The Internet age has changed the face of the workforce. Employees can maintain a lucrative remote career under a boss that they never see face-to-face. Today many companies base their work on remote workers. From a human resources point of view, this leads to a hive of problems, including worker accountability and safety.
With a little technology and some good policies and procedures, however, keeping your employees working and secure should be easy.
1. Take Advantage of Mobile Technology for Remote Workers
There are two types of remote workers that you need to consider: the work-from-home (WFH) employee and the office worker that spends a lot of time on the road. Smartphones like the Galaxy S7 have extensive coverage and are GPS-enabled, so you can contact the WFH worker and track remote employees when they are out in the field.
It is up to you whether you want to supply a phone or offer a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. Either way, apps like Life360 let you track the movement of field staff, keeping them safe and accounted for.
2. Use a Time Clock for Remote Workers
It may seem old-school, but WFH employees can be placed on a time clock. There are several apps out there to help you implement this strategy. Toggl is just one example. For a low monthly cost, Toggl tracks employee hours, either on a desktop or a mobile device, and saves the information for HR to examine. The system can be used online or offline and the administrator can set the amount of inactivity before a person needs to continue with a keystroke. This does not necessarily assure productivity, but it does make your employees stay near the computer during work hours.
3. Track Remote Workers Work by Project
It may be easier to have your employees be accountable for their assigned tasks instead of their hours worked. Piecework or pay-by-micro task are common ways employers incentivize remote workers to be productive.
Using piecework turns your company’s work structure upside-down. Apparel manufacturers, freelance writing groups and educational facilities use this method because it maintains productivity and removes a large portion of the financial risk from the company. If a person does not create, then they do not get paid. At this point, it becomes more of a workflow issue and less of a financial one.
4. Trust Your Experienced Employees
Not everyone can be placed on a piecework schedule. Employees with more responsibilities and experience need greater flexibility and trust. Degrees, certifications, and licensure go a long way in keeping your idea leaders focused and motivated. These tend to be people that have an increased drive that naturally links their outcomes to their personal brand.
Real estate professionals, certified accountants, and PhD-level experts look for ways to impress. Hire people that want to wow you and let them monitor their accountability.
5. Know Your Stakeholders
Stakeholders are people that have an interest in your business. This includes employees, vendors, and customers. Stakeholders come with their own motivation, and you need to understand what that is. Create surveys with a tool like Survey Monkey to make your remote workers into engaged stakeholders.