despite the fact mobile workers are in another location, managers should emphasize it’s an “all hands on deck” policy for everyone.
2. Keep track of productivity
Many telecommuters are self-starters who are more productive in a non-office environment. But there are always some workers that will abuse the privilege and slack off.
Here’s how to handle it: Set specific guidelines and expectations from the start. Output should be monitored to ensure daily deadlines and targets are being met.
3. What about meetings?
Employees should be briefed on what meetings they are required to attend, including unplanned pow-wows. The next best thing is virtual meetings, like Skype or Google Hangouts.
4. It’s a matter of trust
A successful work arrangement comes down to trust, which is earned over time and works both ways.
Managers should assure telecommuters they are at the ready to give direction or help solve a problem.