In response to the uncertainties presented by Covid-19, many organizations have established remote teams and requested their employees to work remotely. Although it is always preferable to have clear remote-work strategies and training ahead of time, in times of crisis or other rapidly changing circumstances, this level of preparation may not be feasible.
Even though many companies have been forced to create remote working environments for their teams as a protective measure against the spread of Covid-19, the fact is that once the crisis has passed, companies may find that remote working structures actually offer real opportunities and benefits for management, employees and company growth. The challenge is for employers to keep an eye on the longer-term benefits of remote working structures even as they manage the current disruptions they face.
Below, we have covered a few of the best practices that will help you establish an exceptional remote team.
Establish culture & workflow:
Perhaps the greatest obstacle in creating a productive remote office is building a strong work process and company culture. In a traditional office setting, new employees learn by just observing and participating, and they create strong working relationships largely through proximity and continued interactions — both informal and formal– with their co-workers. This becomes more challenging for both new employees and veterans in a remote office, since these interactions must become more explicit and structured.
As a remote manager, give clear direction and characterize expectations for employees, and then put forward a technique for estimating productivity. It might take some trial-and-error to shift from in-person management and interaction to “virtual” management, though it’s important to make it a priority since remote workers won’t have the usual advantages of personal connection and direct observation. The more expectations are clearly characterized, the less room there is for confusion.
Outlining these new methods at first can be challenging, making it important to adjust along the way and also soliciting input from staff. Ensure that the lines of communication stay open, both to and from workers, to encourage sharing best practices. Be available to take input from remote workers, who can offer important bits of knowledge and can help with workflow and policy modifications.
Equipment and Technology Needs:
While remote employees can save organizations money by reducing or eliminating costs, for example, rent and utilities, this doesn’t mean employees can or should bear the costs for equipment, security and other technologies needed for them to effectively work outside of the office. Be clear about what technology the employee should have and what the organization will provide, as well as company reimbursement guidelines.. It’s not unreasonable to anticipate that the employee will use his or her personal phone or computer, as well as their own internet connection. However, it’s also reasonable for the employee to expect the company to reimburse certain costs, or to provide equipment such as laptops. As well, it is the company’s responsibility to ensure that employees working from their homes have access to software and other tools that protect company information. Managers should also expect to take care of product licenses or any devices that may be required, for example, specific software or an instant messaging platform, etc,.
Communication and Meetings:
Since communication is such a significant part of remote work, it’s advisable to have a communication strategy to ensure employees are kept in the loop. Planning & scheduling regular phone calls with remote employees – whether daily, weekly, or at another interval, helps minimize and guarantees employee efficiency and success.
Remote workplaces will utilize more than one method for communication throughout the day. It’s important to discuss with your remote staff which methods are most productive for certain tasks. Ask them: Conference calls? Email? Chat? Similarly, get clarity on which platforms are most appropriate for client interaction. Consider whether you should include multiple members, share reports and documents, or demonstrate tasks via screen share.
XOverture considers Slack as the best instant messaging platform for workplaces, as it is a simple platform with approaches to coordinate with different applications and make customized channels for various groups and purposes.
For additional in-depth discussions or meetings with clients, an effective and easily accessible video conferencing application is an important investment. Skype is normally the primary video programming individuals consider, however look at Zoom or Join.me for different choices with screen-sharing and conference calling.
Multiple tools and platforms for various purposes will probably be necessary, however put forth an attempt to choose multi-functional tools to keep the number of different platforms your office uses to a minimum. This will help set a foundation for a streamlined work process.
Similarly as with each part of setting up a remote office, be attentive to employee needs and adjust where required. If a platform isn’t working as expected, explore different platforms to make the current one progressively successful.
The jump to setting up a remote team and building up a remote workspace isn’t one to be taken lightly, yet given the advances in the work space environment, it’s worth considering the potential financial and environmental advantages of such a jump. In addition to retaining profitability, offering an adaptable & a flexible work environment makes for an attractive employer and opens your organization up to a more extensive pool of talent. Be mindful of employee needs and ready to make changes in accordance with addressing those issues when something isn’t working. By implementing the right tools and techniques, welcoming a remote worker can be a smooth and beneficial change to develop your business.
Remote work is something about more than the advancement of technology, it’s something that can possibly help the way in which we work, lead and win!.