More people in the United States have been working from home full-time over the past couple of months. If this includes you, you’ve probably already heard some tips, such as keep a regular schedule, limit distractions and take scheduled breaks.

If you’re in management, these recommendations still apply. What you might be concerned about, though, is the productivity of your employees working remotely. However, research shows that companies that allow their employees to work remotely achieve increased employee productivity, reduced turnover and lower organizational costs.

Achieving advantages by employing remote workers

The 2020 State of Remote Work report by Buffer, surveying more than 3,500 remote workers from around the world, found that 97% of respondents say they’d recommend their work situation to others, and the majority list flexibility as the primary benefit of remote work. A survey from FlexJobs found that more than 75% of employees reported they’d be more loyal to their employers if they were to support remote working.

The main reasons respondents gave for increased productivity were fewer distractions and interruptions from colleagues, as well as less stress from cutting a commute out of their day.

Those in the health care system aren’t exempt from the benefits of utilizing remote jobs. Not only does it help save money, but it also promotes employee satisfaction and productivity. Although not all healthcare workers can do their jobs offsite, enabling those that can adds a non-monetary benefit many would trade for a higher salary.

In another survey, this time by Owl Labs, 34% of respondents would take a pay cut of up to 5% to work remotely. A further 24% would take a pay cut of up to 10%, and 20% would take a pay cut of more than 10% in order to work remotely.

Successfully managing off site employees

Employing some basic strategies can help you maintain employee morale, increase productivity and engagement, and build confidence with your customers/clients. This applies whether you manage a team of two or 20. We’ve compiled a brief list for you of these recommendations.

1. Communicate regularly

Even if you don’t see your employees on a regular basis, schedule meetings or video conferencing with them daily or weekly –– and stick to that timetable.

Arrange a phone call or video chat, and use these meetings as a chance to motivate and encourage your remote employees. It is also a chance to discuss project updates or answer questions. Be responsive to these employees, and let them know they’re an important part of your team, even if they are not office based.

If possible, set up occasional all-staff meetings to promote collaboration between onsite and remote employees. Your customers shouldn’t experience any problems or delays as a result of any of your employees working offsite.

2. Invest in appropriate technology

Implement the technology necessary for your remote workers to perform their job successfully. In addition to a laptop, web camera, mobile phone, and reliable Wi-Fi, ensure they have the required technology, like those mentioned earlier, to securely complete necessary tasks. Consider using a knowledge base or an established online project management system. This will streamline communication between your employees and acts as a central source for project tasks and files.

3. Establish and maintain policies and procedures

Employees who work remotely should be provided with clear expectations of their role within your healthcare organization, just as their onsite counterparts have. Creating and maintaining a list of policies and procedures specific to them lets them know what you expect. It also provides them with a comprehensive overview of rules and regulations to follow. Offering training targeted specifically toward your remote employees also can be beneficial.

4. Trust your employees

Let your employees show you what they can accomplish through remote work, and trust them to perform their job. If you’re giving them the opportunity to work remotely, it’s important that you rely on them to fulfill the duties of their job. If your customers aren’t getting the results they expect, though, it might be time to revisit this working arrangement.

For Nicole Long, General Manager of MLS Group of Companies, transitioning her team to a remote work environment has been a seamless process through teamwork and preparation. As Nicole notes, “MLS has had a business continuity plan in place ready to enact should the office not be available, but we never could have imagined that a pandemic would strike and that we would need to enact the plan for an extended amount of time. Following the principles outlined in this article, we have continued to serve our clients without interruption through it all.” If you’re interested in understanding the healthcare industry and making a difference in patients’ lives, consider joining our team. Contact us for more information.

Managing a Remote Workforce in the Healthcare Industry