It’s not unusual for remote employees to need to travel. This can be an issue if you’re trying to keep your workforce at a minimum cost or prevent them from using company assets for personal activities. Tracking every dollar spent by every employee is a good business practice, but it gets especially complicated when your workforces span different locations and time zones. Now throw travel into the mix and you’ve got yourself a perfect storm of expense management headaches that could potentially take managers hours each week just to figure out who’s hitting up the company credit card for what. Here are some suggestions on how to motivate and maintain productivity with traveling remote employees.
Engagement Surveys are your secret weapon. If you want to know how engaged your employees are with the company, have someone send out surveys once a month or so. You can even reward survey-takers with points for their time or gear up the prize ante by offering an Apple TV raffle for those who respond to all 12 questions. What you learn through this process may surprise and delight you. Additionally, engagement survey questions can help you identify the areas in which employees are disengaged. For example, if your remote workforce consists of people who work from home full-time, chances are your “on location” team members have a better understanding of what’s being accomplished when. Engagement surveys can reveal that information to everyone by showing where there are holes in communication or training that need to be filled.
An argument for remote workers is that they’re able to do their jobs without much oversight by IT staff or managers, but at the same time, it means people aren’t around every day to ask how things are going or check in on projects. There should always be some kind of training setup for employees, even if it’s only an hour-long live video chat once a week with the whole team to go over projects and progress. The more involved employees feel in their work, the less likely they are going to be tempted to take off for a weekend or holiday without finishing a task first.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
Employees sending you to work from different time zones might cause some concern about whether they’re actually getting it done on time, but that doesn’t have to be an issue as long as you give them credit where credit is due. For example, you could require all employees who submit weekly reports by e-mail to tag their name at the beginning of each paragraph so managers can see who wrote what. Not only does this encourage on-time completion of projects, but it also cuts down on the back and forth that would otherwise take place when employees are trying to explain their work to other team members. On the off chance someone has turned in a copy/paste job, you can find out who might need some extra training in whatever software or media they’re using before getting started.
Stick To The Game Plan
This may seem counter-productive for people who want employees to innovate, but don’t change your game plan just because remote workers aren’t there in person. For example, if you give everyone assignments each week and require them to bring in reports by certain deadlines then stick with that plan even when several people are working from home or overseas. There’s something about having boundaries that actually makes employees more likely to stick with the plan and meet goals on time, even if they can’t make it into work.
Building Trust Between Remote Workers And Employers
There is an extra degree of trust associated with working remotely, but managers need to make sure they don’t abuse it by piling too many responsibilities on employees who are at home. When you give remote workers a lot of responsibility without having them in person to complete tasks or check-in regularly, you’re running the risk of turning your employees into ghosts that only surface when there’s bad news or something wrong with their end of the project. If this happens often enough to one employee, chances are high that other members will feel slighted start to consider going elsewhere for
Train Yourself To Manage Traveling Remote Employees
Start thinking about how you can motivate traveling employees by equipping yourself with the right tools and apps for the job. For example, if you’re trying to encourage activity among team members who need to use the company credit card when out and about, then try using Worldpay’s business app instead of giving someone a bulky portable terminal that needs AC power 24/7. Another example is platform-specific apps like Hipmunk, which help remote employees book flights to faraway places faster than they would be able to through an old-fashioned organizational website.
There are many benefits to working from home while traveling, but companies can’t depend on employees’ good intentions alone to get the job done. Instead of taking a “wait and see” approach to employees who might be slacking off during their commute, managers should establish systems that allow remote workers the freedom they need without giving them free rein over company time and resources. Doing so can help you turn your company into something great for years to come.
The post Are Your Remote Employees Traveling While Working? Here’s How To Keep Them Motivated was first published on Coworkaholic.