Thanks to improved technology, an increasing number of employees are able to complete most or all of their work from home. Smartphones, tablets, teleconferencing, and WiFi-equipped bookstores and coffee shops have made this achievable. This presents a big advantage for employers: the more employees that work from home, the less money companies have to spend. Many companies, for example, don’t have assigned computers and desks for each of their workers as a lot of their workforce is working remotely. Additionally, employees working remotely are often more productive; they’re not wasting time and energy commuting to work every day. And they’re not exchanging office gossip in front of the water cooler when in the office.

Remote Worker Challenges

Remote workers and contractors do present at least one considerable challenge to employers: It can be difficult for employers to effectively monitor the hours that their workers are putting in. How do employers know, after all, if their remote workers are pounding away at their keyboards or playing Angry Birds on their smartphones all day?

Employers can resolve this challenge by setting realistic deadlines for their remote employees and expecting these workers to fulfill them. What should matter for employers is that work is done in timely manner. It shouldn’t matter if workers finish their tasks from midnight to four in the morning.

Setting Remote Worker Deadlines

Setting deadlines is the simplest way to monitor the work being carried out by remote workers. Managers can set short-term and long-term goals or make something due every Friday. Additionally, a manger could have a weekly or biweekly meeting via cellphone or video chat to catch up on the development of projects. This can put the manager and employee at ease.

Off-Site Not a Permanent Condition

Working remotely requires personal discipline and good time-management skills. People who are chronic procrastinators may not perform best remotely. If employees aren’t hitting deadlines, or are turning in sub-par work then off-site working doesn’t have to be a permanent privilege. For remote working to be a success there has to be trust between the employee and the employer. To maintain this trust the employee needs to hit their deadlines and the employer needs to be focused on the results.