The widespread implementation of the business has led to some huge advantages over those that haven’t fully integrated yet. A focus on online marketing and Cloud-sourced solutions are just a couple of examples. One of the best is still fast growing in the world of business: remote working. Allowing your employees to do their work from home can be cost-effective as well as giving your business a benefit to offer when it comes to being competitive in hiring new team members. You just have to make sure you use those remote workers right.
Make sure they’re right for it
Some people work a lot better remotely than they do from the office. These are people who have no problem keeping focus and battling distraction from home. People who don’t necessarily need the social dynamic of a work environment. People who can take care of time and workload management on their own. The signs that someone is ready to work from home are best found by giving them a test run before welcoming them fully on the team or integrating them fully out of the office.
Communication is top priority
Naturally, not being able to see them face-to-face whenever you like can strike some as a bit of a burden to communication. To get around it, you need to make sure you implement different communication techniques for different purposes. Relying on email alone isn’t going to cut it. Google Hangouts, for instance, are good for everyday chatter about progress and dealing with minor issues. When there is an emergency and the whole team needs to be informed, a notification system can ensure that everyone is kept in the loop. If you need to talk strategy and help people fully understand their objectives, then get some face-time on the phone or through webcams.
Make sure expectations and clear and contextual
You want your remote workers to be able to get on with their job with little need for you to keep clarifying things for them. Setting clear expectations with goals based on what they need to do, when it needs to be done, what tools are needed to do it and the like is crucial. Over-explain and send out an email covering all the key points for them to refer to when necessary. More importantly, make sure they know how the expectations affect the business. Context can make a “vital” task really have some weight and importance to your remote workers.
Manage their morale
A good remote worker should be able to deal with not having as personal a connection to the office as those who work in it. That’s part of the deal. But you should ensure that they’re still engaged in the company and that there’s still some sense of company culture they’re part of. Build morale with methods like a weekly email that keeps remote workers informed of things in the business, from important updates to some examples of good work they’ve done through the week. Make sure there is time for face-to-face meetings, such as a conference every quarter or half-year that allows them to meet up and build some camaraderie with the people they’ve mostly been emailing or chatting to via text.
Get it wrong and remote working can be unproductive, inefficient and confusing. Get it right, however, and you could have a team of autonomous, reliable workers who will be glad to pull their weight and keep working in such a convenient arrangement.