Remote work is here to stay. Companies that are yet to adopt this trend might be forced to as some countries are gearing up for a second wave of lockdown. Looking on the bright side, this is an opportunity for such companies to test remote work strategies.
As bleak as things look for businesses, some are still thriving while others can barely survive. The difference between them is adaptability.
Monty Hooke, a business owner in the Philippines, suggests that people have to think from a place of strength to take their businesses from the survival mode to the thriving mode as quickly as they can.
Remote work is one of the ways to achieve this and many companies have profited from it. Looking beyond the company level, research shows that 77% of workers want to continue working from home even after the pandemic.
This is a win-win for the business and its workers. In that vein, we bring you remote work strategies that’ll help your business thrive while your teams shell out their best work.
Use These Remote Work Strategies to Help Your Business Thrive
It’s one thing to let your workers work remotely, it’s another to implement this policy the right way. To ensure your business gets the best out of remote working, follow through on these approaches.
1. Working remotely is open to all
Your company’s remote work policy should not be open to some staff and not others. Doing this will only cause friction among your staff. Those who still have to commute to work will feel hard done by sooner or later.
Productivity is the first thing to feel the effect as workers will take out their dissatisfaction on one another. Businesses don’t thrive when there’s discord among employees. So, you have to ensure everyone can choose to work from home if they want.
Trust me, not everyone will choose to work from home permanently. Martec, in their research, found that 27% of the workers surveyed say they’re not satisfied with working from home. 32% say they miss socializing in the office.
Some workers will still come to work when they want to. However, the freedom and convenience that come with the choice will show in their output.
2. Focus on the metrics, not the time
Many traditional managers that had to become remote managers all of a sudden often ask how they can know if their team is working all office hours. The truth is, you can’t know.
However, instead of bothering if your staff is working long hours, why not focus on the output of their effort.
One of the strategies for successfully managing a remote team, which leading remote managers agree on, is to set and communicate KPIs. Since your employees know what’s expected of them, measure their performance based on how well they meet those goals.
Keala Kane of Fullstaq Marketer, who adopts this approach, says that her team appreciates the trust the company has for them. Furthermore, she claims not to care much about how long they put in work as long as they’re meeting the agreed-upon KPIs. As a manager, you’ll agree that reduces your workload too.
3. Adopt tech tools to keep track of work and progress
This follows nicely from the previous strategy. There are many tools suitable for remote team collaboration. That way, managers can easily keep track of tasks and who’s responsible for it.
This also ties nicely to monitoring your worker’s individual KPIs. You can create long-term and short-term goals everyone can work towards.
With certain tools, you can detect who's lagging which gives you a heads up on how to intervene. That way, you can curb issues before they can become a full-blown problem.
Tech tools such as Asana, Air Table, and Trello also make communication among the team easy. You can communicate information to your team members to keep everyone abreast of anything concerning the project at hand.
4. Do regular check-ins on your team
This is not the weekly or monthly team meetings you hold, although that’s crucial too. I’m talking about a one on one call-up to checking on your colleague’s welfare outside work.
In many cases, employees are going through personal issues and won’t mention it since it has nothing to do with work. However, since we can’t separate the company staff from the person, it’s only a matter of time before their issues start to affect their productivity.
So, when a lively staff turns quiet in meetings, try to reach out to them on a personal note to know what’s going on.
5. Handle remote work as an ongoing process of improvement
Even though working remotely has been on for a while, it is still fairly new. If not for the pandemic, it might not have been this widespread yet. So, it’s important to continue monitoring what works and doesn’t.
Just as companies are taking their time to go remote, some workers too are reluctant to jump on the trend, despite its benefits.
This is expected with any type of change of this scale. As companies gradually adopt telecommuting, they need to keep a keen eye on how it affects their objectives.
It’s best to offer workers the option to work remotely or come to the office. This will give them the freedom to choose which option works best for them and when.
Knowing what works and tweaking what doesn’t is the way companies will get the best out of these remote work strategies.
Remote Work Plus the Right Strategy Yields Massive Results
Remote work has come to stay and companies that want to thrive, and not just survive, will have to adopt it in one form or another. The remote work strategies above will help any company get the best out of its remote team.
Businesses don’t need to shut down their brick and mortar locations as some employees would still want to work in an office environment, albeit once in a while.
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