Lessons of Success in Establishing a Mobile Workforce
In our profession, we have many fortunate attributes. One of them is that we don’t need to see the client in order to operate on his affliction. Doctors, dentists, lawyers and developers all have to have the patient at hand, or there will be no business. Heck, I got fired from my dentist because I kept missing my appointment. Shoot, I don’t know where I’m going to be tomorrow, let alone six months from now.
So armed with that fact, let’s think about where our workforce needs to be. I’ve had many practitioners tell me that they want their staff right there, in the office, so they could keep tabs on them. I’ve seen practitioners track staff hour by hour. I’ve seen them be subject to strict starting and stopping times. I’ve even had one accountant say emphatically, “I’m signing their check, so I want them available whenever I so wish!!” … HHHHMMMM.
I don’t work well in those environments, although, I know some of my colleagues do. And if I don’t like it, what about the staff?
So, some time ago, I instituted a mobile workforce, giving options on where, when and how they worked. I started to measure them on the timeliness, accuracy and efficiency of their work. I had a staff member move to Utah. I had a former employee contact me from Los Cabos, Mexico. Another moved with her husband to Vancouver Island. All three are Class A employees. All three continue to work on our team. Their productivity? 100%. Wow!
A casualty is the office space. Shoot, now I have less rent, boardroom space, traveling offices and a relaxed atmosphere. Not hard to take.
LESSON: Efficiency and work-life balance can be accomplished for your entire office, not just for you. Happier work environment = increased productivity/profit. Again, think about “out-of-the-box” solutions for you and your firm.