How to Handle the New Reality of Remote Contract Workers
The work world is changing every day, not only in the kinds of work we do, but in how we do that work. Remote contract workers have become more common than ever, with approximately 3.9 million individuals operating out of home for at least half of their work hours in 2016. While this gives many opportunities for productivity not bound by time or location, there are a number of pitfalls that must be navigated to successfully utilize a remote contract employee base. Executives must educate themselves on the latest management techniques if they are to overcome these challenges; consultation with the many professional advisors at Laborocity can help in gaining valuable corporate insights.
The biggest issue faced by managers when handling remote workers is accurate reporting of work hours from their employees. Without the checkpoints of physically coming into and going out of the office, getting an exact figure on time spend working can be difficult. Managers can alleviate this problem by creating a detailed log of hours and tasks for each person to fill out each day, forcing them to think critically about what activities occupied how much of their time. The process of breaking down one’s day can also boost productivity by providing a chance to judge what items require more or less attention each day.
Another common issue comes when companies lack the tools and procedures needed to efficiently keep remote workers connected to the main office. Managers should research and implement practices like a combination of phone and web video conferencing, virtual meetings, and online reporting tools with separate channels for individual projects.
Effectively managing projects is highly important in this area as well as in the improvement of overall company performance, and can be improved through outlets like Laborocity’s dedicated project management consulting services.
Workers themselves can also struggle when it comes to telecommuting. Many would assume that being away from the office would prevent productivity, but in fact the very opposite is true, with many employees reporting that the blurred line between work and home causes them to push themselves beyond their normal workloads to the point of severe stress.
To avoid this overworking, it is crucial to keep a detailed schedule, and to maintain open communication between employees and managers reporting the start and end of their day’s duties. The act of informing others that you are taking a break or finishing for the day can give the mind a sense of closure until the next morning. Doing this can also prevent the aforementioned lack of motivation, covering both ends of the productivity spectrum.
Above all things, the number one most significant action which can be taken by managers to improve their handling of remote workers is boosting communication. There is so much that can be accomplished by simply being more in touch with employees who are out of the building; reaching out to them and having them do the same helps to keep schedules on track, prevent confusion or conflicting messages, and give workers the confidence to complete their tasks to the fullest on their own. It is a simple change that can make a world of difference. With the proper knowledge and training from experts like Laborocity’s consultants, managers can easily learn how to harness the possibilities that come with a long-distance workforce.
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