We are a world connected by the internet and because of this, business rarely happens in one place any more. With so many options for communication many business owners find their employees do better outside of the office. Whether it is allowing them to work remotely or directly with the clients out in the field. There are tons of studies that show the benefits of remote and in the field work, but how is a business supposed to keep track of their employees if they are not in the office?
Remote work is on the rise in the US. People require more flexibility these days and the work schedule has pushed beyond the nine to five. Working remotely allows workers to save time and money traveling into the office giving them more time to focus on work. It also allows businesses to tap into talent that they might not be able to find locally.
Why Let Employees Work Remotely
There are many reasons why allowing employees to work remotely is a good idea. Child care costs are outstanding, areas where the opportunities exist are often prohibitively expensive and prevent good talent from reaching the companies that need them. It is also a great perk businesses can offer their employees allowing them to work from the comfort of their home office getting a break from the office.
Many employees who work remotely report that they are more productive when they work from home as they are not distracted by coworkers, pointless meetings or other in office time wasters. When employers are more flexible with schedules employees are often more flexible with pay.
It also cuts down on work lost by employee sick leave. If an employee is too sick to come into work, the option to work from home encourages people to get their work done even if they are not in the office. When sick employees stay home and recover it also prevents your other employees from getting sick as well.
What Type of Employees Work Best Remotely
Not every person is cut out for remote work. Someone who constantly needs micromanagement or to be told what to do is not a good candidate for remote work. But a self starter who works well independently and has good communication skills can do well with the option to work from home or even the local coffee shop.
It all depends on the individual and their duties. Most workers have the ability to do their jobs well enough with an internet connection, a laptop and a phone. If you present the ability to work from home as a privilege, you might find employees putting in the extra effort for that benefit of being a remote employee.
What To Look Out For
There can be downsides to allowing a work from home policy in your office. If you are not careful you could take a hit to productivity. Watch out for workers whose performance has been slipping since they started doing business remotely or those who constantly abuse the system to avoid coming into the office.
This is really rare as most employees often appreciate the ability to work from home, but abuse does happen.
How To Hold Remote Workers Accountable
So how do you ensure that your employees you are paying are actually working during the hours they say they are when they are? There are several ways you can go about this. One is using a free time log app like Toggl. Employees start the clock when they start work and can pause the clock and restart showing which projects they are working on and for how long. Unfortunately you can’t be 100% sure they aren’t lying and you need to be able to trust your employees.
Another way to track employees who work from homes is providing them with phones with an employee monitoring software like PhoneSpector. PhoneSpector allows businesses to track phone calls, texts and GPS so you know where your employees are at any given time during the day. You can track their internet history and make sure they are contacting the people they are claiming on their work history.
An app like this costs way less than keystroke software and since most people work from their phones you can get a better picture of everything they are doing, not just on their computer.
In The Field Workers
Another way businesses are changing is that there are a lot more in the field workers than there were in the past. Whether you are providing services directly at someone’s location or wish to be face to face with clients often, having team members in the field is essential for many businesses.
Why They Are Good For Business
Many businesses with workers out in the field don’t have a choice, that is where the work gets done, but other businesses find that having sales, marketing or customer service positions face to face with clients on a regular basis is just good for business.
When an employee is outside of the office there is a degree of control you lose. There are a lot of things that can go wrong on the road. Car accidents, accidents involving company equipment and employees taking advantage of the privilege of working outside of an office environment, by either behaving recklessly or not doing what they are supposed to be doing.
How To Monitor Employees
An employee monitoring software like PhoneSpector is a great and cost effective way to monitor employees in the field. This not only protects your business but your employees as well. If something were to happen you could know their exact location in an emergency. People are less likely to engage in risky behavior like texting while driving if they know their text messages are being monitored. You will be able to know what phone calls they made, text messages they sent and their entire web history on their business phone aside from just their GPS location.
You can also use this information to make your customer service better or to improve your sales teams tactics because you know exactly what is being communicated to customers or clients.
How To Protect Your Data
Accidents happen when in the field. Phones get lost, stolen or broken all the time. A single business phone of a sales team member can have tens of thousands of dollars of valuable contacts and information on it. Why risk not being able to have a remote backup should something happen to it?
Without some risk your business will never grow. Allowing for remote and in the field work in your company can increase your profits and employee retention. There is a way to mitigate that risk with cell phone monitoring and remote backup apps like PhoneSpector. It is much cheaper than large scale corporate keystroke monitoring software and for businesses who rely mostly on cell phones is a much more cost effective way to protect their business.
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