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How do you manage employee attendance when your staff are remote working?

Thursday, 23 Apr 2020

Stay at home, Protect the NHS, Save lives

The concept of the office is changing. Internet connectivity is enabling companies to operate more flexibly than ever before, recruiting employees in different locations, on different types of contract, to create the perfect mix of skills.

But despite obvious benefits, this new remote-driven way of working has its challenges. It’s hard to keep in touch with staff movements, to ensure that employees have the peer support they require, and to identify any commitment problems that need to be addressed.

If you’re looking beyond the four walls of the traditional office to recruit new talent, your organisation needs to have the right structures and processes in place to manage remote employees. Here are some things to consider when creating a more flexible working model, to nurture talent even when you’re not sitting face-to-face...

Employees want more remote working opportunities

For many businesses, company set-up has never been more fluid – and this change is being driven by employees. A study by Owl Labs found that 68% of global staff now work remotely at least once a month, with most seeing a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. 83% of people believe remote working makes them happier, 82% feel it shows they are trusted by their employer, and 80% think it lowers their stress levels.

2019 State of Remote Work Report

A less stressed, more motivated workforce can only be a good thing for employers, but that doesn’t mean building a remote operation is a bed of roses. Talented people still need to be given the right support and infrastructure to flourish, and this can be difficult when you’re not all sitting in the same space. Equally, there are still cases of staff who take advantage of working from home to prioritise their personal lives, which need to be addressed quickly.

Empowering talented people to work closely

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In order for staff to flourish in a remote environment, employers need to make sure they have a strong support network – so people know they can count on team members at all times.

It’s hard enough to keep track of where everyone is in the office, but when people are spread out over many locations, it can become even more challenging. That’s why many businesses are investing in staff management software, to coordinate availability through a central system.

This type of technology is so much more than just a holiday planning tool; it can support remote working opportunities. In addition to keeping track of annual leave bookings, the right software will be able to integrate other types of absence and commitment – from time off in lieu (TOIL) and medical appointments, to sickness and external meetings.

By investing in an online holiday planning system with these additional functions, employers can accurately track exactly where everyone is, and give staff access to a read-only version of this calendar. This helps employees to look up which colleagues are available for advice and support, to schedule-in internal meetings at appropriate times, and to only book time off when it won’t clash with approved holiday requests involving other team members. In essence, it can become the operational nerve centre of the business.

Dealing with attendance problems quickly and effectively

Trust is a huge part of the remote working movement, and most professionals are fully capable of doing an outstanding job from any location. However, there are occasions when workers will take advantage of virtual offices to exploit working agreements – and technology can prove just as useful in this scenario as well.

WhosOff HR Essentials

Accurate record-keeping is an essential part of strong HR, as companies need to base any decisions or disciplinary actions on evidence. With a holiday planning system that also tracks sickness and time off in lieu, employers can build up a full picture of all employee absences – and easily spot where negative patterns are emerging.

With a complete record of attendance, you have the facts to-hand to start an open discussion with staff members you’re concerned about; creating more opportunity to resolve emerging issues quickly and effectively, and set employees back on the right path.

Building trust through transparency

Managing employee attendance is important to ensuring a well-functioning team, and in a world of flexible, remote working opportunities, it becomes all the more important. An online holiday planner will take the time and stress out of keeping tabs on staff, so that your business can focus on supporting employee progression from any location.

And rather than eroding trust, putting the right staff management software in place creates transparency and open communication between colleagues, encouraging a collaborative environment – even when staff aren’t sitting in the same room.

WhosOff holiday planning software enables companies to stay in touch with staff movements, wherever their team is based. Our platform can be accessed via the web, for the whole company to check availability and request annual leave, as well as via our dedicated mobile apps for user-based functions.

Book your free WhosOff demo now.

Photo by Daria Shevtsova of Pexels.com

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Posted by Mark Tomkinson

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