Remote working can be a key competitive advantage for many companies. Benefits include a much wider range of potential staff (who are much happier and better motivated), lower office costs, better diversity and the ability to run a 24×7 operation for your clients.
But successful remote working does not just happen. It needs active support from the Company. Here are 4 things we have found helpful to remember:-
1. Make it acceptable to work remotely. Many companies confuse work with Being in the office when often more work is done away from all the distractions and interruptions in the office. You need to make sure this link is broken. A good way to do this is for senior management to take a lead in working remotely.
2. Make it practical to work remotely. To work remotely, it is important that everything you might need is also remote. We use BaseCamp to allow us to have all our processes and documentation easily accessible from anywhere.
3. Keep the social element Being remote can be lonely so it is important to keep the social interaction with regular calls. Try to use audio and video as well as just emails and typing messages. We also try to arrange our days in the office to co-incide so that we can catch-up with each other.
4. Treat people as adults If you need to constantly monitor your team you have the wrong team. But the Company also needs to set out clear guidance. Is it acceptable to work different hours? How do we communicate with other team members? It is also important that everyone communicates their activities and accomplishments. I ask everyone (whether remote or in the office) to fill in a daily question at the end of the day to summarise what they have done. Everyone answers this question and everyone gets to read the the replies.