Work from Home Staff – Key Indicators of Success
Working from home isn’t for everyone, but likewise, neither is working in a brightly fluorescent lit office, thus, giving employees the ability to work from home shouldn’t be seen as a privilege to those that want to, but you should look at it as way of improving morale and productivity. Jennifer Farris, an ex-Googler that is now the CPO (Chief People Officer) of Terminal – the remote team builders suggests these 5 interview questions to find out the suitability of if someone is cut out for remote work.
Does the employee/potential employee possess previous remote working experience? If so, this could be the first positive indicator that they’re capable of doing this again. You should probe previous experience, what they worked on, and results from work, how they enjoyed it, and what they found hard about it in the past.
When working remote, excellent communication skills are more important than those in office setting, sitting within talking distance to one another. Having the ability to ensure communication is open and concise will ensure those working from home aren’t left ‘out on the lurch’ of office society, going off on a tangent, doing their own thing, which, could end up being a waste of time and money.
Poor/lack of communication can of course be the main concern, so most issues will usually revolve around this. In particular, the ability to settle conflict from afar is paramount, so to with issues and findings solutions, just as effectively as if office based.
The Work Process
How are they going to map out the entire process. From start of a job through to completion, is there a plan, milestones, key points to flag/communicate?
Ultimately, it’s about job satisfaction. Not just for the person working remotely, but for other colleagues that may work from fluorescent lighting hell. If it’s not working as planned for one or more employees, resolution needs to be swift to ensure the entire work process doesn’t break down.
KPIs being hit? Work turnaround, and quality as good as when all employees were office based? Great! However, if the company is just dipping their toe in to allowing members of staff to work from home, keep in mind that teething problems will arise, but if everyone can effectively communicate, over time, things should improve and exceed expectations. Conference calls are an excellent way to set up planned communication events to get everyone together, no matter where they are, to pause, take breath, and understand how the job at hand is going. Start off with training wheels and slowly take them away as communication starts to flow naturally, and regularly.