There are many advantages of remote working – but it’s not all sweetness and light. Today, I’m going to take you through the full spectrum of what to expect from embracing remote working in your company. Ready to get going? Then let’s kick things off with the basics.
1. What is Remote Working?
In simple terms, remote working means working away from the central hub of a business’s activity. It has grown a lot in the past few years, thanks to the emergence of two things: the Internet, and cloud technology. Workers can work from the comfort of their homes while they are commuting, or even when they are away on holiday. It adds a flexible edge to your business, and it’s a big draw for employees.
2. Does it Always Work?
Well, that’s down to your hiring process. If you employ achievers and doers, then they will work just as well at home as they do in the office. In fact, they might even be more productive – think about the time they will save because they don’t have to travel to and from work. However, if you employ work-shy people, then it’s likely they will work even less at home than they do at work. It’s all about trust – and your employee’s ability to repay that trust.
3. What Tools do You Need?
You can get started with remote working with something as simple as Google Docs. But, for more complex business needs, you’ll need something like Trello, too. It’s a simple project management tool that works on a card system. You can also use Atlassian’s JIRA system, which is perfect for larger software development teams. Finally, you’ll need a system to tie it all together. Basic PC networks will work well, but you also might want to consider something like Avaya IP handsets. These will help you handle your communications from a remote location, too, meaning you won’t miss out on vital business.
4. What is the Remote Working Culture Like?
When you work from a remote location, it can be easy to feel like you aren’t part of the team. That’s not going to be an issue for some of you, but for others it can be problematic. You’ll miss out on the office banter, and having people around. And, of course, there will be occasions when you don’t hear from anyone for some time. The best way to deal with this as an employer is to make sure you keep regular contact with your remote workers. Check in once a week, or invite them to a Google Hangouts meeting every now and again.
5. What About Face-to-Face Meetings?
It’s always a good idea to have face-to-face meetings with people, regardless of the work you are doing. It helps build a rapport between your employees and makes the remote workers feel like they have more of a connection with your company. It doesn’t have to be too often, but regular enough to make a difference.
As you can see, there are plenty of pros and cons of remote working. Should you introduce it to your business? Well, if you have the trust in your staff, there’s no reason why not. Just ensure you are aware of the problems and can address the issues I mentioned, and you should find great success.