Work from home option became a bare necessity in the current circumstances of the convid-19 pandemic. Either way, the biggest challenge for enterprises and managers is to proactively track productivity timelines of remote workers. Accountability or the lack of it has often brought bad vibes to ‘work from home’ culture in the past. In fact some of the pioneering web enterprises like Yahoo Inc for example have bitten the bullet banning any kind of telecommuting.
Banning telecommuting may be one off but is largely seen as a regressive step with remote work statistics suggesting a surge in ‘work from home’ numbers in the future. An Upwork study shows that with millennials and Gen Z workers likely to make up 58% of workforce by 2028, and nearly 73% of all departments across industries will have remote workers.
With a likely surge in work from home numbers, enhancing accountability is what differentiates successful enterprises to other.
Why ‘Work From Home’ Accountability Is A Two-Way Traffic
Many companies believe that having some ‘processes’ in place they would be able to track work from home workers. Companies in the past have employed a tracking of VPN logs strategy but that alone does not quite make the cut. In today’s post corona virus scare, a study shows that if Amazon’s 750,000 strong workforce all connect to the company’s VPN at the same time, it is more likely to crash.
The onus of adding accountability works with remote workers and the company on the same page in terms of daily or weekly work schedules and periodic audits. So if managers and remote workers agree on setting some Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), it is an effective way to track progress and retrospect the same periodically enhancing overall accountability.
Processes Plus Technology is what Solves ‘Work From Home’ Accountability Puzzle
An enterprise must have some planned processes and technology solutions in place before embracing on the work from home culture. For example most companies having a successful ‘work from home’ culture ensure they offer access to same tools and technologies to the entire team. This ensures swift communication and alignment in use of common channels ensuring transparency.
Likewise offering the right technology framework also ensures a remote worker is able to add value to work. For example offering pre-configured wireless access points can allow secure connectivity from a remote worker location to the corporate network.
Having processes in place help in periodic reporting using common technological tools. For example use of project management tool like Trello allows for daily or weekly reports that are developed and shared within the ecosystem itself allowing for periodic work audits.
With many companies embracing newer remote working and conferencing capabilities, there is a leap in technological advancements and also better customer service online through user friendly apps.
Human Element and Accountability
Work from home or otherwise, processes and technology work only if people do. There can be days when processes may fail or remote workers may struggle. While technology can help in highlighting any such roadblocks early, over reliance on technology alone may not add to accountability. Making remote workers a part of the core team offering a sense of trust and freedom can all add the human element to aid accountability.
If tracked and planned well, the telecommuting culture has a cost advantage for enterprises like lesser real estate / office space cost, lesser office expenses and space. Employees when saved from the commutation hassles, can be more productive when they save the working hours in travel.