How do you measure the performance of home-workers?

Peninsula Team

March 09 2012

Homeworkers might be out of sight but they should not be out of mind, especially when it comes to performance review. 

Many employers experience difficulty in monitoring the performance of their employees if they are working from home. You might think that electronic monitoring of homeworkers is the quickest, cheapest and most efficient way to monitor the output and quality of a homeworker. However an employee might feel like Big Brother is watching them. Ultimately it could lead to the employee feeling as if they are not trusted by their employer. 

Measurement of objectives will need a bespoke approach depending on the type of business and role the employee undertakes. If the work relates to the production of tangible items or measurable targets– when looking at output you could look at the number of problems resolved per day and/ or per week. Then determine how the quality of this work is going to be measured. In a sales environment you can check sales calls per hour, the number of reports produced and widgets produced.  

Set out the expectations in advance with the home worker.  You could set up a reporting method by getting the employee to log everything they have done that week. Any outstanding tasks would become a work in progress and logged. Confirm details of how work will be monitored for quality and consistency.
Here are a few helpful tips:

You can discuss whether the employee will be expected to attend office- based training and performance reviews. Regular performance reviews of both home working and office based staff will enable you to address any irregularities in quality and/or output performance.

Consider putting in place a communication plan showing how line managers will keep in touch with home working staff, for example via Skype or MSN.
Ensure home workers are kept well informed of procedural changes. Determine whether any management training is required which would support line managers with responsibility for home working staff.

The steps mentioned above may help to establish an acceptable performance plan between the employer and home worker. If this is a topic that you need support with, don’t hesitate to call our Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.

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