Over the last decade, many businesses have realised the value that switching to a remote workforce can offer. From cutting overheads to increasing productivity, it sounds like a silver bullet for a lot of problems.
While it can be a boon to an organisation, it’s not something that can simply be implemented with little forethought. Achieving the kinds of exceptional outcomes some businesses have with remote workforces requires careful strategy and a considered approach to implementation to ensure that productivity rises instead of falls.
At Roundee, we’re all about making work easier, wherever you are in relation to your office. We’ve put together this short guide covering off a few things you need to be aware of when instituting remote work in your organisation. Whether you’re simply hiring a few off-site workers, building a second location that requires regular contact with head office, or going completely remote at all levels, this is for you. Read on and make smarter decisions for your organisation.
Building the right framework
Remote work cuts against the grain of most of the established practices and received wisdom of office work over the last few centuries. This doesn’t mean that it’s useless or even harder, just that it’s different. As such, with many businesses still operating thoroughly on 1950s rules when it comes to areas such as office attendance, compensation, productivity, time management and availability, it’s more than likely that your employment policies will need a refresh.
Consider how a team working physically apart from management will need to be governed and directed. What guidance will they need to do their best work? This change of expectations can also mean a shift in how and who you hire, requiring a different skill set that prioritises self-direction, self-motivation and communication.
Whatever your remote workforce looks like, its vital that at the policy and at the cultural levels you establish accountability while providing flexibility. Striking this balance can be difficult, but it’s essential to do. Erring too far in one direction can hamper the ability your remote workforce to function as an effective part of the business, with too heavy-handed an approach making staff feel like they might as well be in the office, and too much flexibility providing inadequate lines of reporting.
Collaboration can be more difficult, but it doesn’t have to be
It’s always easier to walk over to a project partner or team member’s desk and have a chat in person rather than try to thrash something out in an email chain, but what if their desk is in another country?
How to ensure that teams work effectively even when separated by oceans is an ongoing challenge for managers working with remote workforces. Fortunately, this is not a new challenge and many partial solutions have been developed that help smooth the issue.
First things first is providing the right tools. Key to this is project management and communication. It’s one thing to organise your project on a whiteboard or as Kanban post-it notes on a wall when everyone works in the same building, but the use of that rapidly falls off the second a vital team member is working remotely. Rolling out a comprehensive project management suite allows everyone to stay on the same page, whether or not they’re on the same continent.
Hand in hand with this goes effective communication. There’s no perfect substitute for face-to-face conversation, but the right video conferencing software comes close. Roundee works wherever your team does, providing rich, high-definition video conferencing capabilities on all devices with no install and zero maintenance. Make the switch today and empower your remote workforce with Roundee.
Host free video calls with your teams in just a few seconds and stay productive. No download required, it works on your web browser.