The world faces new challenges every day, one of the more recent ones has been the business world’s shift to a remote landscape. You might be wondering: What is a remote landscape and what’s difficult about it?
Many businesses, big and small, have been faced with the challenge of ordering all their employees to work from home. Working remotely for the first time brings company-wide issues with productivity, monitoring employee success, and supporting company success.
How can small businesses that have little-to-no experience navigating the remote landscape succeed? Here are some tips companies worldwide have been implementing to ensure their employees and businesses are successful during these difficult times.
Implementing Necessary Technology
To enable a successful remote workforce, businesses will need to implement different technology that helps keep employees connected and productive.
Many remote workers note that they feel overwhelmed and unproductive when working from home. On top of everyday work, many employees also have children and pets at home that can add additional stress and distractions. When this is the case, even simple tasks can seem impossible.
Small businesses can implement different types of process automation software to help reduce the amount of mundane, repetitive tasks employees face every day. Companies with process automation in place can almost entirely remove monotonous tasks from employees’ duties, meaning employees have more time to focus on important tasks that might otherwise not be completed.
Remote conferencing is just like holding normal conferences or meetings, except they’re held through video platforms like Zoom or Skype. It’s more important than ever to integrate remote conferencing platforms across your company, because it’s the only way to hold face-to-face meetings from home.
Not only does this technology help teams give presentations and hold formal meetings, but it also makes it possible for employees to see each other, to prevent feelings of isolation. Holding virtual coffee meet-ups can improve employee engagement and morale, ultimately improving productivity.
An integral part of a successful company is strong communication between employees. One of the best ways to keep communication flowing is through instant messaging platforms.
Messaging systems like Slack or Microsoft Teams can be utilized to message individuals, create company groups for announcements, and even create groups for the members of your specific team. With the ability to instantly chat with anyone at your company, it’ll be easier to quicker and easier to answer questions or solve problems that may arise.
If your small business consists of just a few employees, you can likely implement free options like WhatsApp or GroupMe to successfully support your team communication.
Increase Human Resources Efforts
When an entire team of employees is remote, it can be difficult to feel like anyone is actually connected or part of a team at all. This is where human resources (HR) efforts can come in to show support and provide resources to their employees to help them feel like they’re connected to something bigger.
Share for Success
The HR department and the entire company can come together to share tips for success when working from home. Sharing articles about maintaining schedules, balancing work and life, and best practices for remote work can go a long way in making employees feel supported.
In addition to sharing articles, the HR department can gather a list of resources that are available and helpful for remote employees. From telemedicine apps to grocery delivery services, sharing any information that provides support to employees will make them feel valued.
Beyond articles or resources; when employees start sharing inspiring stories, relatable anecdotes, and their favorite recipes, they feel more connected to one another. The more your remote workers feel like they are part of the team, the more engaged they will be with the company and their work.
One of the easiest ways the HR department or company leaders can show support to their remote employees is to ask what they need. Send out surveys to see how employees are doing and what they are feeling about their remote situation. Employees will be happy to provide feedback and feel valued that the company cares about their responses. Showing this support can make employees feel dedicated to their company and willing to put in the work to ensure company-wide success.
Divide into Remote Teams
You might be thinking: Division doesn’t seem like the answer to bringing a company success. Division isn’t the answer, yet, it sort of is.
When working remotely, it’s a good idea for workers to form teams to tackle projects. Whatever the size, having a specific group working on a single client or project means there is more fluid communication and collaboration between those teams. This decreases the likelihood of tasks falling through the cracks or being forgotten.
In addition to improved communication, forming remote teams can also lead to higher engagement between team members.
Remote teams can gamify work to encourage productivity and engagement. One way is through work power hours. Teams can set up calendar events, allocating an hour for the team to compete to get tasks and work done within the timeframe. Creating a competitive, fun environment is a great way to get more work done and build stronger relationships.
This type of gamification can extend to weekly or monthly challenges to make work more engaging for remote employees.
Hold Weekly Meetings
Weekly meetings can greatly reduce feelings of isolation in employees. Not only is it good for employees to see the people they work with, but it also helps everyone on the team to stay on track. Weekly meetings can be utilized to set weekly goals and plan out strategies to achieve these goals. Ensuring that the team is on the same page and accomplishing their goals will help promote company-wide success.
As the world continues to change, so will the way companies do business. It can be more difficult than ever for small businesses to acclimate to big changes. To be successful in remote work, consider implementing some of these strategies to keep your business running seamlessly.
About the Author
Amy Meadows a freelance writer who has worked remotely for several companies over the years.