Working remotely is gaining in popularity in companies of all sizes and industries. Yet for many, the transition is not natural. Often, expectations are not properly established, good communication is not practiced, or core competencies drift away like a paper boat in a raging gutter.
For many companies, these facts should not be enough to reverse the decision to include remote teams as part of your overall personnel strategy. Remote working can be a net benefit for your organization if you set it up with these 4 things in mind:
Set clear expectations for everyone. Whatever kind of work you do and however you choose to break up your tasks and teams, you’ll want to make sure that expectations are clear from the start. From work hours to deadlines and expectations for work, you need to set clear expectations. They need to be even more specific than for in-office employees because it’s not as easy to get clarification as it is in person.
Use the best tools available to you. When it comes to remote workers, communication is more important than ever. That’s why you would be wise to invest in the most advanced technological tools for remote working and communicating that you can. There are plenty of products that will fit the bill and keep you and your teams in constant contact. Slack has achieved a rapid rise and a lot of people swear by that platform, but only you can determine what tools are right for you.
Make accountability the rule. Similar to the way you need to be extra clear about setting expectations, you need to be dead serious about enforcing accountability as well. Some people will actually produce better work without a boss looking over their shoulder. Others may need some reassurance that there are consequences for missed deadlines or poor work.
Don’t be afraid of change. The pace of change is accelerating in business as in many other areas of life. Don’t be afraid to make a change when something isn’t working out as planned. The most successful businesses tomorrow will be those who can successfully adapt quickest when changes are required. So when something isn’t panning out as you imagined, isolate that variable and make a change. Sitting still is tantamount to paralysis and will get you nowhere.
If you’re already working with remote teams as a part of your organization, I hope these tips will help things run a bit more smoothly. If you’re considering adding remote teams to your existing workforce, I hope it will give you a better idea at how to do that. Check back soon for more thoughts and tips about how to thrive in the new world of work.