The Changing Face of Remote Working and How to Make It Work for You
If you’re not familiar with the term ‘remote work,’ it’s time to get on board with a trend which is currently setting the business world alight. Over the last five years, there has been a marked increase in the number of companies choosing to go ‘virtual’ and replace part (or all) of their operations with mobile routines.
This is easier than it sounds. The idea is to separate notions of ‘work’ and location. What we traditionally think of as a business is changing, because the concepts, ideas, and people behind them are more important than their environment. With the right technology, you don’t need a private office to run a successful business. So, what does the alternative look like?
This guide to the changing world of remote work will give you some tips on the best ways to introduce it to your business.
Getting to Grips with the Basics
First things first; what actually is remote work? Well, it’s a broad term which can be used to describe any kind of business role which is performed, at least in part, outside of a traditional office. For example, many remote workers operate out of communal facilities. Click here to take a peek at some stylish virtual offices in the big US cities.
They are not the only option. The other method is to allow remote workers to operate from their own homes. They check in regularly, provide evidence of progress, and stay in contact with their superiors via different networking tools. Some exclusively online businesses are run by entrepreneurs who work from virtual offices, but direct employees in their homes.
How to Build a Successful Remote Team
1. Trust and Loyalty
You should only employ remote workers if you feel like you can trust them. One of the trickiest things to get right is that balance between monitoring and distraction. While you do need to check in regularly and make sure that progress is being made, incessant contact will only cause disruptions. Do not try to dictate how and when employees should work. If they get the job done (and to a high standard), their method is clearly effective.
2. Take Baby Steps
If you’ve never used remote workers before, you don’t have to dive in head first and send half your workforce home. One easy way to test the waters is to hire a freelancer. These individuals are not full-time employees, so they are normally paid less and take more responsibility for their own workload. Once you’ve established a line of communication, you can leave them to get on with tasks and check in periodically.
3. Invest in the Cloud
These days, remote work needs to come hand in hand with cloud software and sharing tools. Cloud-based solutions are the future of the business world, so you’ll have to invest in them sooner or later. Sooner is better, of course, because they support secure collaboration. You can drop documents into the cloud, where they can be picked up by employees in any location (halfway across America or halfway across the world).
4. Establish Clear Goals
As already mentioned, you don’t have much control over how employees work if they are operating remotely. This is something that you have to be comfortable with because a lack of trust will bring the system crashing down. Instead, there needs to be a keen focus on progress and performance. Set clear targets, make sure that employees check in when asked, and a keep a close eye on the quality of work. If performance levels are high, you don’t need to worry too much about how, when, or where employees are getting things done.
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