The Coronavirus pandemic necessitated the rapid rise of telecommuting. Most businesses had to quickly adapt to a remote strategy in order to keep their operations running amidst quarantine and social distancing requirements. While this may have seemed like a temporary arrangement at the start of the pandemic, it is now becoming clear that work from home and flexible scheduling are not going anywhere anytime soon.
Benefits of Continuing to Allow Employees to Work from Home
Even after the crisis is over, many employees will likely be looking for positions and employers that offer them flexible work situations and the good work/life balance that this trend towards remote work has brought. In order to entice top talent in your field and maintain positive employee retention, it is a good idea for most businesses to create long-term work from home strategy.
For some businesses, there may be additional benefits to telecommuting employees. Studies have shown that productivity has increased as a result of flexible scheduling and time blocking. In addition, if you are able to eliminate the need for an office space, you can dramatically decrease your overhead.
Happier employees, increased productivity, and lower overhead are all enticing reasons to embrace a remote workforce. While doing so can seem overwhelming or intimidating, you can follow the best practices below to get a good start.
The new technology that you have put into service over the past nine months can be one of your biggest assets within your long-term work from home strategy. Evaluate what’s serving you well and what processes, programs, or equipment may need to be improved upon now that you’ve had time to test it within your organization. Gather feedback from your employees and IT team to figure out what’s working and what isn’t and adjust accordingly. If you feel that you rushed into solutions when it comes to hardware or project management software amidst the pandemic’s quick onset, now is the time to transition to more permanent solutions. Continue to offer opportunities for digital upskilling within your team and stay on top of industry standards for technological advancement.
Set Clear KPIs
The old model of determining success by the amount of hours worked in the office is long gone. Instead, set functional KPIs for profitable work. CPA Practice Advisor recommends having a conversation with your employees to help them understand their role and how it contributes to the financial success of the company as part of this goal.
Allowing employees to work from home does not mean that you need to let go of your standards of performance or expectations for their availability. Clearly communicate the requirements you have for telecommuting employees and hold staff accountable. For example, even if you team members may get more of their work done in the evening hours, you can set an expectation of needing them to be responsive to customers during regular business hours certain days of the week. Having everyone on the same page in regard to what is expected from them will help to avoid frustration or a dip in performance in the long run.