Depending on the company culture and situation, most employees don’t finish working at 5:00 p.m. when they leave the building, thanks to their mobile phones. Although they may not be at their desk, employees are still accessible. It’s hard to have a credible excuse of being “out” as there are many ways to connect while on the go. With these conditions, it is important to clearly indicate to your employees that the company expects a standard response time. Make it clear on how long it should take an employee to respond to an inquiry based on who asked the question and how it was asked.
Chances are response times will vary based on whether the question is asked by a boss, coworker, or customer. For example, if your boss asks you an urgent question via text message, the standard response time would probably be quicker than a coworker who asks something that can be answered the next business day. Look at it this way, if your company has a policy (whether it’s informal or formal) about employees working outside of the office, then there should be a policy regarding response times. In the long run, it will encourage more productivity and better communication.
When companies don’t make it clear about how long it should take an employee to respond to work-related matters outside of the office, employees will feel like they need to work around the clock. This leads to overworked employees who in turn become less productive.
To help you create a successful policy, we’ve established some key points that need to be addressed:
- Make sure to clarify the expectations of employees for after-hours work.
- Let employees who are outside of the office for business purposes know how often to check in.
- When employees do take a vacation, establish whether or not they can completely turn off.
When a policy is in place, the entire company will benefit. Policies help organizations manage projects, overtime payments, and interoffice communication. For more tips on developing a standard response time policy for your organization, contact one of our associates at High Profile today.