Even before the coronavirus outbreak, I've been asked a lot, "Is working remotely worth the hype?" I think I'm in a very good position as we are in an IT company that operates with companies remotely. We employ staff that work with us remotely. So we are both the employer, and in a sense, the employee of a remote workspace.
Is working remotely worth the hype?
In my opinion, it definitely helps productivity as long as you're in an environment that allows for it and you've got a mindset of success. You can't have someone who needs to be spoon-fed working remotely. You need to make sure that your employees have the discipline and due diligence to continue to work day in and day out to get the job done. Make sure that this is easily viewable, and you don't get ripped off.
Let's look at it from both perspectives
I'll start from the employee perspective.
As an employee, you don't want to feel like you're working remotely and you're being asked to do things all around the clock. You want to make sure that the time that you have with your family is valuable time, and you're not being interrupted by work things.
Whatever the reason for working from home, be it the virus outbreak or a perk at your workplace, make sure that you are giving back to your employer. The best way to do this is to make sure that your employer has accountable systems in place that shows the work that you're doing and shows that it's easily as good or better than an office environment.
I've had ups and downs with the different people that I've employed. You can see the performance change if they happen to be at home with their kids, and their kids are making a lot of noise, I can see that straightaway in the quality of the work that comes through. On the flip side, if their kids are not at home and they don't have that distraction, it’s a different story. Let's be honest, we love spending time with our family and sometimes you feel like, 'Oh, work is getting in the way of that.' Especially if you're working from home.
When your kids are not there, I can see the productivity go through the roof. And not only through the roof to be on parity with their work counterparts that are working in the office but they, in fact, excel and exceed past that, because there aren't distractions. There's no coffee talk banter or anything like that. They're able to sit down and get their job done with minimal to no distractions.
It takes the right employee and the right mindset to do that. But that's definitely something that I've found that you can encompass, and you can embrace for it to work for both the employer and the employee.
Now let's see it from the employer's perspective.
You want to make sure you have systems that give you full visibility as to what your employees doing. That could be things like analytical data where you're able to see how many phone calls they've been making a day, how many reports they've been creating, etc.
It depends on the industry.
If you're a mechanic and you normally get a certain amount of cars through the shop, and you've decided to start up a mobile service, when you minus the travel time and the minimal toolsets, are they reasonably as efficient as what they would have been if someone took their car in for a general service? Making sure that you've got key performance indicators to measure up against what they're doing, versus what you'd expect the results to be.
For any business that's more digitally based such as accounting and bookkeeping, any business where the tool of choice is a computer, you're able to use tools such as Time Doctor, ObserveIT, Time Maniac and a plethora of others that let you record the times that your employees are spending on different tasks. It shows you how active their mouse and keyboard were, and gives you a screenshot to give you an idea of what were they doing.
Obviously, if they're reading the latest legal document that you've sent through, it's going to give you a different idea as to the number of keystrokes and mouse scrolls that they're doing. But having a screenshot there shows you, 'Okay, I understand. They're currently reading a legal document.' It's a tool that makes it easy to make the decision as to whether or not they're working as they should be.
The Final Word
One of the main things that I found always works is having key performance indicators that give you the insight into where they're standing, and they can then try and match and exceed those for different rewards. As long as you have the right systems in place, I believe that a remote workforce is more efficient, more cost-effective and it by far makes for a much better workplace that does not hinder productivity.
To learn more about cybersecurity, go to our blog https://dorksdelivered.com.au/blog/it-solutions/ or subscribe to our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/DorksDelivered/.
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