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Managing a mobile workforce

To help motivate remote workers, companies should consider employee reward recognition programs.

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that 17 percent of the country works from home at least once a week. Mobile phones, cloud servers and other technology have greatly improved the flexibility of employees, allowing them to complete assignments from home or other remote work sites.

For most businesses, having a mobile workforce is beneficial to their operations. Employees are more relaxed, have more time to balance work and family life, and are less likely to leave for a competitor. A recent study by Stanford University found that employees working full-time from home were 13 percent more productive than those in the office. However, there are some significant challenges to maintaining a mobile workforce, and if businesses are not careful, communication could break down, creating inefficiencies.

CFO World offers some tips to organizations struggling to manage their mobile workforce. Businesses need to select clear expectations for workers and provide regular feedback. By clearly outlining goals and company values, firms can be sure that employees are able to make informed decisions. Clear communication is essential to keeping tabs on remote workers, and many businesses rely on regular meetings in the office to ensure projects are kept on schedule

To help motivate remote workers, companies should consider employee reward recognition programs. These initiatives help establish objectives for staff members and provide channels for regular feedback. The technology that allows employees to work from home can also be used to convey progress and track performance as part of the reward programs. Centralized forums let telecommuters feel connected to co-workers in the office by giving them opportunities to share ideas, participate in discussions and show support.

Managing a mobile workforce requires consistent communication. Recognition programs help businesses promote values and provide feedback at regular intervals. Sharing accomplishments and helping telecommuters meet performance objectives may make them more connected to the office, further increasing their satisfaction and engagement levels. 

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