Ford recently announced that 30,000 of their employees will have the option of working from home indefinitely.
They join a long list of companies including Dropbox, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter who are making remote work permanent, underscoring the impact COVID has on the workplace.
Ford’s decision was influenced by a survey they conducted that found 95% of employees wanted a hybrid form of working in part because they felt more productive at home.
A Stanford study supports the notion that workers are more productive at home than in the office. It followed 16,000 workers over a nine-month period and found that working from home increased productivity by 13%, a result of a quieter work environment and fewer sick days.
Can this boost in productivity be sustained once remote work becomes permanent? As the novelty of working from home fades, many employees are finding themselves feeling unmotivated and disconnected. Managers will need to focus their efforts on promoting motivation and accountability among their workforce to ensure a productive team.
Accountability in the Workplace
When a team fails to reach a goal, how do the individual members respond? Do they point fingers and place blame, or do they own up to mistakes and recognize the role they played in missing the mark?
Accountable employees take responsibility for their actions, performance, and decisions. They take pride in their work, complete projects on time to the best of their ability, and work when they are on company time.
When under the watchful eye of their managers, in-office employees are driven to perform either because they seek praise or want to avoid criticism. Some remote employees, with less supervision and more autonomy, may take advantage of the freedom. While others are motivated from within because they feel genuine satisfaction in a job well done. This is referred to as intrinsic motivation and is the key to accountability.
While some people are naturally self-driven, there are ways to nurture your team and their sense of accountability.
Set clear expectations.
Accountability in the workplace is only possible when employees understand what they are accountable for. Remote teams need clearly defined expectations and a solid work-from-home policy that lays out how they should operate and what you expect from them when they’re working away from the office.
It should include who can work from home, when and how often, what equipment is required, and what security measures must be taken. Your work-from-home policy should be clearly communicated in your employee handbook.
Make communication a priority.
Promoting accountability in the workplace requires open and honest communication. It’s important that managers provide regular, transparent communication to their teams and communication is encouraged among co-workers. This ensures that the team is on the same page and working toward the same goals. When the team is successful, all members feel like they participated in accomplishing a common goal. And in times of conflict, it prevents employees from placing blame.
Effective communication is a challenge when working with remote teams. The lack of face-to-face interaction means managers must be creative when creating a strategy. By keeping the lines of communication open and choosing the right communication tools, it is possible to create a cohesive, collaborative, and accountable team.
Do You Have A Work From Home Policy Checklist?
Remote work has become a necessity and so has the need for employers to create Work From Home Policies. A checklist limits the risks associated with remote work and sets employees up for success. Click here to download our checklist to learn what it should include >>