21 Jul How to make remote working work for you
If there’s one development in the past three years with repercussions for the future, it has to be remote work. The pandemic has led companies the world over to open their doors to the possibility of allowing more employees to work from the safety of their home! Though some of the more severe restrictions that were implemented at the onset of the pandemic has now loosened, the threat remains. But so has most of the realizations from the period!
According to Buffer’s State of Remote Work Report for 2022, majority of employees are enjoying working from home. They found that out of 2,118 people from 16 countries that they interviewed, a staggering 97% said they would recommend remote work to other people. 61% had very positive experiences with it, and 56% wanted a fully remote position if at all possible. These numbers provide valuable insight into the realities of remote work: it really isn’t for everyone, at least not for the long run.
Companies who have adopted Remote Work
The deeper we go into this pandemic, the more companies are deciding to take their operations to the cloud. At the time of this writing, companies like Ford, Shopify, and Spotify are some of the most notable ones to do so.
Ford stands out in particular as they have gone out and publicly stated that they are offering salaried employees the option to work from home permanently. This after they were the one of the first companies to offer their over 30,000 employees work-from-home options during the pandemic.
So with the relative success we have seen with remote work, you’re probably thinking that it might be a good option for your business. How do you go about doing that? Let’s look at some steps you can take to prepare your business and your entire team!
Preparation is key
Fully transitioning to a remote work environment is no walk in the park. There are various things you have to prepare for before making the plunge! Check out the following steps on how to setup your team for success.
- Set proper guidelines. Running an online operation where everyone is remote can be a recipe for disaster if everyone isn’t on the same page. Having the right framework lets everyone work in harmony, promotes success, and avoids miscommunication. Speaking of communication..
- Maintain clear communication at all times. One thing that I found helpful while working for Nautilus is the fact that we have daily morning briefings. During this quick, 15 minute meeting, we discuss vital projects we have going and allows us to raise any issues and concerns we might have. Having something like this for your operation allows for collaboration between team members and boosts morale. Knowing that everyone is part of a team is healthy for everyone involved!
- Have remote team building exercises. Your team still needs to know they’re part of the team despite the distance! Little games you can have on Zoom or any other messaging platform goes a long way in boosting your team morale and making sure that everyone is in a good mood.
- Expect difficulties. There’s no two ways about it, you’re probably going to encounter some issues along the way. It might be technical difficulties, miscommunication, or something else entirely. Sit down with your core team and discuss possible steps in anticipation of these issues. Having failsafe measures is ideal, but in real-world situations those wouldn’t be easily accessible.
- Provide your team with the right equipment. How do you expect your team to perform well if they don’t have the right set of tools to do their job? Having a uniform set of work computers and software also allows for better maintenance and servicing, as well as making sure that the seamless flow of solutions runs uninterrupted.
- Set a time tracking / work monitoring system. One major consideration that managers have about allowing their employees to work remotely is reduced productivity. That not being there with them can cause team members to slack off, become unmotivated, and lose focus. Popular time tracking applications like Time Doctor, Hubstaff, and even Upwork’s built-in Work Diary feature are great options. Though it might be perceived as invasive by some, the thinking that we’re going for here is a promotion of accountability and self-direction.
- Promote a healthy work-life balance. Your workers might have the urge to keep working beyond their scheduled hours, especially when their workspace is just within close proximity. Encourage them to get out and step away from their desks.
- Train for security threats. A big challenge for remote companies is the heightened threat of a security breach. Being that workers are likely to be working on personal computers using possibly unsafe networks, the chances of a virus or a security attach happening is very high. Hold frequent information blasts to let everyone know of the best practices to avoid said issues.
- Promote transparency. If you’re taking your operation to the cloud, you’re separating your team members and essentially trusting them to do their job unsupervised. Make transparency and honesty essential foundations of your business. This helps all parties involved not just in the quality of their work, but also in their individual performances.
With the benefits of remote work apparent to both workers and their employers, the success and continuation of this work model is more than assured for the near future.
Findings from a Stanford University Study of about 16,000 workers revealed that their productivity increased by 13 percent when they started working from home. Overall employee happiness also increased by 20% according to a research conducted by Owl Lab. Aside from that, employees also said they would stay at their jobs longer because of remote work opportunities.
So if your company is considering allowing remote work for your team, you might be on to something. As long as you take the proper measures and ensure that all parties involved are on the same page, everyone wins!