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Create Structure for Your Remote Workforce

by | Jan 5, 2015 | For-Profit Entities

iStock_000007395599Large_200_126One important area for business owners to evaluate in the New Year is employee productivity. A simple way to improve it is by creating structure for your workforce, especially for those who work remotely.

Here’s how to create a framework for a productive team:

Establish fixed working hours and stick to them. While allowing every employee to work whenever they want may serve their needs, it doesn’t serve the needs of co-workers, customers or the company.

Document, document, document! A high performing business is one that operates predictably, consistently and where all work is done with the same quality standard, regardless of who is executing it. This isn’t easy, but strive to make sure that all of your day-to-day processes are documented by using standard operating procedures (SOPs).

When people sit next to each other in an office, it’s easy to ask someone for a reminder on how to perform a specific task. In a virtual context, often people who are unsure will attempt to “wing it,” especially if there is a deadline involved. Providing an SOP will help save your business both money and time.

Provide decision-making criteria but leave a lot of wiggle room. For all business functions, maintain a set of decision-making criteria that specifically states when you want a team member to make a decision on their own or when they need to consult a more senior worker. The important thing here is providing the framework you expect to keep the structure intact.

Virtual companies operate without a central physical location and therefore, it is even more critical to have structures and disciplines in place to have a smooth, integrated and effective workforce, no matter where they work from.

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