More and more companies are encouraging their employees to consider working at home as a means to improve employee morale, productivity and reduce overall costs. There are still many people who think this way, if you were not in the office, your boss thought you were goofing off.
Most people will say the single most significant advantage of work at home jobs is not having to face the morning commute with the shop and go traffic congestion on the highways.
The most significant disadvantage that many employees complain about is the lack of face time with the boss and colleagues. They often express a feeling of being disconnected from the company and their co-workers. Both of these interface issues can be remedied, however both the work at home employee and the company must place additional effort on these issues. Ensuring adequate and regular communication is a must to avoid that disconnected feeling.
We assumed that the work at home employee is fully equipped with all of the office tools they need to be productive and meet the requirements of their company. The central issue of is how to ensure that remote employees are recognized and feel part of team. There are a number of steps that each can take to make sure that communications are well done and that disconnected feeling is avoided. For example, either the boss or the employee can initiate weekly calls to discuss progress on milestones and productivity, issues that may need resolution and communicate company information. These calls are often with the group as a whole and provide an opportunity for everyone to heat the same message and ask questions that the team may be needed to discuss project or work specific items that need clarification or direction. These are usually short calls and used for each team member individually to discuss personal as well specific issues. Don’t let these wait, deal with them now, while you can still make a difference.
Finally, review how each team member likes to communicate. Some are much better using email and text messaging, white others are more reactive if you call them. Still in other cases, you may find that you have to chase some just to get the answers you need to do your job. Review each team member, including the boss and decide which form of communication is the best approach to use with them to ensure that your overall work at home experience is a success.