How to Help Employees Be More Productive Telecommuters

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Telecommuting—a major benefit for employees looking for more flexibility—can also save the company money and help employees become more engaged with their jobs. All of these benefits, however, are dependent on employees that are actually productive in the telecommuting role.

As many find out when they begin telecommuting, it’s not just another day in the office. It’s your office and you set the rules, for better or worse. 

Productivity for telecommuters is a state of mind that must be harnessed and honed every day. Contact center agents can build successful careers as telecommuters when they work within a system of core guidelines that also allow for the flexibility that telecommuting promises.

In particular, work-at-home employees should:

  1. Develop a goal-oriented environment: Contact center roles transition easily into telecommuting because there are often clearly defined performance metrics that can motivate employees during the day. Telecommuters can do one better by making sure their daily work is written in a clear to-do list that aligns with their organization’s and supervisor’s expectations.
  2. Create a designated workspace and morning routine: Your commute may be from your bedroom to an office, but make sure there is a transition period that marks “at work” from “not at work.” Get dressed, wake up at the same time every day, and read your emails while drinking coffee just like you would in an office. Your office may be a separate room or a corner of the kitchen, but make sure only work occurs there and that other family members respect the space.
  3. Communicate often: Great telecommuters are those that keep their supervisors in the loop through frequent emails or daily phone calls, send a quick message when they’re out running errands, and use communication platforms, such as Microsoft Lync, to talk to coworkers during the day.
  4. Invest in the right equipment: Your company’s unified communications solution may be the most critical piece of equipment in your telecommuting toolbox, but there may be additional elements to consider. You may find yourself reworking your Internet connection if it fails often. It could also mean investing in equipment such as double monitors or a standing desk that helps you be more productive.
  5. Schedule out their days: Are you more productive in the morning or afternoon? Tune into your body’s rhythms and schedule your more difficult tasks for when you’re performing at your best. Likewise, schedule phone calls and meetings for quieter periods during the day.

What other suggestions do you have for employees working from home? Are there other strategies managers can use to keep them focused and on-task?

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