How to Identify the Right Employees for Remote Work

January 18, 2018

Four tips to drive success

The rise of telecommuting has more employees than ever before seeking the flexibility to work from home at least some of the time. According to Global Workplace Analytics, regular work-at-home has grown 115% since 2005 and 3.7 million employees now telecommute about 50% of the time.

Benefits of telecommuting

Stanford researchers found that remote workers are up to 13% more productive due to increased job satisfaction. Employers also benefit from the ability to expand into new markets without needing to invest in physical office space. Additionally, a typical business can save $11,000 per person per year in operating costs, according to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com.

How to build a flexible workforce

Though more and more companies seek to hire flexible workers, finding the best remote talent can be challenging. It can be difficult to decide whether an existing employee is right for a telecommuting arrangement.

To be successful, it’s important to evaluate the job, employee, and management to determine if it will really work before you move forward. The establishment of a telecommuting policy that addresses expectations, responsibilities, oversight, and communication requirements can help your business make the right choices.

Four ways to ensure telecommuting success

Your telecommuting selections must fit job demands, employee capabilities, and company goals to be successful. While a writer or coder may be able to work effectively when outside the traditional office, not all employees are cut out for telework. You’ll also want to make sure your management team is prepared to lead remote workers.

To ensure you identify the best fit employees, make sure you consider the following:

  1. Not everyone is cut out for telecommuting. It takes special skills, qualities, and characteristics for an employee to succeed in a telecommuting arrangement. Ideally, you want an individual who is self-motivated and can work independently. Can that person handle working in isolation? Is the candidate disciplined and responsive?
  2. Don’t ignore workspace issues. Before you hire or allow employees to telecommute, it’s important to understand the proposed environment. For example, an Employer Benefit News article recommends asking where the employee will be working from in his or her home. The answer could impact employee health from an ergonomics perspective.

How will the employee limit disruptions? Do they have a dedicated workspace? To minimise parenting-related distractions, you should confirm that the candidate has adequate child care solutions in place during working hours.

  1. Keep the channels of communication open. Set expectations for how often communication should take place. Establish regular cheque-in times to keep remote workers accountable and connected with the team. Encourage regular face-to-face interactions to promote team camaraderie.
  2. Choose already tech-savvy employees. Remote workers will be using technology to complete work and communicate with the office. Can they troubleshoot minor issues that arise or will they suck up your IT resources with questions? What security measures do they have to protect proprietary information? What happens if their Internet goes down? Find out ahead of time if this employee will simply quit in the midst of a technical problem or go the extra mile to get the job done.

Drive telecommuting success

Telecommuting delivers great returns for both employees and employers. As you look to maximise the success of your telecommuting programme, be sure to identify the right people to work in this capacity. Establish clear expectations and communication goals from the outset. With a dedicated approach, your business will reap the rewards.

Remote workers usually don’t work from home all of the time. Asure Software Hotelling and Mobile Workforce Management solutions can help your organisation maintain the right amount of real estate and types of workspaces to support remote workers when they visit the office.