Confident. Competitive. Fierce.
Going by the Chinese Zodiac, this is the Year of the Tiger.
Regardless of your adherence to Eastern traditions, I’m sure you would want 2022 to be a breakthrough year for business. And like the tiger, you would want your little enterprise to be a roaring success.
This is where remote work comes in because if you want to successfully compete in 2022, you’re going to have to seriously consider it. (Your closest competitors are making the move.)
To review, remote work allows people to do jobs and tasks outside traditional office environments. So instead of people reporting to the office each morning, they simply work from home, plug in a laptop and get grinding.
Remote work has been adopted in practically every major industry from retail to travel, and all tech trends and social developments point to a future where remote work is the standard way of collaboration and productivity.
In a time of spiking labour costs, coupled with the realization of high-quality overseas talent, companies are jumping on the bandwagon and enjoying all the competitive advantages.
But because remote work is an essentially “new” way of doing things, it has some expected birthing pains. Employees and employers are going to adjust to the way this game is played.
This piece will help you address some of the issues, so buckle up and we’ll help you make “remote work” work for your business.
The Boss’ Ultimate Guide For Remote Work Success
1) Level Up Your Communications
In an office, when you wanted to clear something up with a colleague, you merely have to pop into a nearby cubicle and ask, “Susie, do these numbers work for you?” Then you get an immediate answer.
With remote work, the “next cubicle” is probably not only in a different country but in a different time zone. So there is an even greater imperative for crystal clear communications.
Leave no room for miscommunication. And a common communication pitfall? It’s that gap between reality and expectations.
Be crystal clear about people’s roles and responsibilities. Let folks know what is expected of them, and when. Whether it’s the deadline of the next report or the kind of output that you need. Give people the necessary details to function and perform the way you expect them.
This doesn’t mean you Zoom longer and more often. (“Zoom fatigue” is real and it will run counter to your goals.)
You can instead quickly establish standard policies and routines so it becomes clear to people what their roles and responsibilities are. It would be best to have them as a written document so that workers can check on them every so often. This precludes future questions and saves so much time.
2) Revisit Your Processes
A “copy-paste”’ of your old processes or simply converting things “virtually” will not always work.
Revisit your standard operating procedures and experiment with different dynamics. This new reality offers you the possibility to streamline things, minimize hand-offs, and leave more room for independence and flexibility.
The ways we perform tasks and do collaborations are constantly evolving, and your business needs to adapt accordingly. Sometimes you might even need to purposely create silos. You could also create a new position with a unique mix of responsibilities. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. But tinker around with what works for your team.
Managing a distributed workforce is different, you may even need to revisit the way you structure rewards and incentives.
The changes would result in innovations that are unique to your business, making it more robust for the 2022 competitive landscape.
3) Empower yourself.
“How will I know what my guys are up to?”
Employers often wonder about the team’s productive use of time. No employer wants to pay for fellows to be idle or doing things unrelated to the business.
While independence and personal accountability are huge factors of collaboration in the future, employers are not left in the dark. Not at all.
There’s a whole suite of easy-to-use tools that are specifically designed to manage a remote team. These give you more insight into what your guys are doing than when they were in the office or within earshot.
Some of these remote management tools include:
- Trackers that log in the times your employees do work.
- Screen capture features that take regular shots of your employee’s screens.
- Activity and productivity trackers that record keystrokes and mouse movements
- Network performance software that informs you of their internet connectivity
All these tools are designed to increase the transparency within the organization and allow leaders to know what tasks are done in the course of the day.
4) Just be kind.
If you want success, look after your employee’s health, safety and well-being. A new setup comes with a lot of new challenges, but when it comes to dealing with people, the golden rules of decency and kindness remain the same.
It will even require more understanding and positive reinforcement from you, the boss. Setting off for remote work is a time of adjustment for all employees. The travails of the daily commute, to which they’ve already been accustomed, are replaced with a new set of challenges.
For one, there’s the challenge of carving out a quiet place for oneself, away from the kids or the normal goings-on of the typical household. If the worker is a parent, then he or she needs to balance the personal and professional urgencies of the day. Then there’s also the possibility for professional isolation.
You need to factor in these things. Make room for the possibility that your guy might be going through something. Be uplifting and encouraging in meetings, instead of finding and magnifying every little fault. Positivity translates into productivity.
(And if I were you, I’d encourage my guys to take longer lunch breaks.)
People are people, whether you’re eyeballing them in person or talking to them through a webcam. They have the same emotions and needs.
And if anything, virtual meetings make things a little tricky. So in the spirit of clear communications which we’ve talked about earlier, watch out for your tone. You could cause a slight without knowing it.
5) Equip Your People.
This is a continuation of the previous point. It’s not enough to be emotionally supportive. Your employees have practical needs. They need the right equipment, training, data and guidance to reach their productive potential.
You have the tools to check up on your guys. You should also ensure that they have theirs to get the job done. Invest in your people and they will return the favour with higher engagement and productivity. Boost employee productivity, and it will ultimately redound to your success. It’s just one of those laws of nature.
Smart entrepreneurs often plough back the huge savings of a remote set-up through upgraded employee equipment, allowances and perks. Doing so will harvest more benefits for the enterprise.
6) Get the right people
Finally, we round up this list with the most important factor for success.
With the right guys manning your enterprise, you can rest easy that you have competent, bright, loyal and hardworking individuals working for you. It makes all the challenges lighter, communications clearer, and changes smoother.
Competent individuals are more productive, more self-disciplined and bring more to the table.
Unfortunately, getting the right professionals can be tricky. Business owners often feel like playing roulette, hoping they get someone they like. They often have to do rounds of trial-and-error before landing somebody worth entrusting their vision to.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing, as a leader in the remote staffing space, takes the guesswork from the hiring process, ensuring that the professionals working for you excel in the skills required for the job.
We have a multi-layered vetting process that looks into potential picks. So the pool you pick from have already been shortlisted and prequalified by us. We will hold your hand throughout the whole process, and in the end, when you pick your guy, you do so with the confidence that everything has been done to bolster your success.
Further, Kinetic provides you with a full suite of remote management tools to help you manage your team.
If you would like to explore this option for your business, do not hesitate to get in touch.
Kinetic Innovative Staffing has been providing hundreds of companies in the Asia Pacific, North America, the Middle East, and Europe with professionals working remotely from the Philippines since 2013. Get in touch to know more.