According to Robert Half Australia director Nicole Gorton, modern workplaces must allow for flexible working arrangements and uphold a high standard of professionalism and productivity regardless of where the team is situated.
“Although implementing telecommuting may prove more challenging for organisations that have not previously supported remote working options, it is a necessary consideration to ensure business are able to uphold productive workflows, clear communication and positive working culture regardless of external forces,” she said.
In order to assist businesses to establish a framework for successful telecommuting, specialised recruiter Robert Half has prepared five work-from-home management tips:
1. Establish regular catch-up meetings
Communication is central to any working relationship, Ms Gorton said.
“Setting aside time for regular communication is a powerful way to work together – it’s also a faster way to address issues than typing emails on the fly. Moreover, biweekly status calls and regular feedback allow telecommuters know that out of sight is not out of mind,” she argued.
“A regular Skype meeting or phone call can help the team to connect, discuss the progress of projects, share new developments and resolve any issues that could potentially arise. The start of group meetings is also a good time to acknowledge birthdays and encourage people to share personal updates, which in turn helps to uphold staff morale.”
2. Set clear expectations
When it comes to quality and deliverables, Ms Gorton continued, there “should be no difference” between the work an employee performs remotely or when that person is present in the company's office.
“Set equal standards for on-site and off-site professionals in areas such as client service, deadlines, office hours, and response times for emails and phone calls,” she said.
3. Choose the right tech tools
In a virtual environment, technology is everyone’s communication lifeline, she said.
“Slack, Google Hangouts and Skype for Business are some of the platforms employees can use to reach out to colleagues and employers throughout the day. File-hosting services like Dropbox, Google Drive or an in-house system also foster virtual collaboration and information sharing in real time,” Ms Gorton said.
4. Keep virtual team members in the loop
As opposed to remote working, Ms Gorton mused, unscheduled meetings and brainstorming sessions as well as impromptu moments of team bonding can often occur in office working arrangements.
“Managers can do much to help telecommuters and other remote workers feel like part of the team by encouraging virtual discussion boards or video meetings to conduct spur-of-the-moment conversations,” she said.
5. Don’t overlook the needs of on-site workers
“Employees who don’t have the option to telecommute — or may simply prefer working at the office — may miss out on some of the same conveniences of their telecommuting colleagues. For those who are working from the office, consider easing the office dress code, allowing flexible scheduling or offering commuter benefits like subsidised parking or transit passes for those workers,” Ms Gorton concluded.
“To make telecommuting work well for the workforce, employers need to make sure that remote team members never feel left out. Likewise, don’t overlook the need for in-office employees to maintain a better balance between their professional and personal lives and to work in a more relaxed environment.”
BEc (Acc), MBA, CPA, FFin
David has been in the Financial Services Industry for nearly 30 years. He was one of the founding Directors of the successful Financial Planning and Stockbroking Practice, Henderson Gregory Forrest, for a decade. Prior to that, he held senior roles in companies such as ING, KPMG Accountants and AMP. David was previously Chairman of OAMPS Superannuation Trustee Board and currently serves as an independent Board Director for several companies.
David’s extensive experience in all forms of superannuation, including Self Managed Super Funds (SMSF), Defined Benefit Funds, retirement funding through Account Based Pensions, stockbroking with a focus on Direct Share Investment, Taxation/Remuneration Planning, Centrelink, Aged Care and business management, equip him to advise expertly on all aspects of Financial Advice.
Those with a particular interest in superannuation/SMSFs, direct share investment, salary packaging or applying for the Centrelink Pension will find his knowledge and ability in formulating and implementing creative, logical and simple wealth creation strategies a valuable asset.
David maintains a strong personalised client service focus, providing tailored solutions for clients.
David Forrest is an Authorised Representative of Integrity Financial (SA) Pty Ltd ABN 16 133 921 187 — AFSL No 334846
Business Finance Manager
B Bus (Acc), CPA
Michelle’s career has spanned across the Financial Services, Retirement Living and Aged Care industries working in the private sector, not for profit and more recently with the state government for over 20 years. Her experience extends to many facets of the financial services industry, having worked in superannuation administration, technical support and financial planning practice administration.
Commencing with AMP and subsequently working in commerce and accounting roles with companies such as Brambles, Adelaide Bank Retirement Services, ECH Inc and SA Health and Wellbeing, Michelle returns to financial services after working in practice financial management at Henderson Gregory Forrest. This wide range of experience from senior accounting and management roles has provided Michelle with a strong background in business administration.
With an astute financial acumen and keen interest in business improvement strategies, Michelle ensures the smooth running of the Integrity Financial Advisory practice providing valued management support to our personalised client service focus.
Client Service Manager
Jasmine has worked in the financial services industry for over 12 years in all areas of client administration, working with David since 2013.
Jasmine has extensive knowledge and experience in client service including implementation of advice, portfolio reporting, assisting with the establishment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs), term deposit management and a long history of helping clients with their enquiries.
Jasmine’s attention to detail, yet gentle approach, means she is able to solve the trickiest of questions for our client community.
Jasmine has gained her Certificate III in Financial Services qualification.
Client Service Manager
Merrilyn has worked in the financial services industry for over 11 years in all areas of client administration, and is a new addition to our client services team, returning from Melbourne to join the team in June 2019.
Merrilyn has extensive knowledge and experience in client service including implementation of advice, managed fund administration, assisting with the establishment of Self Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and process improvement for the previous practices she has worked with. Merrilyn’s experience with direct shares constitutes the other part of our administrative support for direct equity investments.
Merrilyn’s warm and caring nature continues to endear her to our clients and she has already established herself as a valued member of our team.