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How to keep 'work from home' employees accountable--without spying

Liane Cassavoy | April 2, 2013
We all hear the jokes about employees not-really-working at home. If you're not sure what remote employees are up to, use these tech tools and management tips to get the most out of them and take the worry out of your work-at-home policy. (Surprise: Spying is not the best answer.)

"I'm a big believer in the ROWE [Results Only Work Environment] movement. It's all about treating your staff like adults and allowing them to manage their own time," says Ben Eubanks, the HR manager for Pinnacle Solutions, a 70-person engineering and training service provider based in Huntsville, Alabama. Owing to its work as a government contractor, Pinnacle Solutions currently manages more employees located outside its home office than based in it, but Eubanks says that Pinnacle doesn't use any specific tech products to make sure that they're getting their work done.

"We have a strict hiring process, and we screen rigorously to find people who meet our core values, which we communicate early and often. A couple of times, we have run into people who can't handle the freedom--people who want to goof off instead of working. But we can tell when they're not meeting deadlines, and we get the process started to find someone else who can," Eubanks says. "It all comes back to our core values and our ability to communicate them."

Communication is key, whether you manage a staff of 2 or of 222. And you can find plenty of products designed to help you to keep everybody on task--without forcing you to play taskmaster.


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