Managing The New Generation Of Flexible Workers

Businesses have the opportunity to work around the clock by recruiting people in locations across the world. Here are five tips to optimise a remote workforce.

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Businesses have the opportunity to work around the clock by recruiting people in locations across the world. Here are five tips to optimise a remote workforce.


Managing The New Generation Of Flexible Workers

Businesses have the opportunity to work around the clock by recruiting people in locations across the world. Here are five tips to optimise a remote workforce.

Share this article

Mobile working is about offering freedom and simplicity. The traditional model of 9-5 office working is slowly disappearing as more individuals look for roles that provide a more flexible working style.

Not only this, but businesses are increasingly interacting with international markets and are looking to recruit people working in other countries to support their global growth. The rest of the world does not operate on Greenwich Mean Time and we are seeing a rise in a global workforce operating across different time zones, demanding the world to be switched on 24/7.

In fact, when WorkMobile was looking to expand into South Asia, it worked with international growth partner UKTI in order to set up a new company overseas and source local workers.

As a result, the impetus is to provide strong methods of global communication and an improved work-life balance in order to create a happier and more productive mobile workforce.


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Research from WorkMobileâ’s ‘Mobile Working Now’ report found that 72% of mobile workers said they work harder now, compared to when they were not mobile. More than half of businesses themselves (58%) admit that mobile working has visibly added to productivity within the workforce, as opposed to office working.

Clearly this is proving a benefit for both employees and employers alike. However, the transition from desk-based to remote working can be tricky, due in large part to the struggle of managing information and creating a collaborative environment. Therefore, businesses need to feel they can manage and support their teams effectively.

Here are Dr Awan’s top five tips for a smooth transition to mobile working:

1. Effective communication is key

The requirement for effective communication between mobile workers and employers is key to managing a remote workforce. The flexibility that a mobile working policies provides means that workers will be operating from various places and at different times, so it can be difficult to keep an eye on everything that’s going on within the business.

This can be effectively managed by scheduling regular meetings, calls or video conferencing so employees and managers can update each other on the tasks currently underway or any new jobs or projects that may come up. The rise of mobile technology also makes it easier for colleagues to contact each other at any time and from anywhere – or to send over important documents or updates on jobs, for example.

2. Provide supportive and quality training

It is imperative that employees are given appropriate training and guidance before commencing remote working. This way employers can be sure that the technology will be used appropriately and workers will be able to get support if they’re finding the change difficult.

With mobile employees having more control over their working day, some may find time management difficult and could be especially challenged when trying to switch off during the evening. Time sheets are an effective tool for monitoring the number of hours worked and can act as a flag for both employees and employers when daily limits are being hit.

There may also be other signs to look out for that suggest a staff member is struggling to switch off, for example they may be sending emails late at night.

3. Openness and transparency

Encourage openness and transparency amongst your mobile workforce. By effectively sharing information amongst mobile workers, employers are able to show productivity. Mobile workers are also often keen to demonstrate just what it is they are delivering and how effective they are being.

Not only does it keep the mobile worker front of mind, but also drives home just how key they are to the business. One of the most satisfying aspects of work is feeling that you are an integral part of the team and are appreciated. Having that openness with the business as a remote worker allows you to feel part of the team, and ultimately, a key part of the future of the company.

Video conferencing

It's important to maintain good relations with remote workers

4. Get to know your team

It’s crucial that management teams foster good relationships with their teams, so should any problems arise, they can be acknowledged and effectively resolved.

Regular face-to-face meetings are beneficial to identify and discuss any potential issues or requirements the employee might have. Often after the initial induction period in a new role, it’s common for things to come to light that are proving to be somewhat problematic.

It could be that the employee has childcare issues or health problems and is restricted to the days or hours they can work. Agreements can be made for individuals but these should be clear - for example an employee may have to complete a set number of contracted hours, but at any point during that week.

The shift to remote working can often also lead to a feeling of isolation for the employee, especially if they’re working alone from home or don’t have much contact with colleagues.

Encouraging people to get to know each other well, perhaps by arranging regular social engagements and team building events, helps to establish a stable workforce. Onboarding remote workers into a distributed organisational culture is difficult, so maintaining a stable workforce is important.

5. Buddying program

Working remotely is a seismic shift for some, so effective onboarding is especially important. A successful practice is to establish a buddying programme, which matches an established worker with a new starter. This is a perfect way for new hires to learn about unwritten practices and company policies, and to foster a general feeling of ease when adjusting to a new role.

The value of flexible working is clear for both staff members and businesses, but there is a fine line between productive employees and those who find it difficult to switch off from the job. In order to successfully implement flexible working policies and help staff members truly achieve a healthy work-life balance, businesses need to support their employees in the transition towards this new way of working.

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Managing The New Generation Of Flexible Workers

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