Tips for Managing Work-From-Home Employees for Better Output

The COVID-19 pandemic remains to be a major problem in many countries around the world causing businesses to continue having work-from-home arrangements with their employees. In fact, certain large companies like Twitter have announced that a huge chunk of their workforce will be working remotely permanently.

Not all businesses, though, are lucky enough to be able to immediately switch their operations to a completely online or virtual enterprise. After all, managing remote employees requires a new set of tools and skill-sets compared to managing in-house employees.

Work From Home Employees

Holding WFH employees accountable for their output requires a different approach. For instance, if the need arises, how will you reprimand them for missed tasks without calling them into the manager’s office?

Motivation is also going to be an issue if you are the type of manager who hovers over employees while they are in the office to give them pats on the back. These employees might be used to getting motivation from being monitored closely which won't be the case if they work from the comforts of their own home.

Despite these challenges, however, getting employees to produce output at high levels can be done even if they are not working in the office. Here are some tips to manage your WFH workforce better even if they are on virtual desktops.

1. Set Daily and Weekly Agenda

Setting weekly and daily agendas can be done by employees or by management depending on the role of the staff member. These agendas or goals can make it easy for all WFH employees to start working immediately and more efficiently

Goal-setting also addresses delays when starting work due to figuring out what should be done first. With clearly written tasks, workers can choose which ones can be easily accomplished at the start of the day for improved productivity that compounds towards the end of the week. Having an unclear direction only causes employees to dread what is on the horizon.

Since everyone is still adjusting to the system, WFH employees should be consulted by the management in creating timetables for finishing weekly or monthly projects.

Also, the ability to delegate within the company is going to be important. There is not an option of physically asking a member of the staff to complete something so setting deadlines for tasks that need to be done and can be easily sorted allows for all projects to stay on track. Likewise, the ability to see which parts of a project are falling behind can lead to management allocating more time and resources to a particular department with WFH employees.

2. Require Daily Updates on Tasks

Daily updates on progress should be shared by all WFH staff either via email or through online worksheets so all team members would know how their project is progressing as a whole

For example, in ad agencies, copywriters can list how many pieces they have written and edited while sales teams in huge FMCG companies can report leads converted into sales on a daily basis. These are only two of so many possible examples or scenarios.

By looking at daily tasks accomplished at home, managers and business owners can have a good idea of WFH employees' limits in terms of productivity. With this, they can form realistic goals for their remote staff to reduce burn-out. After all, overloading a person with too many tasks can lead to a drop in performance as even an employee producing at a high level can get discouraged with unrealistic goals.

Organizing data gathered from these reports will also allow managers to recognize employees who are performing better than others and motivate those who are lagging behind.

2. Set-up and Use a Company Intranet

Constant and effective communication is the primary key when it comes to managing remote employees.

Being able to immediately contact an employee to get an update on a client, to ask a question related to the project, or to appoint a new task is essential for any manager or business owner who wants to be on top of things given the challenges of this pandemic.

Internal communication that is an aspect of a modern project management system can help organize conversations on specific projects. In The New Normal, a company intranet where WFH employees can align on tasks by opening virtual newsrooms, chatboxes, and conference meetings is a necessity.

On top of that, companies might also want to invest in a secure, compact, and powerful Virtual Desktop Infrastructure where all work-from-home employees can log-on as if they are also working in the office to accomplish previously set goals.

Keeping remote workers organized in an efficient manner will take a proactive approach from higher-ups and enterprise leaders. Remote work on Virtual Desktops has become part of the norm so business owners must dedicate time and effort to learning the art of managing work-from-home employees moving forward.

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