How to Prepare Your Organisation for Remote Work
If you weren’t already aware, remote work or telework has become increasingly popular in recent years. In fact, according to CNBC, 70% of people globally work remotely at least once per week, with a further 53% working from home for over half the week.
This trend shows no sign of slowing down, so it’s better to prepare yourself for the inevitability of remote work coming to your organisation rather than fighting the tide. It goes without saying that remote work will not suit every position or organisation as it can drastically change workflows.
We here at 247meeting have decided to share some tips and strategies to assist your organisation in anticipation of remote employees in future.
The Varying Formats of Remote Work
Those unaccustomed to remote work are usually surprised to learn of the varying formats that remote work can present itself in. Your organisation should familiarise itself with these formats and develop contingency plans in case they are requested.
Working from Home
This is the format most commonly associated with remote work. With all the technological advancements over the past two decades, employees are now spoiled for choice when selecting the right hardware or collaboration tools. Many jobs can be completed from home, or partly from home.
Employees may request any number of days per week to work remotely, or perhaps every other week. Many positions still require an employee’s physical presence i.e. when meeting with clients, leading a meeting etc. Talk to your employee, encourage them to bring forward their own propositions for working remotely.
Employees may benefit from the time saved in not commuting, something that consistently appears on ‘worst things about working’ lists. There also may be family benefits, including looking after young children or caring for elderly relatives. Employers may benefit from employee’s newfound productivity while saving costs on office space and desk requirements.
Many major organisations have welcomed flexitime as part of maintaining a healthy work/balance lifestyle. With flexitime, an employee selects the times they start and finish work themselves. Organisations still often require a core amount of hours to be delivered each day regardless.
When dictating the hours they work, employees can accomplish a lot in their personal lives. Your employees can work out each morning, or leave the office earlier than others to collect children from school etc. Employers meanwhile, can benefit from additional office cover, as some employees will favour early starts while some will stay later.
Results Only Work Environments are often considered the holy grail of remote work. Organisations who utilise this format simply require that work is completed within a set timeframe regardless of how many hours are spent actually working. Some organisations don’t even require any office attendance as long as KPIs are being met.
Choosing to structure your organisation’s working environment to R.O.W.E. can attract the best talent while also greatly benefiting your most capable employees.
Your organisation may benefit from your employee’s newfound efficiency, saving on office costs as many choose to complete work elsewhere. Focusing solely on results also acts as an incentive for employees to produce work to the highest standards, so as to not risk the amount of freedom they’ve been granted.
After familiarising yourself with the various forms of remote work, it’s time to discuss how each programme could work with your organisation’s current protocols and practices. At this stage, you should set expectations from your potential remote workforce and prioritise goals.
When measuring the output of your remote staff, remember you’re going to measure performance output and results as opposed to the physical process of someone working. Closely monitor the KPIs established from the outset.
Remember to establish an environment of trust. It’s unwise to monitor your remote employee’s daily activity as this creates distrust. Simply hold your employees accountable for their output rather than process.
Establish lines of communication between your remote employees. A 2014 survey from Software Advice asked remote workers what the biggest challenge in remote work was, to which 38% responded with communication. Constant communication is frequently cited as the key to success in managing remote employees of teams.
To guarantee that every remote employee adheres to the same basic methods and lines of communication, it’s highly recommended that you invest the time and effort to introduce the following tools in a training session.
The Technical Requirements
In order to create a seamless line of communication between your remote employees and your main base of operations, you will need to make use of the best communication tools and programs.
When it comes to using chat, we find that Slack is both incredibly useful and fun. Keeping an open dialogue among your team emphasises a culture of collaboration. Slack also offers social features like emojis to encourage a more natural dialogue.
When it comes to the communication of all your documentation, we believe that Google Docs is your best solution. Google Docs is a free service that allows for simultaneous editing and commenting from anywhere in the world, all you need is access to the internet.
Utilising the right communication tools makes communicating with your team a breeze. 247meeting offers a full range of remote meeting solutions including audio, video, as well as screensharing, not to mention the very latest features in mobile conferencing.
Our mobile app eliminates the need for memorising PIN codes by utilising dial-out technology as opposed to dialling-in. You can manage geographically remote teams at the touch of a button while always knowing who’s on the line. Click here to download our mobile app for a free trial!