How to get remote working right for your business

How to get remote working right for your business

AdobeStock_138836717

Remote working arrangements can be a big game-changer for businesses. Now that organizations are getting savvier about the cost of maintaining an office space, employees prefer remote working more than ever. It allows companies to save office space, reduce costs, and work with talent across different locations.

Employees also gain a lot from remote working arrangements. In fact, telecommuting saves them $686 in gas, $767 in car maintenance, $1,040 in lunches and coffee, and $750 in tax breaks per year. What’s more, a 2018 study by FlexJobs found that remote working can improve workers’ mental health.

But despite these benefits, it’s easy to mess up a remote working strategy. To ensure this never happens, we’ve compiled a few tips to help you.

#1 Tailor the approach to your business

The need for remote working varies between organizations. For some businesses, especially output-based teams, allowing employees to work from home a couple of days a week is a great way to increase morale. Some organizations’ idea of remote work may be to establish a global workforce. But for teams responsible for customer service and other core operations, allowing remote work for more than a day per week may not make sense because it can lead to missed deadlines and disgruntled clients.

You should first consider your operation requirements and the best strategy that will support your workforce before adopting remote work. Be transparent and consistent in your policies to prevent resentment and staff turnover. It also helps if you include your staff in the decision-making process and establish what you plan to achieve by enabling remote work. For instance, you should clarify to your employees that implementing remote work means you will be more focused on their outputs rather than their presence in the office.

#2 Change your team culture

If you have a distributed workforce, better leadership is needed to manage your employees. Simply stating your company’s remote work policy won’t be enough to make any lasting changes. You need to set expectations for your team and create a culture where everyone is measured by what they deliver instead of how often they’re in the office. Strategies like weekly status updates, video conferences, and stringent deadlines keep remote workers accountable and ensure they maintain high productivity levels.

If you want to build an efficient team, you must also encourage a culture of learning among your employees wherever they are in the world.

Valuing employees’ personal growth is one of the most effective ways to encourage your staff to “show up” and do what’s expected of them and possibly more. Make it a point to prioritize learning and development by conducting seminars and giving stipends so they can learn from educational materials, conferences, and workshops.

#3 Acquire the right technology

Not having the right tools and technology can halt your telecommuting plans for your business. Since you cannot physically monitor and manage your workforce, you need software applications to communicate with your employees.

For starters, you can use Microsoft Planner, a software platform that allows you to set project objectives, conduct weekly check-ins, and schedule one-on-one meetings. This will save your managers a lot of time and energy. Identifying blind spots common in distributed teams will also be easier.

Communication apps like Skype for Business or Microsoft Planner are also essential for conducting video conferences and chatting with colleagues.

Since your employees are in different timezones, your files must be accessible 24/7. Consider cloud platforms like Office 365, which allow users to store files in a central location and access them from any internet-enabled device. What’s more, it lets employees collaborate on files in real-time. The best part is your cloud provider will usually do all the maintenance and install all the updates automatically to protect your data from the latest threats.

Another vital tool is mobile device management (MDM) software. This enables you to monitor company-registered devices, set company-wide access restrictions, and even remotely wipe devices in case they’re lost or stolen.

To acquire these technologies, you can partner with a trusted managed IT services provider like Refresh Technologies. They provide cost-effective and feature-rich cloud solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

Is your SMB ready to adopt remote working? Consult with Refresh Technologies now for more information.