Does your company have a remote workforce? Have you figured out how to run your remote operations like a well-oiled machine? Today, small businesses to large enterprises are working toward creating objective-driven remote work strategies that actually work.
The arrival of the pandemic in many ways has highlighted the benefits of remote working for both companies and employees. Remote working is a win-win scenario for employers and employees for a myriad of reasons.
The advantages of remote working from employee engagement, retention, and expansion of the talent pool are well known to all. However, it also puts forward different challenges that companies should address to ensure their remote working strategy is effective.
In this article, we will take a look at how organizations can leverage remote working to their advantage. It is important to create an ecosystem that keeps employees connected to each other and also promotes remote collaboration and innovation.
Without further adieu, let’s dive in to explore some of the best long-term remote work strategies.
Four pillars of a successful remote working environment
According to Andrew Hewitt, an analyst at Forrester Research, there are four main pillars that are essential to support a successful remote work strategy. A remote work strategy should incorporate these four pillars to be successful.
Even if a single pillar is weak or missing, your company will have a rough time adjusting to the unforeseen need to work remotely – for instance, the onset of a pandemic.
Let’s get our foot in the door and take a closer look at the four main pillars to support a successful remote work strategy.
It is impossible to work remotely without technology. However, technology should not be just confined to email marketing, chat, and collaboration tools. Your tech and marketing stack should have a perfect mix of collaboration, project management, and communication tools that provide just what you need.
Hewitt says that organizations need “systems of work” to ensure their remote employees have all the tools to do their work efficiently. There is so much more than how employees interact with each other via different tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Google Hangouts.
Companies need to create an environment wherein employees have the right knowledge to use virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to access in-house systems.
Another roadblock companies face is tracking employee productivity in a remote working environment. While there are multiple tools that allow you to keep tabs on every action taken by your employees, they do more harm than good. Deploying these systems could demotivate employees and could potentially make them feel as if they are being watched 24/7.
There is a very thin line between wanting to understand how your employees spend their time and literally monitoring their every move.
One of the biggest advantages of remote working is flexibility. However, without a solid structure in place, there is no way to quantify these benefits. Decision-makers and key stakeholders need to create a systematic strategy that covers all the aspects of remote working.
Right from how day-to-day activities are performed to sharing reports and beyond, a well-defined structure is very important.
Company policies should have clear guidelines related to the type of roles that can be performed remotely. Besides, you should also take into account an employee’s ability to work remotely based on past experiences.
Find answers to hard questions such as “What time are people expected to get off work? How will internal communication take place? What are the must-have points in your remote work routine?
When you find answers to these questions, you are laying down the groundwork that is required to support a successful remote work strategy. Always keep in mind that every employee will approach remote work differently. This is why transparency is very important.
Training will remain one of the most important components of your remote work strategy. It will provide a clear understanding of what is expected, what guidelines need to be adhered to, and more.
Culture is the third pillar of a successful remote work strategy. You need to start incorporating and promoting ideas that advocate a “remote first” culture. What does “remote first” mean?
A remote-first culture primarily means that you are prioritizing remote working, gaining feedback from your employees, and doing everything that is required to attain these objectives.
One of the disadvantages of a remote work strategy is that it can have a negative impact on your work-life balance. It is very important that your employees move away from their work and pay attention to their personal lives.
The lack of commute is one of the biggest adjustments remote workers have to make. The time saved on commuting can be used to bridge the gap between work and personal life.
Businesses should invest enough time to understand the compliance and legal implications of a well-defined remote work strategy. Besides, if your employees are spread across the globe, you will need to do some additional research to understand the tax and legal implications in each country.
Every geographical location will have its own financial and safety regulations you need to follow.
A remote work strategy demands thorough research and answers to every type of legal question. Business leaders should also comply with the legal and prerequisites in different countries to avoid any complications.
Although a lot of considerations may apply for an on-premise and remote working environment, the implementation methodology may change.
It is safe to say that the world is gradually getting back on track after the arrival of the pandemic. As companies are returning to the pre-pandemic working environment again, a lot of decisions need to be made.
Companies need to identify whether a hybrid, remote, or traditional on-premise working environment is suitable for them. As mentioned before, a clear structure along with technology is essential to set the ball rolling in any of the above scenarios.
The management and company policies need to be in tune with each scenario. Now that you have enough information under your belt, this is a good time to reflect on what measures you need to take to support a successful remote work strategy.