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How to achieve work-from-home accountability

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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With challenging times like covid –19, we all have learned an important lesson: to work around the new norms and work style that is work from home. But with these challenging times, more challenges peak as we talk about accountability. Whatever the employees have learned at work about accountability, will they be able to continue with the same at home? Will they be able to work at all at home? Will they be able to perform at all? So, how do we achieve accountability in work from a home setup? 

We know that in remote conditions or working from home, the commitment level may decrease as the employee might feel relaxed in that environment. But then, a good manager must keep their employees equally committed and engaged. Managers tend to build their trust in their teams with the assignments assigned. But the biggest question is the consistency of work. As they are at home, they might feel a bit bored and lazy, which might delay performance. Accountability of every employee is linked to their own and the company’s success. So, how are they supposed to be accountable for work-from-home conditions? What could be the driver behind it? Before we discuss achieving work-from-home accountability, let’s look at accountability for employees working from home. 

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What is accountability in work from a home scenario?

Accountability for work-from-home employees is like an obligation to take responsibility or deliver their duties on recommended deadlines. They want to meet their targets and timelines. They will ensure that if they have a presentation for two days, they will work on it and prepare for it accordingly. Because they have already understood the concept of accountability, they know their responsibility well enough. But the commitment towards the overall performance begins to slack over a while. The manager’s responsibility is to ensure that his team delivers the expected outcome in a recommended time frame and that the team’s performance continues to perform the same quality of work, which would contribute to the overall organization’s performance. So, let us now understand the importance of accountability in work-from-home environment.

Why is accountability so important in work-from-home?

The next question is why we need work-from-home set up accountability. Why is accountability so crucial in work from a home scenario? We have mentioned above that accountability brings in the trust factor amongst the managers, their teams, and the team members. Also, accountability is directly related to the overall success of the organization. So, if the team members are not accountable, then managers and peers will not be able to build trust in each other when they don’t trust each other, and then the performance will get affected. The teams will need help to deliver the desired results. The factors like one-on-one communication, receptivity to feedback, and respect for each other will also get impacted. As well as, acceptance of the necessary improvement will get affected. This way, how is a team supposed to perform for the organization? And how can the organization achieve the success it had planned? Now that we have understood the importance of accountability even in work-from-home scenarios, how can we inculcate accountability in a work-from-home environment? 

Tips for establishing accountability in work from home

1. Set clear expectations

Rule number one remains same unchanged here. As a manager or organization, one has to set clear expectations with the employees. Discuss the deliverables with them. Clearly understand what must provide resources and how they can work efficiently from home. What will be their working hours, and how can they achieve their goals?

2. Set clear communication standards

Even if they are working from home, as a manager, your device clear communication patterns with them so that you can build trust in each other. The employees can understand the procedure and goals better, and the managers can understand their team and their weaknesses and strengths so that they can divide the work accordingly.

3. Result-based approach

Now that you are working from home, you must be able to monitor the progress. That is by looking at the result. Results don’t have to be overall results; you can break them down into smaller steps of achievement. That will keep the employees motivated, encouraged, and engaged in working towards their ultimate target.

Final thoughts

Like the points mentioned above, you can add daily meetings to monitor the progress and commitment, then you can plan for recording project tracking planner where each employee can update their progress every day. Then a manager will be accountable for managing his team most effectively. As the team’s performance improves, the organization’s performance will also enhance, and even in challenging situations, the organization will reach greater heights. Accountability, even in the work-from-home scenario, can lead to employee engagement and commitment toward their work. As a result, more accountable employees always learn to perform better and provide the best results for the team.