Screen Printers Weigh In on Allowing Staff to Work Remotely
Do You or Don’t You: "For the type of job you can do remotely, I find it hard to measure productivity even when they are sitting next to me."
Do you allow staff to work remotely?
- On occasion, but it’s pretty tough to work remote as we cannot take most of our equipment home with us. — Shamus Barrett, 7 Corners Printing
- My art director works remotely two out of three days. We relocated the business an hour away, so we added the flexibility to work remote. — Shannon McKinnon, Aisle 6ix
Occasionally our director of ops and merch experts will work from home. For the most part, it works best if they are in the office, especially during production hours, to answer any questions that may arise. We work a four-day work week so there’s not a huge need for remote hours. However, we allow a tiny bit of flexibility to help with their work-life balance and accommodate their family needs. — Jessica Tillery, All Quality Graphics
- Yes, but we try to limit remote work because generally we need bodies in the building to help with walk ins or the phones. — Ryan Toney, P&M Apparel
- We did when the pandemic hit for certain positions that were primarily computer work. When we were allowed to come back together and all work at the same time again, we continued allowing remote work for staff that could. Eventually, we discovered that it led to communication issues, and we have stopped having team members work remotely for the time being. — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art
- We did it a bit during COVID. The art still got done at the last minute, badly. At least at work we could get it fixed quicker. — Andy MacDougall, MacDougall Screen Printing
We cannot produce product unless they’re in our facility. — Shawn LaFave, North Georgia Promotions
- There’s a few reasons why we do not have staff work remotely. First is to ensure fairness in a production-based industry. We wouldn’t want to have the production team feel like the office staff received special treatment working from home while they were required to come in every day. Another reason is simply the nature of communication in our business. We talk face-to-face every day, whether it’s running production samples by our reps or going over printing questions with the art department and clients. It would be difficult to maintain our high level of quality assurance remotely. — Alicia Borromeo, Logowear House
If you have employees who work from home, how do you measure their productivity?
- Outside work should be defined by goals and the work that is scheduled. Is management giving the expectations on what should happen? How are you measuring the output? Clearly define what should happen and build the process indicating the work aligns with the expectations. — Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting
- We use Monday.com to allow each person to report what they are doing, add notes, and share files, and it allows us to track KPIs. Time on projects can be displayed on a dashboard that the user customizes in the form of pie charts, etc. — John Magee, Avient Specialty Inks
For the type of job you can do remotely, I find it hard to measure productivity even when they are sitting next to me. How long does it take to make artwork and get it approved? It depends on the art and the customer. In the end, it really comes down to how much you trust your employee. If you aren’t sure you do, then you need to start setting targets and expectations. If they push back on that, then to me that is a warning sign. — Matthew Pierrot, GetBOLD
- The only position we had working remotely for an extended period of time was our graphic designer. We measured productivity by having a specific lead time requirement for projects. The graphic designer was responsible for tracking when the first proof was sent. For accountability, we went over the average first proof rate in company meetings as one of the numbers we measure along with the other numbers we track to make sure we are on target with everything. — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art
- My remote workers are sales staff. If they are meeting or exceeding their sales goals, we are all good! — Ali Banholzer, Wear Your Spirit Warehouse
- I ask to be CC’ed on all the quotes and email correspondences they send out that day. It’s still not a bulletproof process. — Jessica Tillery, All Quality Graphics
We have a daily morning call and check-ins throughout the day. — Shannon McKinnon, Aisle 6ix
- We ask WFH designers to post their work from the day in a Slack channel. This also provides an opportunity for group critique. — Ian Graham, Feels So Good
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Let’s Talk About It
Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry
LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.
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