March 12, 2018 BestCompaniesUSA

How Remote Work Actually Works

The general concept of remote work, or telecommuting, has been around for many years now. However, for many business owners and managers the concept still feels risky. Learning about how remote work actually works (both for employees and for employers) can help alleviate those concerns and unlock a powerful asset.

When it comes down to it, remote work is about giving employees the freedom to work wherever they are and providing quality work to the client at the same time. The model can work successfully for many businesses from software companies to service and consulting and everything in between.

It’s all about cost-optimization and making sure that you’re taking advantage of decentralized talent. Here are 5 tips in making remote working work better for your company –

1. Create a Routine

A routine for your employees with checks and balances installed means you’ll experience fewer communication issues.

When a project is assigned or a certain task has deadlines, set a routine so employees don’t slack off.

It’s important to know whether the work will be done on time. Then you can view your teams as an asset instead of a liability.

2. Schedule Communication

The organization must create regular scheduled communication between members and remote workers. This creates a constant flow of work and energy. You don’t want the remote worker to feel out of place or touch because they work in a different location.

When you schedule communication in a positive and supportive way, it forges a deeper connection with remote employees.

3. Use Online Tools

Software like Slack, Skype and Asana make project management and remote working an efficient working style. A combination of these online tools can ease your mind, increase communication and cultivate rapport.

This provides the opportunity to accomplish milestones instead of wasting time on clunky, outdated communication and project management.

4. Provide Autonomy

Remote workers don’t need a micromanager. Too much communication can actually cause inefficiencies. Avoid the temptation to over-communicate.

Personal insecurities about remote employees damages the productivity. More importantly,  it’s a sign of weak leadership and can lead to company-wide failure.

Remote workers are hired for a reason and you must empower them to do their best.

Trust empowers them to naturally produce the best results possible. Overbearing micromanagement leads to annoyed, stifled and unhappy employees. Avoid being the latter at all cost.

5. Present Clear Expectations

Companies may expect remote workers to do a job the way they envision it. But this isn’t always possible, especially if they are a contractor instead of an employee.

Plus, it leads to a lot of strife when the worker doesn’t receive any written documentation of expectations.

Document all the information, systems and milestones remote employees need to shine. It eliminates the frustration of miscommunication and disappointments — from both parties.