Telecommuting or remote working has become vastly popular in recent times, especially with the workforce now occupying the Millennials and Gen Z generations. This trend is a reflection of the younger demographics’ growing need for greater flexibility in their work schedules. Additionally, Global Workplace Analytics report suggests that the option to work remotely would benefit approximately 80% of employees. Hence, businesses have been transitioning to remote employment. Furthermore, the Covid-19 pandemic has further prompted this shift towards remote working.
Being a remote recruitment firm, Visage Recruitment has gained valuable insights into the benefits and challenges of remote working. Our experience has equipped us with knowledge that we believe can help other organizations facing the prospect of remote labor. The ongoing pandemic has prompted businesses to consider telecommuting as a short-term or permanent solution. Therefore, it is crucial to understand the implications of this kind of working arrangement. To help with the transition to remote flexibility, we have put together some helpful tips.
Efficient Strategies for Introducing Your Staff to Remote Working
Remote working doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. In fact, there are three types of businesses in terms of remote employment:
- Working in the traditional office setup as a team has been on a decline lately. Conversely, employees now have multiple remote technologies at their disposal to communicate with colleagues and clients situated in different locations. Therefore, the idea of a ‘home office’ doesn’t fit into the current business landscape anymore.
- Hybrid teams. With the advent of technology, more and more employees prefer to work from home rather than travel to an office.
- Distributed Companies. Currently, the entire team is geographically dispersed throughout the country.
If you are contemplating a move from a conventional office-based work environment to a remote one, it is crucial to evaluate your readiness for this new approach. Certain prerequisites must be in place for a business to effectively adopt telecommuting.
Establishing Rules for Remote Working
Effective communication with colleagues who are also in a remote working setup is one of the critical factors for a successful outcome. It is crucial to establish and reach an understanding regarding working hours and its flexibility, along with guidelines for measuring success. Furthermore, it is vital to decide which communication channels will be utilized and whether there is a budget for workplace equipment and furniture.
Apart from the essential considerations of remote working, it is worth contemplating other aspects like the appropriate attire for video conferences and social media usage. In this context, there are several templates available, which can act as a guide for establishing a policy for remote workers. These resources can prove to be extremely useful for employers.
Aids for Remote Working
With the growing prevalence of cloud computing and Software as a Service (SaaS), numerous workplace tools are now accessible for remote usage. To assist your remote team in staying productive, we have compiled a useful list of tool categories that might come in handy for you.
- Audio and Visual Conferencing
Efficient communication is crucial for any organization, but it becomes even more critical when employees are placed in various geographies across the globe. Being in physical proximity to each other in a workplace offer chances to observe and gain insights into the professional and mental development of your colleagues. Therefore, it is imperative to be in contact with your colleagues while working remotely. There are various video conferencing platforms available, including widely-used ones such as Zoom and GoToMeeting.
- Communication Platforms That Allow Non-real-time Interaction
Sometimes, a simple message delivered via a platform like Slack or the Ping feature on Basecamp is sufficient to restore contact when face-to-face communication is limited. Your remote workers will appreciate the chance to respond to these communications when it suits them best.
- Task Management
If you are already utilizing a project management system, like Asana, Basecamp, Monday.com, or Trello, you are already well-prepared for remote working. These systems are easily portable and accessible on any computer or mobile device. This is an ideal chance to move away from the traditional pen-and-paper approach and utilise a more effective solution.
- Collaborative Operations
The idea that remote working might hinder collaborative efforts with colleagues is no longer relevant. Technological advancements have made it much simpler and more practical to work with colleagues all around the globe, thanks to the vast roster of online tools that are available today. Screen-sharing software has transformed the way we share information, with virtual meetings, seminars, presentations, and virtual whiteboards being common practices. Moreover, real-time collaboration on documents has become feasible, providing excellent collaboration opportunities for remote workers.
- Version Control
As a developer, it is crucial to understand how version control works and its significance in avoiding confusion and conflicts and to save time and effort. Although Github is the most widely-utilized version control system, it is not the only one available. Numerous other version control options are available to ensure smooth distributed team operations.
It is critical to keep all aspects of your work well-organized, not just your code. If you and your team are working on documents, images, promotional materials or any other type of project, it is important to maintain an orderly draft structure. PleaseReview and SamePage are helpful organizational tools to assist you in this endeavour.
Our President at Works shares his valuable knowledge and expertise on remote work tools:
Efficient communication is crucial to the prosperity of remote teams. This doesn’t mean that individuals who work from home are dependent on instructions and will be lost without a plan. Rather, it is because remote workers are often independent thinkers who can discover innovative solutions to challenges. If they’re detached from the rest of the team, they might prefer to work on their own, which could result in a favourable outcome or could lead to everyone going their separate ways.
On the other hand, excessive talking could hamper staff productivity. It is crucial to ensure that employees are not constantly interrupted, as it could suggest a lack of confidence in their abilities or, at the very least, impede their performance to some extent.
For the most favourable results, we suggest having a well-defined and agreed-upon policy concerning all types of communication and their appropriate usage. If an important message needs to be conveyed, it is best to refrain from sending or posting humorous content on the #watercooler Slack channel or incorporating it into work emails. It is critical to identify the most suitable means of contact and collaborate with your team to devise a regular updates schedule that works for everyone.
When a substantial portion of our communication is conducted through text, it’s crucial to remember that we lack the benefit of being able to interpret a person’s body language to comprehend the context of what is being said. Text-based communication may result in misunderstandings since it is challenging to express the tone of voice or eye contact that could manifest in face-to-face discussions. To prevent this, it is advisable to review our messages before sending them and adhere to Hanlon’s Razor to ensure that nothing we say could be construed as offensive, when it was not our intent. This ought to become a standard practice in all forms of communication.
Always at Home?
An efficient employee has the ability to work from anywhere, be it at their desk in pyjamas or at the pool in Bali. That being said, working remotely can be a lonely experience, and it may not be suitable for everyone over a prolonged period. However, this does not imply that remote work is an unworkable option. It could simply mean that your remote worker requires some interpersonal interaction and regular face-to-face communication with their colleagues, which can be achieved by meeting up at a coffee shop or a library a few hours per week. If a more permanent solution is necessary, co-working spaces can be found in most major cities.
Selecting the Ideal Candidate
In case you are searching for a developer or other technical expert to join your remote team, we are here to assist. As a specialized recruitment firm, we are committed to finding qualified candidates for remote technical positions. We generally can discover an appropriate candidate within two to four weeks. Would you like to explore this opportunity further? If that’s the case, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information.