One concern many organizations have when switching to work from home (WFH) is accountability. Without eyes on workers in the same location, there is a fear that staff will not complete their work or will do so poorly. The right WFH technology intrinsically addresses accountability issues, building solutions into daily operations.
GroupLink sees how strong WFH platforms keep accountability at the forefront. Our GroupLink everything HelpDesk, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, and GroupLink for SafestSchools solutions boast workflow and WFH capability. We designed them for transparency and insight.
Alongside our expertise in this area, we have examples of real-life organizations that have addressed accountability issues in WFH. From corporate culture to the tech they choose, these organizations are getting it right.
Focus on Regular, Consistent Communication
David Bloom, representing Ordr.in in a 2013 article, said companies should have a system in place to know that staff are doing work without looking at server logs. In implementing his own WFH system for his organization, he indicated he relies heavily on daily video chats to understand what’s happening. He came to that solution after trying email exchanges, weekly meetings, and weekly reports.
Bloom’s solution shows one key piece of accountability: regular communication with staff. Previous habits or strategies for in-office communication may not translate well to work from home situations, leaving teams in the dark. Knowing that tech-based communication is built into the WFH platform ensures everyone knows communication is a normal part of remote work.
These communication tools also ensure that everyone is staying connected even outside of business matters. Consider it the virtual version of water cooler chats, which work to keep the entire workforce bonded and committed to one another. When WFH teams still feel like they are part of a team, they are more likely to do their job well.
Managers and other senior staff can communicate in a way that is particularly effective, setting priorities, mapping tasks, and being available for questions. When employees come to senior staff with questions or issues, it’s important for higher-ups to take action and communicate that back. This way, there is a culture of trust and accountability built over time. Staff will be more likely to feel comfortable maintaining communication.
Choose the Right Tools
Max Benz, representing Filestage, wrote about project management from the lens of someone who has been working remotely for years. He suggests that organizations research tools carefully before introducing them to the team. He says that they should focus on comprehensive platforms that do more with one tool. Instead of having staff deal with various different programs at the same time, which causes confusion and fatigue, a selective approach unifies the organization.
A study into virtual collaboration found that 87 percent of respondents feel collaboration tools are important or mission critical. Social media and communication solutions like instant messaging platforms are nowhere near as popular or necessary. This reinforces how important it is to choose technologies that make the most of workers’ time and attention span to get the best results.
Measure Overall Productivity and Goals
In a Forbes article, business leaders shared their tips for keeping remote teams accountable. Many touched on measuring specific indicators and goals. Ryan Costello of MemberSuite, Inc. said he isn’t concerned about individual productivity, but feels the larger challenge is how the entire organization measures its productivity. The whole team needs to not only measure its productivity but also understand it and determine if it aligns with business goals.
George Stelling of Quadrillion Partners focused on measurement too, noting accountability starts with setting specific and measurable goals. These goals should be a mix of larger, aspirational targets and regular business objectives.
WFH technology that allows insight into metrics helps measure productivity and the results of goal-setting. This does not mean looking at VPN logs, as noted above, but rather a regular evaluation method without worrying about individual efforts as much. Ideally, regular communications would mitigate individual work issues and challenges.
Key performance indicators (KPIs) create an objective and measurable assessment method. Activity KPIs measure things like hours worked and track employee activity. Performance KPIs may be a better choice. To look at overall productivity, consider KPIs like profit or revenue per employee (profit or revenue divided by the number of employees). Higher numbers show the company is doing well. Lower numbers prompt a closer look at what is happening.
Next in our series is Work-from-Home’s (WFH) Future – for CIOs & CTOs: Overcoming Obstacles. This features research and examples of the common obstacles associated with this technology. To learn more about GroupLink’s WFH tech, contact us online, call us at 801-335-0700, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.