Remote working is a decade old trend that isn’t going away. We understand remote working increases performance & productivity, employees are less distracted, less stressed & happier. Their happiness saves employers time and money. Staff churn drops, less resources are needed for recruitment and training, and you can reduce your office costs. It even helps climate change as people aren’t commuting into work everyday. Is there anything remote working doesn’t do!?
This magical fix can have its teething problems. Change can be uncomfortable, and new ways of working must be met with new ways of thinking. How can we think proactively, creatively and intelligently to get the most out of our remote workers?
Everyone is different. Some people stay focused at the kitchen table, some need a space to go to work, whether at home, in a local shared workspace or in a particular coffee shop. Some people might even just miss the office! If you feel something isn’t quite right, talk openly to your employee about their set up, what is or isn’t working for them? There are many options when it comes to remote and flexible working, there is no one size fits all.
If an employee feels strongly about working remotely, there will be a reason why. Whether familial commitments, geography, personality or work/life balance, drilling down into and accommodating their ‘why’ is your strength. Maybe they are most clear headed getting up at dawn. Perhaps they may need to be offline in the mornings to take the kids to school. Maybe they like working late when life is quiet and they can concentrate. Whatever the reason, being flexible about when the work is done will mean the work gets done better, and with clear communications regarding expectations and deadlines there is no reason this shouldn’t be a win-win.
72% of remote workers believe their boss trusts that they are doing their work. 99% of bosses said they trust their remote workers to work. Theirs is a psychological bias here that means remote workers want to prove they are doing their best work. This is great for productivity but it can push them to over deliver. Using Project Management tools like Asana, Basecamp or Proofhub will keep everyone in the loop and on track. By giving remote workers clear objectives for their day, week, or month, working relationships stay happy and healthy. If the work is done and it is done well does it really matter how long it takes?
As always, communication is key. Working in isolation does not mean you should feel isolated. Utilising business communication tools like Slack, Chanty etc both in & out of the office will bring your team together in an instantaneous and fluid way that chats over the watercooler or free pizza Fridays never can. Let them chat, share and collaborate without moving from their desks, wherever those desks might be. And don’t forget your responsibilities, with performance management tools such as 7Geese, Lattice & Leaspsome, it has never been easier to efficiently keep up with your employees wins, challenges and needs. Our phones are in our hands wherever we go. There is no reason not to jump on Zoom, schedule a Google Hangout or send a WhatsApp to check in & connect. We may be far apart, but there is no reason we cannot still be working closely together.
Neil is co-founder and CEO of ten80. With a strong background in SAP, Neil has worked as an end user, a consultant and as a contractor. He set up ten80 to allow clients to access the best SAP resources worldwide, and save money in the process.
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