Working remotely: tips for success
Remote workers have been in business for a while but now that we are facing new challenges due to COVID-19 this has become more popular and more businesses have started to implement it and they are looking at it as a permanent solution. As everything, It has advantages like reduction of expenses since you as an employer don't have to provide full office space and some disadvantages like the need to implement security measures in every employee’s home to keep information safe.
Let’s face it, for some employers this sounds scary, but we have worked remotely since our firm started so we know a little bit about this area and we want to share some challenges you may face and how to overcome them.
Select wisely your employees. You need people you can trust in your team. Be considered with those who are not too familiar with technology or with the new processes that will be implemented. This is a learning process for everybody. Take the time to train those that need it the most and be patient, everyone has a different rhythm.
Tip💡: Give your team the chance to prove to you they don’t need constant supervision and see if you can start measuring them based on results and not the amount of hours they spend in front of a computer.
Whether remote or onsite, communication is one of the foundations of your business success. As an employer, you need to be the one setting the environment, be approachable, and set the tone for communication among your staff.
There are a variety of communication tools you can use, experiment with one or two, and ask your team for feedback. Is important to establish report time, how often you want to hear from your employees, set up regular meetings to address matters that need further attention.
Tip💡: At My Books and Taxes, we set up a weekly meeting (15 to 20 min) just to talk about random things just to maintain a friendly environment among the employees.
We consider this a necessary tool, if you are already working with one you know how good this is to keep the workflow and to delegate tasks, besides tracking statuses in projects. Now that you are working remotely, cloud-based project management is the way to go. There are numerous options depending on your industry. Consider this the way you know the progress of your employees and the best way to set deadlines.
Tip💡: If you are looking for this tool, be careful, this can be overwhelming. Make a list of the things you need your tool to do and what is absolutely critical to have. Then research what is out there and choose just 2 or 3 to test based on your requirements. If you start signing up for a free trial for every project management on the market you will probably never be able to choose one.
One advantage of Remote work is that your employees can work from anywhere as long as they have an internet connection but this represents a risk for your data. You want to ensure that your company’s sensitive and confidential information is secure.
Tip💡: Help your employees understand the risks and how to mitigate them in their daily tasks. Create security policies that set requirements for anti-virus software, uploading and downloading information, creating passwords, and clicking on email links.
Although you may still be hesitant to try, we encourage you to go for it if that is an option for your business type and industry. Be empathetic to your employees, you will find some who would love it and some not so much. Getting to know their difficulties and help them out will make the difference. Communication and good training are the keys to success. It may take a while until you have a good rhythm but when you get there you’ll be happy with the results.
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