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The Do’s and Don’ts of Managing Work from Home Staff

For many people nowadays, working from home is a much more convenient way of life. As an employer, this can be a difficult decision to make if you have never managed work from home employees before. Working from home is now more common than ever before, and if you have agreed to let an employee remotely work, then you will need to know how to effectively manage them. Here, we are taking you through the do’s and don’ts of managing work from home staff.

Give People the Option to Work from Home

Working from home is now far more common than ever before and many employers are happy to allow their staff to do this. If you are not, then it looks like you will need to be a little more forward thinking, since it is now 2018.  When it comes to staff working from home, this is a benefit and it makes your company much more competitive. What’s more, if you are looking to attract the very best and most talented workers, then this is definitely the way to do so. This means, that you can utilise the skills of people who live further away that could not physically be able to make it into the office.

Don’t Agree Straight Away

While you should allow employees to work from home, this does not mean that you have to agree to their request straight off the bat. We would recommend that you first agree to them working from home on a trial basis. You should agree on a mutual number of days that they can work from home, say one to two months, and then keep track of how well this arrangement goes before you commit to any sort of permanent working from home staff members.

Allow Balance

If you feel that an employee cannot effectively do their job by working from home all of the time, then why not compromise? Be flexible with your staff as this is definitely something that they will appreciate. Agree with them on working some days from home and other days working from the office. The number of days, or set weekly days, where an employee can work from home should be pre-determined. It is a good idea to let employees be flexible with this, such as allowing employees to work from home more some week than others, as long as it does not exceed the maximum number of days out of the office.

Don’t Micromanage

When you allow a member of staff to work from home, you are essentially communicating to that person that you trust them to act independently and professionally without you having to be on their case. Micromanaging staff can end up taking up more of your time and wasting money than if you just left them to ‘get on with it’ so to speak. Try to be respectful and trust that they will do the jobs that have been assigned to them.

Be Demanding

As you are being flexible and reasonable with employees, it is only fair that you can be a little more demanding of them too. So, if you are working, then they really should be too! It is not unreasonable to agree before any working from home roles are permanent that the staff member must be available to talk over the phone and they should always be available whenever you need to speak to them. Of course, this is all within reason but you should be able to call, text or email if there is something important related to the business to discuss.

Invest in Technology

If you have staff working from home, then you will need to most likely invest in the technology to allow for this. Employees will most often or not, need a smartphone, a laptop and access to your network. The easiest way to manage remote staff, without micromanaging them, is to use remote management tools and software. For example, with an online Kanban board, you can assign staff their own tasks, make them accountable for those jobs and from anywhere in the world, check the progress of tasks to see how tasks and projects are coming along.

Final Thoughts

Working from home comes with many benefits for both employers and employees. However, it is important to also remember that working from home is not the right option for everyone. This is a completely different environment to working in an office and for some, it can simply be too hard to keep up their usual work ethic. So, ensure you are allowing the right people to work from home to ensure business efficiency and productivity.


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