Remote Working: Creating a Business Ready to Embrace the Future of Working
Remote working has become increasingly more popular in recent years, and there are many benefits for both businesses and employees, including savings on cost and time. But some businesses still struggle to wrap their heads around the idea of their staff working flexibly and remotely, believing that it’s unproductive for their business.
But, in order to compete for the best talent in competitive fields, not just in tech and cybersecurity, but also in non-tech industries like in Finance and Property development, that mindset needs to change.
Why? Because nowadays, employees are more likely to leave a job and go to work for a company that offers remote working. A study done by EY found that flexibility and work-life balance are equally important to men and women. People want the option to work remotely and have flexible working hours, and their reasons aren’t always simply because of family commitments.
Here are 3 things to consider when developing a flexi-friendly business:
1. Give People the Option to Work Flexibly including Remotely
Not everyone wants to work remotely. Some people like working the 9-5 Monday to Friday. They like coming into work, love the interactions with their colleagues in the kitchen, in the hallway, and at their desk. But there may be times when being in the office, especially if it’s a trendy open plan office, can become a nightmare for focusing on a task and meeting tight deadlines. In those cases, the option to work remotely for a day or two can be a lifesaver.
This is what Lauren Farrer, a Remote Work Strategist & Advocate, talks about. It doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”, and when businesses are making a transition to incorporate remote working, many will take this mixed approach.
2. Communicate Expectations Clearly and Early
This includes team meetings, how you work together, and 1-2-1s with managers to see how everything is going. It’s important that managers or team leaders have clearly communicated with their team what project milestones need to be met and when, what roles everyone has, and how everyone is expected to keep in touch both internally and with clients.
There are now plenty of tools on the market to communicate and work collaborative together, including Slack and Google hangouts for instant messaging, Zoom for video call, and Asana and Click-up for Task / Project management.
However, some people will still miss the interactions that come with working in an office together and struggle with loneliness, so there does have to be a more deliberate effort made to bring the team together for casual interactions. This can come in the form of an open call or chat with Zoom or Slack, a set day in the office for everyone, or as David Hart, COO at ScreenCloud and his co-founder did with his globally distributed team, a regular get together outside of the office, where they aren’t in work mode.
3. Develop a Transparent Company Culture
People need to have access to the right information when doing their jobs, and they also need to have the autonomy to make decisions. A business that has been able to do this is Buffer; a social media management software company, who are renowned in their industry for being very transparent. Part of this is because they want their team, who work all over the world, to have access to the information they need to be able to do their jobs well, particular in such a competitive market. They have also found that this transparency is beneficial when attracting and hiring staff, as its part of their values.
Incorporating remote working into your business won’t be perfect and there will always be growing pains when you try something new. But if you are committed to the process (and it will be a process), and willing to make tweaks where necessary, your business will not only be evolving to the way that people of all generations are choosing to work now, you will also be reaping the benefits that flexible working brings to your business.
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