In today’s business climate, remote work has become a significant consideration. Many employees have chosen to work remotely so that their jobs can fit into their lifestyle preferences or requirements. Companies have also learned some advantages of remote work, including reduced costs and more satisfied employees.
Here are seven pointers if you’re ready to take your company fully remote.
- Get the Software You Need
Your remote business depends on the right online tools. Everyone must be able to connect to your data to perform their jobs. You and your staff members also need to be accessible to each other. The scheduling tools, project management platforms and sales software you choose can elevate or detract from your productivity. Be sure to research your choices.
Some essential online tools include:
- Video conferencing software for virtual meetings
- Human resources software for tracking time off and conducting reviews
- Task management software for tracking projects
- Cloud storage for everyone to access data
- Develop Remote Working Policies and Guidelines
Managers should not assume that all employees know what is expected of them. It is essential to outline what you require of your staff members and guide them to achieve your goals. These policies should be flexible, especially in the beginning, as you learn what works best for your company.
Your guidelines are unique to your business, so create the policies and rules you need. If you place less emphasis on work hours and more on productivity, you might not expect workers to clock in and out. However, you may require everyone to attend regular virtual meetings.
- Provide Hardware and Accessories
Your workers need the technology to access information, attend virtual discussions and communicate effectively from remote locations. In some cases, you may have to provide the equipment required. You can purchase or lease standard laptop computers for everyone, for example, and load them with the necessary software.
In other instances, you may allow employees to use their own equipment. If so, be sure their systems are equipped with the security tools necessary to keep your data safe.
- Make Onboarding a Priority
It can be challenging to train new employees when you aren’t meeting in person. Therefore, your onboarding process needs to be both practical and user-friendly.
Consider using online manuals and training programs for your newest employees. You can also arrange video conferences to engage with staff members. Introduce them to colleagues if possible and make sure they know they are valued team members.
- Schedule In-Person Activities
If your employees live within a reasonable distance of each other, consider in-person gatherings. These meetings can be social events, dinners or other fun activities. While you might not make attendance a requirement, those who choose to come have the chance to interact with each other and do some team building in the process.
Consider a virtual get-together for fun if you cannot meet in person. You can play an online game, have a television watch party or spend time talking to each other and getting to know your coworkers.
- Set Up Knowledge Databases
Remote workers can appreciate a resource that allows them to get answers to their questions. If you put a database online with helpful information, workers can access it at any time of day or night. They won’t have to wait for an answer via email or phone call. A knowledge database can save your managers time in the long run and increase the satisfaction of their staff members.
- Stay Open to Input
Your employees are your most valuable resources. Be sure they feel comfortable sharing ideas, insight and best practices. What works for some may also work for others, and an open idea exchange can build a more effective workplace.
Remote working offers many benefits for both the company and its employees. If you are considering moving to an all-remote workplace, following these steps may help you succeed.