With the ubiquity and availability of mobile technology and connectivity, modern day employees can now work from anywhere at any time.

5 tips for employers to have an effective remote workforce
(philstar.com) - August 8, 2017 - 2:15pm

MANILA, Philippines — The latest Global Business Survey from Regus found that 57.3 percent of people in the Philippines (52 percent worldwide) now work remotely for at least half their working week. It is now becoming the norm.

Several key factors contribute to Filipinos working remotely—with the commuting headache being a key reason cited by many survey participants. Traffic is a global issue affecting growing cities like Manila where the commute can take anywhere from one hour to three hours, or more in some instances.

With the ubiquity and availability of mobile technology and connectivity, modern day employees can now work from anywhere at any time. The key to this is to be secure, productive and manage one’s time.

The new millennial generation workers are also more aware of their environment, wanting greater flexibility and control over their work life balance. Conflict sometimes arises over traditional work practices amid a modern changing milieu.

So what can employers do to make flexible and remote working effective? Here are five tips:

1. Use technology to build trust

Wherever your team is, regular meetings can keep you united and working toward one goal. You must make sure your line manager, and other team members, trust in and understand what you are doing.

Checking in with them via different platforms such as e-mail, WhatsApp, telephone calls and other messaging services can mean a lot to your co-workers. Try keeping a group chat window or webcam stream open all day if possible. It helps your team to discuss as they would if they were working side-by-side, asking questions or opening ideas up to the floor.

Alternatively, an automated micro-reporting system, allows everyone to share small progressions—when one person finishes a task, the group gets an alert. This keeps everyone in the loop, and lets them benchmark their own productivity against their peers’.

2. Give every team member the opportunity to use professional workspace

Everyone needs a quiet and calm workspace, which is not always possible at home. Having a workplace that is free from distractions of the home will boost productivity for remote workers.

Commuting a short distance to a professional environment like a Regus Centre can provide this at a fraction of the cost of a fixed office. If a café or a library is more suited to your needs, you can also do that.

As long as you recognize which are the kinds of environment you want to work in and work towards ensuring a consistent environment throughout, working remotely should not be a problem for you.

3. Keep strict work processes and targets

To stop people becoming isolated when they are working remotely, strict operational processes are vital.

Things like signoff procedures, quality control checkpoints and daily targets should always be kept sharply in focus. Consider drawing up new job contracts to help people understand that these processes must be embedded in everything they do.

Making sure that Key Productivity Indicators are met daily or weekly will ensure that nobody slacks off in the team.

4. Have some team spirit

Once or twice a month, get your whole team together for a face-to-face meeting. It could also be a company “away” day or a strategic planning session.

Organize a weekly online gaming session, host a regular quiz night via Skype, or simply use instant messaging for socializing as well as business. Find the meeting place that is most convenient for the whole team rather than forcing everyone to fly to head office which could be headquartered somewhere else in the world.

The key point is this: your remote team should never be strangers.

5. Organize one-to-one meetings

According to a Harvard Business Review article in 2013, management is worried about how remote workers spend their time. Also, because management finds it difficult to quantify and qualify how some workers spend their time, it is difficult for managers to provide a solution to their observations.

The solution could be in arranging frequent one-on-one meetings with the line managers and your direct reports to review productivity, report on successes, hear feedback and define your next set of goals.

Managing a remote team, or being an employee of a team that works remotely, should not be a hindrance to success at the workplace. Knowing your own abilities and recognizing where and how you work best will be the key to success in the constantly evolving workplace.



Regus is the world’s largest provider of flexible workspace solutions, with a network of 2,800 locations across 106 countries, the Philippines included. Visit www.regus.com.ph.

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