We could sum up our message here with one sentence: Remote work is the way of the future. Although there will always be a need for on-site employees, there is no doubt that the culture (both national and corporate) is shifting towards a work-from-home model. This is more convenient for most people, as they get to work from the comfort and privacy of their home. However, not all companies have fully embraced this kind of thing and made it a part of their core strategy.
The Culture Shift
Now that the internet allows so many things to be done remotely, there is less and less need for in-person employment. Of course, in-person employment will never go away entirely, but the culture is definitely shifting away from that direction. Instead, things are moving in the direction of a work-from-home model for a variety of reasons. Obviously, the Covid-19 pandemic has been the largest of those reasons, but things were already moving in this direction long before then.
Just three weeks into the Coronavirus crisis, the number of people working from home had already tripled. Obviously, this is because companies are worried about the ways in which this virus could spread in a crowded office building or a factory floor. However, most of those people said that they would prefer to continue working from home, even when this problem has finally been solved.
How To Embrace The Work-From-Home Model
When the nature of your business changes, your plans and policies must also change. With that in mind, let’s talk about a few simple ways that you can maximize the benefits of a remote work strategy.
Address The Equipment Issues
Remote work may require you to purchase some additional equipment. For instance, if your company network doesn’t have enough server bandwidth to accommodate all of your remote workers, you will have to invest in more servers. You will also need any auxiliary equipment that goes along with them, such as cables, routers, etc. You might also consider investing in one or more “smart devices,” as these allow for all sorts of remote functionality.
Provide A Firm Structure
When people are working from home, it is very easy for them to lose their motivation. Without someone telling them what to do, they may not do as well. In order to prevent this, you need to make a firm set of rules and make sure that they are clear to everyone. Of course, we aren’t recommending that you “crack down” on your remote workers and police their every move. However, they need to know exactly what is expected of them at all times.
Good communication is one of the most important things here. When someone remains in regular contact with their supervisors and fellow employees, they will be less tempted to get distracted. If nothing else, these communications serve as a reminder of their duties. You also need to make sure that the rules are the same for everyone.
Use Video Chat Apps Whenever Possible
As we said, communication is one of the most important parts of any work-from-home strategy. To this end, we recommend the use of video chat apps whenever possible. These allow for both visual and audio communication and will allow people to show things more easily. In a work environment, where people often need to present their work for approval, video chat can save a lot of travel time.
You should not be afraid to get creative and find other uses for these video chat apps. You can use them to organize online company meetings (whether formal or informal) where everyone can have a say. That being said, you will need to keep tight control of the microphones. Otherwise, you will have too many people attempting to speak at once. Instead, everyone should get their turn to bring up any issues or concerns they might have.
Encourage A Little Friendly Competition
Remote workers have the option of being more productive (or less productive) than their in-house counterparts. It all comes down to how many hours a day they choose to work. Of course, you don’t want your people to live like slaves, but it’s good to do a few things to keep them motivated. One of the best methods that we know of is a productivity competition of one sort or another.
Basically, you hold a competition among your remote workers to see who can complete the greatest amount of work in a given time. Prizes can be given as incentives, or you can just make it into a matter of pride. Either way, a little friendly competition will probably result in greater productivity across the board. You might be surprised to know that this fact has actually been proven by science. It is believed that competition spurs productivity by encouraging better oversight.
Encourage Collaborative Work
You can’t really have a culture that consists of isolated individuals. That isn’t really a culture, so you don’t want your remote workers to feel isolated from one another. As such, you should encourage collaborative work whenever possible. You can pair employees up in random teams, or you can divide them into teams based on their skills and experience. The latter is probably the better approach, but randomness will force employees to work with a wider variety of people. All of this is meant to foster a spirit of interconnectedness and camaraderie among your remote workers.
As you work to make the shift to a remote-work-oriented company, there are probably other small changes that you will find to be necessary. This is just meant to be a sampler list, as every company has different procedures and needs. We hope that it has given you a better idea of how you can make the culture shift and move into the future with confidence and prosperity. If you have enjoyed this article, please feel free to fill out the contact form.