One of the biggest changes thrust onto employers and employees alike during the pandemic was a forced shift to remote work. Forced or not, however, many workers found that they enjoyed the flexibility — and were more productive as a result. That, in turn, has led many companies to be more flexible themselves, allowing more (or even total) remote work as a benefit for their employees.
However, even when it's done right, working remotely does pose a few issues that can be challenging for some — and many revolve around collaboration with people who may be working thousands of miles away. Fortunately, technology and the right management approach will smooth over most of these issues, and the following steps should be part of your new remote work strategy:
Make sure everyone has reliable connections
First and foremost, you need to be able to ensure your remote workers can connect with each other in almost any circumstances, according to Global Trade. That may require you to invest in new network equipment for their homes, or to provide a little extra cash to help them pay for faster internet speeds — especially if, for whatever reason, they don't have the option to come into the office regularly.
Create clear policies for remote work
Your company has no doubt relied for years or even decades on a specific code of conduct for your office, and expected employees to abide by those rules, Global Trade explained. You may now need to carefully craft a similar set of rules for remote assignments regarding how people are expected to work while at home: how they should be dressed for video calls and so on.
Keep all relevant documents accessible
In an office setting, if there are any physical documents your team needs to get their work done on an ongoing basis, they're likely stored in a single, easy-to-reach spot, according to Business 2 Community. The same must be true for your remote teams: All pertinent documents should be stored — and shared with everyone on the team — in a single spot so there's no confusion as to who controls what and how to get access on demand.
Make sure everyone checks in regularly
When working remotely, it can be easy for people to get caught up in their own work and not always be proactive about getting "face time" with the rest of the team, Business 2 Community noted. As such, regular video conferences are a great idea. They don't have to be every single day, but the occasional quick check-in will be helpful.
Plan well in advance
You may need to do a little more coordination if your team is spread across multiple locations — or even time zones — to make sure nothing is overlooked, according to management expert Dede Henley, writing for Forbes. When you clearly lay out your team schedule a week or more in advance, confusion should be kept to a minimum.
These days, you may also need to be more proactive about hiring managers who can handle remote teams, and YES Partners can help. To see some of the roles that we have already successfully placed, click here.
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