We are living through an extraordinary period, having to find our way in uncharted waters. This is particularly true for managers who have suddenly found their employees are now all based at home and they themselves are also working from home. Fortunately some help is at hand.

Here at Wisework we have been helping organisations to implement home working for the last 20 years. We have encouraged organisations to implement their flexible working in a planned way and not force people to work at home if they don’t want to. How the world has changed, in just a couple of weeks!

To help managers of home workers to cope with the situation we are running free Webinars and have produced our Top Ten Tips. Here is the first tip:

Manage by Output not Input

When you are working together with your employees it’s easy to watch what they are doing to check they are working. Now you can’t see them, you have to trust that they are getting on with the job. This means measuring results instead of monitoring their efforts and counting the hours they put in.

Suddenly you are asking yourself “How do I know they are working?”. Maybe they are just sitting watching TV all day! The answer has to be based on output. It’s even more important than usual that people are clear what is wanted. Agree with them the way you will both know that the work has been done. Set deadlines for tasks and then check they have been done by looking for the results.

Managing by output means you do not have to monitor exactly when people are working. Look at the detailed tasks and you will find many that can be done at any time. You don’t need to insist that people are ‘at work’ at specific times unless it’s really necessary to get the job done. Let people choose when they work. This is particularly important right now for people who are fitting their work around other home pressures such a child care.