Although remote working isn’t new, it wasn’t on most companies’ radars before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
According to a Capterra survey, 43% of Australian employees were new to the concept of remote working in 2020, when staying at home orders were announced across the country.
So, if you weren’t already considering remote working policies for your business before the pandemic outbreak, you might have had it forced upon you after the great lockdown was announced.
But the truth is that remote working isn’t just a temporary trend.
As the employment landscape has changed, remote work has opened the door to a new approach to doing business, working and hiring.
Whether your remote working policies were thoughtfully planned or hurriedly put together out of necessity, there’s always room for improvement so that you can take your business to greater heights.
Let’s discuss the nuts and bolts of remote working and explore the most efficient ways to make remote working a breeze.
Table of contents:
1. 5 Ways to Make Remote Work Successful for Your Business
Have a look at the posts shared on the most popular business blogs, and you’ll assume that the future of work is remote.
That’s totally understandable, given that Australians would rather quit than give up remote working.
However, for many businesses, the sudden move to remote work was hardly a seamless transition.
In fact, shifting to remote work comes with hurdles that may complicate anything from communication and collaboration to working across time zones and maintaining productivity.
Daunting? Yes, possibly.
But it can be done seamlessly…with the right strategy in place.
Whether your remote work plan needs adjustments or simply want to stay on top of trends to continuously improve your existing program, read on.
These are the last tips you’ll ever need to keep your remote teams running smoothly and take your business to the next level.
1.1. Update Your HR Strategy
As remote working is steadily increasing in popularity, what are the steps you’re taking to ensure your remote hiring strategy is keeping pace?
If you haven’t updated your remote hiring processes, now is the time to do so.
Finding a new team member with the right skills and experience isn’t rocket science, but you need to keep your eyes open and ask the candidate the right questions.
Remember, being qualified doesn’t necessarily make a candidate the right fit for a position. It takes a good balance between personal values, abilities, education, and skills to find the perfect fit.
Sure, remote hiring processes are a bit more complex than traditional hiring processes, but they all boil down to some basic principles:
- Define your ideal candidate – Do note that remote employees need specific skills to be successful in this work environment, such as self-discipline, great organisational habits, strong communication skills, etc.
- Write a job description – Make sure you include keywords such as “remote”, “work from anywhere”, etc. in your job description.
- Use the right technology to schedule interviews and screen applications – To learn more about the best HR automation tools, click here.
- Ask the right questions – In this post, I have provided a list of interview questions to evaluate a candidate’s skills and find out whether or not they’re a good fit for a remote working environment.
- Assess how well the candidate matches your company’s culture.
Expert tip: Losing some of the best talents within your company is painful and can hurt your business’s bottom line.
Be sure to have an effective employee retention strategy in place to keep your team members on board and save your business a significant amount of money each and every year.
1.2. Build a Culture of Trust
Trust in a remote environment is key to productivity and efficiency.
However, building trust when teams are separated and work on an honour system isn’t an easy feat. This is because it’s easier to trust your employees when you see them working right next to you.
For this reason, time tracking has become a staple in some remote companies.
But are you really sure that time tracking tools are a boon for productivity?
Unless you bill by the hour and need to track the time your employees and contractors spend working on tasks, dissecting precisely how the workday is spent can make employees feel uneasy.
Most of the time, time tracking is associated with distrust and spying – not to mention that in a remote culture, time tracking isn’t an accurate measure of productivity.
To motivate your employees to give 100% without tracking their hours, you need to walk your talk, be transparent and truthful, and model the behaviour you want to see from your team members.
This is the easiest way to earn your employees’ trust and build commitment to your company’s big goals.
1.3. Keep Up With Technology Trends
f your business was not already embracing the latest technology before the pandemic outbreak, the great lockdown has probably been about playing catch-up.
Right now, the radical changes in the workplace are highlighting the importance of staying on top of emerging technology trends.
Are you harnessing the power of asynchronous communication, synchronous communication, and enhanced cybersecurity?
Let us have a brief look at each of them:
- Asynchronous communication
With asynchronous communication, your team members can easily stay productive and focused.
This is because asynchronous communication enables them to reply when it’s best for them without being expected to respond to messages right away.
To successfully implement asynchronous communication, you need to provide training and offer a clear point of contact for questions. Be sure to also use strong collaboration and communication tools so you can organise communications to fit your business needs.
- Synchronous communication
Synchronous communication takes place in real-time, allowing team members to build authentic connections and participate in meetings.
Be sure to use the latest communication tools to keep up with technology trends.
For example, an all-in-one platform such as Avaya Cloud Office by RingCentral helps you streamline communication and workflows by allowing team members to take calls, text, chat, and work together on any device, anywhere.
While remote working has many benefits, it also exposes businesses to a range of cybersecurity risks.
That’s why it is important to implement the right strategy to mitigate cybersecurity threats, such as phishing, malware, password attacks, etc.
For example, you can train employees on how to detect phishing emails and teach them how to create secure passwords. Also, make sure they share files and data via file-sharing tools with built-in security, such as Dropbox or OneDrive.
1.4. Improve Brand Reputation and Build Awareness
Did you know that brand reputation and employee engagement are linked in several ways?
When employees find purpose in their roles and feel proud of what they do, they can be a business’s greatest brand promoters.
Put simply, employees are proud to work for a business with an excellent reputation, which also helps to reduce employee turnover.
There are many ways to improve your brand’s reputation and increase brand awareness:
- Make customer service a priority – For example, you can take pressure off your team members by outsourcing customer service to a professional, 24/7 virtual receptionist.
- Create a stream of high-quality, engaging, educational content for your target audience.
- Show value in your products by creating advertising and content that highlight how your products serve the customer.
- Use a premium, top-tier virtual office that provides high-quality services and a business address in a prestigious location.
- Engage with the local community by attending local events and hosting workshops.
- Drive social media engagement and increase your followers.
- Display your company’s values whenever possible.
- Listen to your customers and respond to both positive and negative reviews.
1.5. Keep Information Flowing Across Teams
When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, information flows seamlessly.
If you have a question, you ask one of the colleagues sitting next to you.
But how can you ensure the information keeps flowing in a remote environment?
Information silos can cause process and delivery bottlenecks and hamper relationships between team members.
That’s why it is important for your remote business to keep employees connected as much as possible.
Otherwise, efficiency is bound to take a hit.
Here are a few ways to break down pesky silos and keep information flowing across teams:
- Build cross-functional teams and create a collaborative culture
- Show support and appreciation for your team members to keep them engaged
- Encourage working on joint projects
- Organise regular conversations (not only for work-related discussions but also for “water cooler” chat)
- Build a culture of transparency to ensure there’s consistent open communication
- Incorporate collaboration tools, such as project management platforms with chat and interactive whiteboard
- Nurture a unified vision that breaks everyone out of the “my department” mentality into “our company” mentality
- Train your team members to engage in behaviours that support collaboration and teamwork
Conclusion: When done right, remote working enables team members to collaborate efficiently and focus on what really matters – results and performance.
Making remote work successful can help you lay the foundation of solid company policies and procedures, develop a meaningful culture, and make the most of your employee retention efforts.
Want to make remote working a breeze? In that case, a premium virtual office in Melbourne is the only office you’ll ever need to make your business run smoothly. B2B HQ would be happy to provide you with flexible office space that supports remote collaboration while also improving your business reputation and brand awareness.