Managing Performance of Smart Workers

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Thinking of implementing a Smart Working strategy?

There’s a question that’s often raised about how performance can be effectively managed if workers are not present in the office.

Our advice is to manage by objectives and outcomes as opposed to over observation so that trust is built between you and the Smart Worker.  Then you have to maintain it.

Set goals and action plans with employees and evaluate performance based on outputs or results. When employees are fully involved in goal setting and action planning, they are also more likely to fulfil their responsibilities.

Here are some tips and approaches:

  1. Establish clear objectives & team goals – Smart Workers should have objectives from day 1.  They should understand how they fit into the purpose and vision of the team and what bits they need to do to deliver team objectives.
  2. Required standards of work and the organisations expectations of them should be clear from the outset so that the boundaries of trust are clear.
  3. Reflect on the worker’s performance objectives in regular meetings, specifically whether they are meeting their objectives.
  4. Observe the quality of work, for example, whether the worker is frequently asked to re-do much of their work, just as you would an office worker.
  5. Consider whether the worker completes tasks promptly and meets deadlines. Also track whether the worker’s time spent doing tasks is comparable to their office-based counterparts.
  6. Use NPS or client surveys to enquire about the level of service the worker has given your clients.
  7. Let workers know at the outset that you will conduct random checks such as reviewing the worker’s telephone calls, email exchanges or internet usage.  However, ensure that this is normal practice across the whole workforce, remote and office-based. You will maintain trust and fairness that way.
  8. Monitor the worker’s creativity and the value they add to the workforce.
  9. Understand individual roles – ensure the worker has a clear job description and organogram showing how the roles fit together.

Offices can be extremely distracting places, and that’s one of the reasons that we’ve seen increases in productivity of a minimum of 13% after the introduction of Smart Working. Remote workers and to a lesser extent hub and those in co-working spaces, don’t experience what is known as the “tea and cake break”

The overriding reason for increased productivity is attributed to the fact that the people Remote and Hub Workers worked more hours purely because they didn’t have to do the commute.  The beauty of employing Smart Workers is that they tend to start earlier, take shorter breaks, they do not run errands at lunch and sickness days tend to plummet. This is backed up by research such as CTrip who saw productivity increase by at least 13.5% 9% of which was because the remote team was working while the control team commuted.

For a copy of the new Smart Workforce Model or support introducing your flexible working strategy using our 10 step implementation plan, contact me on 07976 509551 or


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