Today’s world of technological innovation and mass connectivity has brought an end to many conventional ways of doing things. The “global village” which now exists, ensures needs are met via the use of a laptop or a phone, and a good internet connection. As for businesses, this has brought about a new trend: working remotely. It is a proven strategy that increases and improves productivity. However, there are a few things to note before remodeling your current system of running things.
In the traditional workplace, effective communication is a principal requirement that guarantees efficiency. This phenomenon applies to a remotely run business as well. Communication is equally, if not more, paramount in a business with a remote structure.
For a remote structure to be effective, communication must be frequent and purposeful. Meetings, which transform into the central event of everyone’s day must be meaningful, and their purpose should be clearly stated. It should have a structure or format that is strictly followed and maintained. Managers, for example, can schedule daily huddles where priorities are discussed and everyone is aware of their role. Additionally, it is important to keep an open channel of communication that caters for emergencies.
The ability to run your business remotely wouldn’t exist without innovation and technology. In other words, the system depends entirely on technology. Fortunately, new and improving software programs and applications have made remotely running a business effortlessly. The best part is that you don’t have to be a computer geek to understand how they work.
Just a basic understanding of the computer system is all you need to run your business efficiently. With platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts, scheduled check-ins can be carried out and effective communication is possible. A viable file-sharing system is also very important to serve in place of the traditional workplace storeroom. Employees need to be able to access and store documents easily in a central system.
Remote businesses are not the right workplaces for everyone. Candidates need to understand the particular demands of the remote workplace before getting hired. As with the traditional workplace, it is important candidates share similar values with the company.
Compared to the physical workplace, in a remote workplace, the conformity of values between the employer and the employee is very important. Company culture has to be stated clearly during the interview and orientation. While recruiting, look for candidates with a proven record of multitasking, working without a lot of supervision. Having the right set of employees generally increases efficiency just as attainable in the traditional workplace.
While there is disagreement on the level of frequency, regular check-ins are essential to a remotely run enterprise. However, since employees are not all available in one location, monitoring has to be scheduled.
Remote work allows employees to enjoy some level of freedom not present in conventional settings. Employees, finally get to achieve that work-life balance they will like. Unscheduled and incessant check-in will be antithetical to achieving this purpose. This can ruin an employee’s morale, resulting in reduced productivity. You need to be sensitive to whether you’re interrupting the workflow of everybody else.
Employees can meet in person at retreats to get to know each other. Such retreats make the team feel more like a family, which in turn helps to keep in touch and moving forward easier. If you can’t afford retreats, try to at least use planned visits for activities that get you out of the workplace and getting to know each other. Keeping track of your employees through e-mail and phone calls is a given. Managers should also be tracking their progress on goals, which can easily be done using affordable web-based collaboration programs.