How to Assess if an Employee Can be Productive Working from Home

Can "Working from home: and "being productive" be in the same sentence? Here's how to evaluate if a telecommuting employee can be productive

Work environment
Human capital

Cindy Boisvert

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


When it comes to working from home, or telecommuting, there seems to be two schools of thought: one that is in favor, and one that is not too fond of the idea of letting employees work from home.

However, there are several factors that make the option of telecommuting not only possible, but beneficial to your business.

If you are among those who are seeing the benefits, you may be wondering if there is a way to assess whether an employee can be productive working from home. You guessed it – some tips leading to the answer can be found in this article!

Evaluate certain trends in personality

Certainly, for an employee, the idea of ​​working from home can be tempting: saving transportation time to work, enjoy an extra hour of sleep, being in the comfort of their slippers … (What!? To each their preferences!). But is it tempting to you?

Know that not all employees will be performing optimally while telecommuting. There are some trends in the personality traits of an individual that you should consider and that can help ensure maximum productivity for your teleworker! Beware: we are presenting trends and tendencies in the personality of the people so that their productivity in telecommuting is most likely to be maximized!

Working from home and being traditional

People who tend to be more traditional in their ways are people who believe that the work that is done should be done properly. They are people who are more likely to be loyal to the employer and follow the rules.

The traditional moral sense of these employees makes them uncomfortable with non-compliance. Their productivity will tend to be maximized, as long as you provide them with a framework or a specific predetermined plan to carry out what they need to accomplish.

They will naturally adopt a way of working that is stable and that won’t change much over time, making sure they are very likely to deliver the goods … whether from home or a local coffee!

A little organization, please!

Your employees who are most organized in their work and how they manage their time will invest the necessary efforts to be in control of the situation!

They will easily be troubled when they have to change their plans at the last minute and will tend to be respectful of deadlines. By being present at work, employees have to deal with unexpected situations, with being constantly solicited left and right … and it may be difficult for them to say “no” to their colleagues.

The daily routine of working from home will not discourage them. On the contrary, they will surely be comfortable to organize their day in their own way, which will contribute to their engagement.

Want to see the results of their telecommuting?

So does your employee! If they are more focused on results, you can be comfortable assigning them to a teleworking session.

These people tend to show a lot of will to work and perseverance, even when they encounter significant barriers. They will even have the habit of putting a lot of pressure on themselves to achieve results, perhaps even delivering more than you had expected.

Being very ambitious, your results-oriented employees will work intensely for a period of time, to ensure the achievement of objectives, no matter what happens!

Speaking of results: it is important to determine what the outcome means to you: you need to identify what you need! If your goal is to have presentation X, or quality project Y, on hand at the end of the day, then does it really matter where your employee completed the job? Or is it more important to you to simply have the job done, regardless of your employee’s physical location?

Recharging through people

Not really useful for people working from home! People who are more extroverted tend to be a little depressed as a result of the loneliness associated with telecommuting, and will feel like they are missing something at the office when they find themselves alone at home.

People who are more introverted are able to motivate themselves and regularly need some time to be alone to think and work effectively.

Since they work well alone and not constantly dependent on the presence of others to do their job, more naturally introverted people will be more comfortable working from home.

Now that you have acknowledged the personality traits that might be called “ideal” for a person working from home, perhaps you wonder how to assess them effectively. The answer? A psychometric test! But beware: not just any of them work. There are some things to consider before choosing a test to ensure the validity of the information you will obtain.

Trust, first and foremost

Even if there really was a portrait of the typical ideal employee for telecommuting, recognizable using, among other things, psychometric tools, you still have a little way to go.

You have to trust your employees, and adopt a corporate culture encouraging telecommuting to maximize the productivity of people who will work from the outside.

Working from home: a matter of follow-ups!

Be flexible, but fair. Your role as a manager also asks you to ensure follow-ups and to think carefully about the impact of telecommuting on your business. Poor teleworking management could have a negative impact on your workforce, and on the prosperity of the organization.

Today’s technological tools now allow you to stay connected and manage your staff working from home more effectively. It is far too easy to let employees be, so keep performing adequate follow-ups.

Do not hesitate to ask for feedback, or concrete results following a telecommuting session. You trusted your employee, let them show you that you were right to do so!

There is no template for the ideal teleworker profile, but there are certainly ways to assess whether your employee will tend to be productive when working from home.

If the article does not convince you, maybe Nubik, the largest partner in Montreal, and their methodology will do just that: the company employs roughly forty permanent employees, and the entire workforce is made of 100% of people working from home!

This successful organization manages to assess whether a person will be productive teleworking using psychometric tools. Inspired?

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