The entire work landscape has changed in the last few months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Offices are closed and most people no longer commute to work, hence working from home.
Due to this, companies now give their employees the freedom to work from home. According to Gartner, about 80% of company leaders plan to allow their employees to work from home after the pandemic.
It has also been proven that remote work leads to increased employee productivity and reduces workplace distractions. Research by Global Workplace Analytics shows that businesses reportedly lose about $600 billion each year to workplace distractions. Not only that, employees who work remotely are shown to be 35% to 40% more productive compared to their in-office counterparts. In fact, remote work has increased 43% in the past 4 years according to SleepAdvisor.org. And now, as you can see..
As you can see, remote work has come to stay, and businesses worldwide continue to embrace it. If you’re just getting started with a remote work culture for your company, everything might seem overwhelming. In this article, I would show you exactly how you can create a successful remote work culture for your company.
5 Steps to Creating a Successful Remote Work Culture for Your Company
If you’re looking for ways to implement remote working for your company, here are five steps that’ll help you navigate this successfully.
- Have a Remote Work Process in Place
Remote work is totally different from in-office work. If you want to create a successful culture for remote work in your company, then you should approach it the right way. The first step is to have a remote work process that guides everyone in your company.
Just like a business process that guides the daily business activities of your company, a remote work process shows employees everything they need to do in order to complete a specific task or project and collaborate with other employees while working remotely. If possible, you should document this process in the form of a knowledge base or series of videos that’ll explain everything to your employees from scratch.
While it’s easy for employees to reach out to their colleagues and managers in an office setting when they face a challenge, this isn’t the case with remote work. If there isn’t a guide they can reference when they need help, they might eventually resort to doing things on their own which might be disastrous for the company.
- Don’t Isolate Any Team Member Who Works Remotely
In a remote work setting, it’s easy to isolate team members, since everybody is working from different locations and in some cases different time zones. Isolating team members could lead to loneliness, lack of productivity, inefficiency, and so on.
To avoid this, you should treat your employees who work remotely as one indivisible entity. Take, for instance, each department head could be mandated to have a daily check-in with members of their team to see how they’re faring, and to confirm if they need help with anything.
Aside from that, you can use platforms such as Slack to enhance communication among your team members. You can even create channels on Slack where each team member is expected to notify other colleagues when they start working, and also to let them know when they’ve completed their tasks for the day.
Doing these puts everyone on your team on the same page, and ensures that no one feels left out in any way.
- Invest in Tools That Enhance Your Team’s Productivity
If you want to succeed with remote work, then you should invest heavily in tools that enhance your team’s productivity and output. Since they’re all working from different locations, these software and tools will break any communication barrier and ensure that they’re all doing the right things at the right time.
With a tool such as SweetProcess, you can document your company’s policies, procedures, and processes. That way, you can create a repeatable process that your employees can follow to achieve a specific goal.
For example, if you run an agency that helps e-commerce and software companies grow their business using content marketing, you can create a procedure that your employees can follow to plan, research, create, format, publish, and distribute content for your clients. That way, even if you all work in different locations, you will always get similar results across different projects.
- Avoid Micromanaging Your Remote Employees
One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of companies make when working remotely is to micromanage their employees due to the fear that they might eventually be doing something else since no one is there physically to monitor them. While this might work in some cases, the downside is that it makes employees less innovative, and makes working with you boring.
The best way to go about it is to assign specific tasks to employees at the start of the week which they’re expected to complete at a specific timeframe. When you do this, you’re giving your employees the room to do things that they enjoy, and they’ll most likely put in their best to make sure they do an amazing job.
For example, if you’re a web design company helping businesses develop and design WordPress websites, you can assign a specific web design project to your remote employees with an expected date of completion. Say, you can give them a timeframe of one to two weeks to complete the project using the company’s process.
- Give Your Team Members Time to Unwind
Remote work can be daunting and mentally tasking. To ease the tension and ensure that your team members remain productive, you should give them time to unwind and stay away from work. This helps them to focus on other things that matter to them such as family and pet projects. Encourage your employees to track their working hours and make sure their work-life balance is in place.
When you do this, your employees will be physically and mentally sound and will be in the best shape to take on challenging tasks and projects that help the company grow.
You’ve just learned how you can create a successful remote work culture for your company.
The five steps mentioned in this post will provide you with a solid foundation that you can work on to build a remote culture that works for your company. Once you start working remotely, there might be a need to adjust some of these strategies to fit your peculiar situation.
Owen McGab Enaohwo is the CEO and Co-Founder of SweetProcess, an easy-to-use and intuitive business process management software founded in 2013. The software makes it possible for company executives and their employees to collaborate to document standard operating procedures, processes, and policies quickly.