Commercial Real Estate Employees Working From Home Remotely
Productive work from home?

Building managers are continuously on the move. This can make it difficult to oversee the training and development of personnel who are essential to facility operations. Maintenance workers, security guards and other employees often work independently with little interaction between them. If property managers are not careful, this could lead to a breakdown in communication that decreases efficiency.

Businesses in every industry are dealing with more remote workforces. Technology has made it easier for employees to work from anywhere, which is creating demand for telecommuting options. Forrester Research estimates that 43 percent of the U.S. workforce will work from home by 2016.

Some firms have found that a high level of remote workers can negatively influence communication between departments. Yahoo recently canceled its telecommuting program because projects were continually falling behind schedule and not meeting standards. Similar situations could occur within the commercial property management sector if businesses don’t take the time to regularly review their communication strategies.

Mobile devices have become a vital part of managing remote staff members. Not only can smartphones provide a way to get updates from employees, but software programs can be used to track performance. Reviews are more challenging when workers spend the bulk of their day moving between locations. Supervisors don’t have direct oversight into workers’ activities, making it difficult to determine exactly how effective they are. Wired Magazine noted that remote staff members need a balanced review mechanism that removes guesswork from the process. Fortunately, data management tools are helping firms gain a better understanding of the capabilities of each employee.

Performance data such as the number of assignments completed, expenses accrued, customer satisfaction levels and more can help property managers gain insights into staff member development. Beth Carvin, president of Nobscot Corp, told IT Business Edge that data management tools are necessary for companies to determine if staff members have the resources they need to perform effectively.

Consequently, information on employee performance and turnover rates will help organizations improve their staff management. IT Business Edge noted that mentor programs could help workers feel more connected to their businesses. Having someone to answer questions, express concerns and seek advice from will help crews perform better and become more engaged in company culture.

Establishing a mentoring program for remote workers requires comprehensive communication strategies. Staff members need the ability to speak freely with each other without returning to a central office. Again, technology is helping to provide solutions for this. Social media sites and online forums have proven to be an effective way to encourage dialogue between individuals. However, all of the technology will be useless if workers are not willing to participate in the programs.

Offering incentives to employees who become mentors could keep participation high. In addition, focusing on skill development can help create a culture of continual learning, which could naturally spur mentorships. Encouraging employees to find and cultivate their own mentors will improve program results and help keep remote workers more connected and engaged.