For many, the idea of being able to work remotely is the ultimate dream. It means you have more freedom to work flexibly, travel, or spend more time with your family.
However, it can also feel like an impossible dream to realize, particularly if you own a business and you have responsibilities over a team of people, however large or small.
Yet there are ways you can move both yourself and your employees to remote working, allowing all of you to reap the benefits both personally and for your business.
One of the main issues with remote working can often be a lack of communication.
Without a water cooler to gather around, or the ability to pop over to someone’s desk to ask a question, remote working can feel isolating.
How can you keep a team spirit and camaraderie whilst everyone is working apart?
Video conferencing is a great solution – try scheduling in one short session each day, perhaps at the end of the day or immediately after lunch, so everyone has the ability to check in with each other.
You can also yourself and your employees to use phone calls as much as necessary to communicate, as this is often much quicker and easier than exchanging long email chains.
Consider what services might be useful as you move to more remote methods of working together.
You’ll probably be using the internet a lot more, but as you’re not all in the same building, externally managed IT services may be a more cost-effective and efficient way to keep the company safe and functional.
Particularly if you are working irregular hours, you may need 24/7 support in a different way than when working in an office, so make sure to consider these differences in requirements and act accordingly.
In order to make the most of remote working, and increase productivity, it’s a good idea to seriously consider different working hours for your employees.
If you don’t run a business where everyone absolutely needs to be working simultaneously, giving your team the ability to choose which hours they work will help them adapt to their own needs.
n turn, this means work will be more efficient as it is tailored for each individual’s circumstances.
If you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, the ability to share documents and edit them live online across a team is invaluable. Google Docs is a great platform to use, but there are plenty of other options depending on your preferences and operating systems.
By uploading a file to this platform and sharing the link with colleagues, you will be able to see each other’s edits in real-time, comment on the document, and track any changes against who made them.
Once again, this eliminates the need for lengthy email chains and will make your remote working set-up much more efficient.
Moving your business to a remote-working set up isn’t as impossible as it might feel, as many businesses have proved over recent months. As long as you approach the idea methodically, it can prove an efficient and enjoyable way to move forward with your business.
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Have you had to move your business to remote working during quarantine or lockdown? How’s it going for you? Would you ever go back to the way things used to be?