Many employers have adopted what’s called “remote working” aka “smart working”, now that it is impossible to be in the office. Thanks to the internet and the vast array of remote working and collaboration tools, it isn’t necessary to be in the office for most types of work.
The unfortunate circumstances created by the COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many companies are left scrambling to implement remote working protocols but with little success. Many businesses may even experience losses during this time because their remote working protocols aren’t as good or polished as they should be.
As a way of contributing back to the community, we decided to impart our years of experience working remotely with others who are now forced to deal with it. If anything, these tips should help ensure that work proceeds as it should.
Organizing Your Team
Many of the rules that apply to organizing a physical team work to a remote one. However, for a business that has always operated out of a physical office, a couple of changes will still need to be made. For starters, goals will need to be considered instead of hours.
When working remotely, you can’t count the number of hours an employee has worked to produce something. So, the objective needs to be results produced or milestones reached. Also, each task should be carefully documented and created with a specific goal in mind, which is especially true for creative and complex tasks. Once that task has been assigned to a member of the team, they should be given a deadline along with it. That way, team members know what to do, and management can keep watch over how the deliverables are coming along.
Dealing with Exceptions
Now even though the above methods are pretty good, they have to be adapted to specific cases and tailored based on the functions it has to serve. Take customer care; for instance, the quantifiable data here could be the number of responses or, better yet, the rate of customer satisfaction.
Software Tools for the Job
Remote work is only possible if it is supported by the right software tools, which makes collaboration and communication easier. While some businesses may still use email, that’s not as fast as some of the other tools that can be used for internal communication like a chat system.
The most commonly used tool by our team is Asana. The system allows us to schedule tasks and communicate with team members. While there are many alternatives, this one tool is free to start with and can be further expanded upon.
When it comes to meetings, calls, and chats, our tool of choice is Slack.
Changing Internal Policy
It is imperative to have an internal policy that allows everyone to have the necessary equipment, like a laptop. Each team member can be allocated an annual budget, which depends on their business function and role in the hierarchy.
Now with a computer purchase, for instance, you can budget for up to three years for it. So, the chances of things going sideways are low.
Sure, there are many advantages of working remotely for businesses and employees. However, nothing can beat the value of face-to-face interaction. That’s why it is important to arrange for weekly or monthly meetups. If anything, it allows team members to meet and get to know each other, which works towards better online collaboration when working remotely.
Here at Keyword Advertising we only work remotely and for the comfort of our homes or co-working spaces. We encourage every business to consider this type of approach and if not to make sure they follow strict guidelines in relation to health and safety, like washing hands often and social distancing. If you want to know more please visit the WHO website.
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