Mechanics of "Work from Home"
In recent years, advancement in telecommunications enable companies develop a new system which allows their employees to work from home or satellite offices. But keeping the employees productive and engaged with their tasks is a great challenge for human resources managers.
According to Cambridge Online Dictionary, work-at-home or simply home working is doing paid work at home and not in a company's office or factory. Some may refer this as telecommuting, remote work or telework. This home based work is a consequence of technological change.
In telecommuting, the employees can accomplish their duties and responsibilities for the company within their home. Some of the jobs that a remote worker may explore include, virtual assistant, medical transcriptionist, translator, web developer/designer, call center representative, tech support specialist, travel agent, teacher, writer/editor and franchise owner.
Given the type of employee – employer relationships telecommuting have, the HR managers must provide mechanism in order for them to maximize the potential of each worker and they must effectively manage the employees for the benefit of the organization.
An article by Ann Fisher published at the web page CNN Money suggested three ways to manage employees who work from home. First is that companies must “Hire the Right People”. Hiring employees with the passion in communicating in written form, one who are excellent in written skills providing outputs quickly and concisely.
Second, building trust with the workers is important to maintain the confidentiality of any transaction being handled by them. And last, the employer must create intranet bulletin boards and chatrooms to express their sentiments and eventually establish the culture among the telecommuters.
Another important matter that HR Mangers must study is how to motivate their employees working from home. Chad Brooks, a Business News Daily Senior Writer from his article said that companies must invest time in relationships; recognize accomplishment; gather feedback from workers; and schedule face-to-face time. In this way, the managers, can build a positive work environment and promote high quality output regardless of the distance. Companies must also provide feedback mechanisms because employees may not receive quickly messages unlike workers in the office.
On the other hand, monitoring the performances of the employees is crucial. This means that HR Managers must measure performance both qualitatively and quantitatively. At all times, outputs has greater importance than their activities. The measurement shall be in terms of timeliness, cost effectiveness, quality and quantity of their accomplishments.
Also, performances of the employees must be assessed and this has corresponding compensation. Basically, the assessment is the same way when they are working at the office. In this case, results matter than distance. Workers that able to deliver their task within the given constraints (like cost and time) are being determined by the managers.