If you’re working from home, you’re not alone. In fact, more employees are working remotely now more than ever. Because of the benefits to both employers and employees, the number of employees working from home is likely to increase.
For example, employees save time and money when they don’t have to commute; they don’t spend as much on business wardrobes or eating at restaurants; and they have much more flexibility overall than if they had to travel to an office.
Many employees appreciate the greater sense of autonomy, the ability to control their work environment, and the opportunity to spend more time with their families. Remote employees also save their employers money. Smaller office spaces usually cost less than larger ones and overhead is generally lower as the number of remote employees increases.
While nearly all employees are happy to give up their commutes, there are tradeoffs to working remotely. It can be isolating for people — especially those who identify as extroverts. It can also be difficult to draw boundaries between work and home life. Many people are easily distracted while working at home — whether by family or chores around the house — and may find it harder to collaborate with or stay connected with co-workers.
Another issue that affects employers and employees is how to manage the performance of remote staff. When employees work on-site, it’s easier to keep tabs on what types of work they are performing, offer feedback, and stay connected. Managing the performance of remote employees may take extra effort, but it can be done efficiently and fairly.
For example, remote employees should be given specific work requirements so they know what is expected of them. That may include their daily schedule and hours (and whether or not those hours are flexible), and allotted time for lunch. Regular check-ins between managers and employees can help team members stay on track and allow managers to better assess the type of work employees are performing and the quality of that work.
Managers should also be proactive in giving feedback, recognizing that remote employees rely on it to judge their performance and progress. Regular communication can also help alleviate employees’ feelings of isolation and reduce work-related stress.
For more information about managing remote employees, check out the infographic below.
Author Bio: Sara Drake is Director of Marketing for Advanced Resources, a talent solutions organization headquartered in Chicago. Drake, who has 15 years of experience in the industry, focuses on talent solutions through staffing, consulting and workforce solutions.