We live at a time when work can be done anywhere and at any time, and the huge benefits of this flexibility brings drawbacks too. Remote workers, home workers, mobile workers and office workers all have to be managed, in touch and trusted to perform.
Connectivity is key to monitoring performance and maintaining relationships, and advances in communications technology are helping more people develop their own work/life balance. This allows staff to choose where they work and when, but this has implications on employees and employers alike.
Managing relationships and making a remote worker feel part of the team can feel like an upward struggle, whether they are in a different office in the UK or dotted around the globe, so being connected at all times is imperative.
Communication with employees anywhere - as if they were sat next to you - is crucial to business. Instant messaging and video conferences are key tools for communicating with staff, regardless of where they are, and these channels are becoming more popular than just using the phone. Using online messaging to communicate (Slack, IM, email etc.) provides a documented thread, removing the uncertainty of word of mouth and allowing companies to both monitor and share information.>
With this shared information, targets and goal setting enable individual performances to be managed as well as staff being able to self-manage their performance. Remote working performance still needs to be measurable to ensure workers are doing what is expected of them. However, ensuring privacy isn’t invaded is also crucial.
Trust plays a key factor
Employees working remotely rely on a high level of trust between one another and we need to trust they are doing what is expected of them (without checking in to see if they have actually logged onto their laptops at 9am!). If a performance issue does arise changes can be made, bringing staff back into the office if necessary, or providing better training and systems to allow them to work more efficiently and to their pre-defined targets
Companies always have a duty of care for an employee, regardless if a worker is remote or not. Health & Safety and security need to be carefully monitored and regulated, even if this is more difficult for remote workers. Our duty is to reinforce the regulations and policies that apply to them and supply the right equipment to allow them to perform to agreed levels.
The security of a business is paramount. Data of all kinds needs to be protected from falling into the wrong hands. Wherever employees are operating from, this needs to remain a priority, whether they are using a work device or company-approved personal device. Workers also need to know when it’s appropriate to send work to personal email addresses to complete later on personal or company devices, as this again raises data protection issues.
In a world where technology is changing the culture of the workplace, companies and employees have a duty to ensure that privacy is protected whilst performance is still monitored. With Onecom communications systems, no matter where a worker works, performance, privacy and data security are ensured.