by Robert Murphy, co-founder of Assigned Counsel / photo credit: Croissant on Unsplash
For twenty-seven years, I have managed an operation in which 100% of the personnel have worked from home. My first client account manager, a single mother with several young children, needed to be home-bound. This initial experience set the foundation for a successful model. However, experience has taught me that while anyone can work from home, not everyone can work from home. I’ve observed three conditions that play a role in positive outcomes.
Attitude – Some workers have a strong preference for an interactive staffed office environment. These individuals can flounder when working from home. Established performance metrics allow a manager to gauge home versus office performance. Attitudes usually cannot be changed but the attentive manager can change the work site.
Technology – The advances in technology from the days of unsecured, dial-up modems has dramatically enhanced home-based work. Cloud based programs with security protocols add to the ease and safety by which at-home work can be accomplished. Successful client interaction can be achieved with the assistance of live video, replacing physical presence.
Oversight – Metrics and accountability are key. Out of sight does not mean out of mind. Frequent contact between managers and staff through media, including video conferencing, reinforce engagement. Connections provide the opportunity for instruction, monitoring, gaining feedback and addressing both positive and negative issues in timely fashion.
As the virtual business model is adopted as standard operating procedure, the importance of understanding and embracing these three basics follows contemporaneously.