A mobile workforce increases productivity and employee engagement and promotes revenue growth. It also helps attain better customer service, boosts work/life balance, reduces the need for additional working space and equipment, saves travel costs, eliminates commute times, expands the talent pool, deters discrimination, encourages diversity, and adds business continuity. While working remotely can be quite beneficial for both the company and employees, managing it can be challenging.
Scheduling and flexibility, maintaining effective communication, keeping everyone updated, lack of clear direction, misinterpretation, collaboration, connectivity issues, and network failure are some mobile workforce management challenges you may face. Mobile workforce managers may experience supervision issues, especially if some employees aren't trustworthy. This article outlines nine tips for managing your mobile workforce.
1. Track time and attendance
With a mobile workforce, employees work outside a traditional work environment, either at home or in the field. Managing a workforce working across different schedules, time zones, or locations can be difficult. Modern workforce management technology can help you empower your workers to manage their attendance and time while staying fully informed about their work hours, time off, and overtime. You can provide them with a mobile app to manage their time and attendance and also allow you to set overtime and work schedule preferences and see pay stubs and any other payroll data.
Consider using a scheduling solution to establish regular working hours for part-time, full-time, or personalized, flexible schedules. Consider implementing an integrated time tracking and payroll solution to give your workforce better visibility of their pay and work hours. Gather informal employee feedback to determine if they have the right tools to manage their time and attendance and the resources they need to remain productive.
2. Ensure effective communication
Effective communication is crucial for onboarding and training new employees, conflict resolution, productivity, and overall employee experience. Without the right technology to connect and converse with your mobile workers, you can have a communication gap. To improve your mobile workforce communication, consider establishing a precise policy mapping out your day-to-day communication expectations and building a community by encouraging your workers to communicate with one another, holding regular office meetings, and keeping the workers informed about all company news.
Embrace communication technology for seamless, real-time communication. This helps employees feel more connected. While it's crucial to communicate instructions, rules, and policies to your employees, an open dialogue encourages them to share their concerns and thoughts with you, establishing trust and improving workplace operations.
3. Embrace workforce lodging solutions
For mobile workers who work in more than one place or traveling is part of their job, corporate lodging services can come in handy, especially for extended stays. It's an ideal solution for when employees are handling specific assignments or projects at different locations or during extended training travels. Unlike hotel rooms, corporate lodging is usually equipped with all the work essentials your team needs, including meeting rooms and strong, reliable internet connectivity.
Corporate housing closer to your employees’ workplace helps eliminate long commuting hours, saving time and money and increasing productivity. When your employees work out of town, you can rest assured that all their needs are catered for, ensuring a good experience.
4. Don’t micromanage your workers
Employee micromanagement often damages relationships and eventually leads to high turnover rates. It shows that you don’t trust your workers and their capabilities, eroding their morale. Micromanagement also results in loss of motivation, poor work performance, drained confidence, limited creativity, and burnout. Consider trusting in your workforce's capabilities by setting goals and letting them focus on achieving them. This helps foster good working relationships, allows employee creativity to flourish, and builds trust, boosting performance and increasing productivity.
5. Invest in performance management
An excellent performance management system overall business performance and supports employee performance, well-being, and productivity. Performance management benefits employee growth and company development. Performance appraisals will enable you to provide training and development while delivering recognition and reward. It also helps you identify performance issues on time and fix them immediately before escalating into complex issues.
Regular performance management establishes an ongoing conversation and atmosphere for support, encouragement, and trust, increasing employee engagement. Setting SMART goals and ensuring effective communication ensures performance management success.
6. Ensure security
Mobile working involves sharing important personal and company information online. And as the mobile workforce expands, hackers are gaining more knowledge and skills to infiltrate data. To reduce hacking risks and their consequences, ensure that your workers utilize advanced threat protection, enable data encryption, avoid storing important company and employee data online, and perform security updates regularly. Ensure your employees use antivirus software, secure their privacy with a VPN, and educate them about phishing scams.
7. Hold regular video meetings
Communicating via online chats and emails is effective, but you can miss out on major non-verbal cues that can let you in on your employees' morale, job satisfaction, and morale. Video calls are a great way to bridge this gap because you can notice your workers' expressions, including when they seem overworked, frustrated, or even excited when talking about their work. This strengthens workplace relationships and results in empathy.
8. Set clear expectations
Role definition and setting clear expectations help keep your workforce more focused, preventing them from going off track and ensuring that they produce excellent results over time. It also avoids employee stagnation and frantic productivity, helping them push towards clear goals. Communicating roles to your workers prevents frustration, increases productivity, ensures high-quality work, and reduces turnover rates. Define specific employee expectations, ensure they're realistic and achievable, communicate those expectations clearly, leaving no room for confusion and regularly check on the team and reward success. Consider holding monthly meetings where you discuss and share company expectations on your mobile workforce.
9. Encourage collaboration
Communication issues and the mobile team’s inability to collaborate effectively with colleagues negatively impact productivity. Having a mobile workforce means workers rarely see each other, making it difficult to establish rapport. You can establish a cohesive team using online collaboration tools regardless of the distance. Providing the necessary communication and collaboration tools can help increase mobile workforce productivity.
A mobile workforce is a powerful resource, especially if you don't want to spend on office environments' overhead costs. However, proper management is critical for the productivity and success of your team. Use these tips to manage your mobile workforce.