To prevent the spread of COVID-19, many businesses around the world are embracing remote working. Even before the global pandemic, workplaces that enforced a strict in-office, 9 to 5 schedule were falling out of favour. Many employees require a flexible schedule and the option to work from home. Younger employees also tend to search for remote opportunities that allow part-time or full-time telework.
In a socially-distanced world, remote workforces are commonplace. From sales and marketing to accounting and IT, you can find remote workers in nearly every industry.
For employers, remote work may prove challenging in tracking productivity and unifying company culture. Conversely, employees regard flexibility as a considerable factor in their work satisfaction. And happy employees make for a diligent, loyal workforce.
Benefits of a remote workforce
Opening your team to remote workers provides numerous benefits, such as:
- Access to a larger talent pool
With remote workers, you have access to the potential talent on a global scale. You’re no longer limited to the available talent within your geographical location, so you can find the best talent, skill set, and fit for your company culture.
- Better productivity
Employees who work from home are more productive than their in-house counterparts. They tend to take less frequent and shorter breaks, fewer sick days, and fewer vacation days as a result of their flexible scheduling.
- Reduced unscheduled absences
We always need to stay home for a reason, a delivery, the electrician, a 30 minutes appointment at school, or anything we may pop up in our personal life. Avoiding the commute help reduce the level of stress and fatigue. Many employees call out because of burnout, anxiety, family concerns, and other personal causes. With remote workers, employees are more likely to enjoy flexibility at work. With the right setup, workers tend to be more available, more productive, and happier!
- Retain top talent
Losing employees and training new ones is time-consuming and expensive, especially for more advanced positions. Remote work, whether full- or part-time, increases employee retention and reduces the risk of losing valuable talent.
- Less overhead
If you have a large employee base, opening up remote positions helps you save on the costs of overhead in the long term. You won’t have to rent or purchase larger office space to accommodate your full employee base, and you don’t need to worry about stocking as many office supplies.
- Increased employee satisfaction
No matter how good your talent is, they won’t stay with your company if they aren’t satisfied with their workplace. Many factors can influence an employee’s satisfaction, such as the daily commute or the office environment, so employees who work from the comfort of their own home tend to be more satisfied with their job.
Tools to manage a remote team
Though there are many advantages to having a remote workforce, it can present challenges for management. Here are a few ways to manage your remote team and ensure success for your business:
- Video conferencing
Just like in-office workers, setting clear standards of communication for remote teams is vital to success. It’s important to have daily and weekly touch points for remote team management, as well as communication strategies and platforms that enhance the experience.
- Video conferencing tools
These are beneficial for connecting with remote team members and ensuring they feel as valued as the in-person team. Many of these tools come with screen-sharing capabilities as well, which makes it easy to work through any questions or concerns with projects in the same way you would in person. Social networking platforms also help with managing collaboration and communication within a remote team.
- File sharing
Collaborative tools, such as Google Drive, are ideal for sharing projects among team members and ensuring that remote workers are on the same page. With these platforms, multiple team members can work on the same spreadsheet or document, add comments, and more, all from their own location. You could also use these platforms for presentations and videos.
- Customer relationship management
Customer relationship management tools are essential for remote teams. They not only sync with the Google G Suite, which includes Drive and Gmail, but they also allow your in-house and remote employees to work from their own inboxes, removing the need for additional software. All communication and files are automatically linked, helping your employees stay on top of clients and projects. Calendars can also be shared across the company, which helps management keep track of open projects and address any areas that need improvement.
Remote workforces open up incredible opportunities for your business. Especially, if you take the time to employ effective management strategies to maximise productivity and collaboration.
We also understand the challenges of transitioning your on-site employees to full-time telework. To help business owners during this difficult time, we've created a COVID-19 Response Playbook. Get the assistance you need to stabilise your business and support your remote workforce.