If the current business landscape indicates anything, it’s that remote work will win.
After Google Maps asked employees to return to the office, they petitioned for management to continue allowing them to work remotely or risk them going on strike. So far, they’ve gained 90 more days of remote work. And after Elon Musk sent an email telling Tesla employees to come back to the office or quit, Microsoft and Amazon immediately used this to their advantage by recruiting unsatisfied employees.
Even Apple has faced backlash for a hybrid work policy requiring employees to come into the office just three times a week. These scenarios are not the exception, they can be seen across smaller and mid-sized companies of many industries.
Ask yourself these 8 questions as you transition to remote work
Although certain companies are insisting that their workers get back in the office, many are learning that they must embrace remote work as an operational necessity, not as an employee perk. Luckily, making the full transition to remote work doesn't need to be disruptive or expensive.
Below are eight critical questions you can ask yourself to make remote work a highly successful solution for your organization.
1. How will you measure the success rate of your remote team?
One of remote work’s greatest challenges is preventing work silos and losing visibility of your team’s work and performance. You may be wondering what this means for you as a team or company leader, and how you can best support your remote team?
The first thing you need to do is make sure all expectations are clear and agreed upon by each employee. Make sure to expand upon these expectations by explaining to your team how their success will be measured, down to the exact metrics or objectives when possible.
Consider measurements that compliment your company's overall objectives, and that you can fairly assess in a remote work environment. For instance, these key performance indicators should answer questions like:
- Are we meeting deadlines?
- What quality is our work?
- Are we prioritizing the right work?
- What is the level of client or customer satisfaction?
- How much progress have we made to improve our service offerings?
- How much progress have we made in our desired growth path?
Lastly, determine where you will source these measurements of success, and if you can rely on them to be accurate. For instance, if your remote organization relies on an expansive tech stack, consider if you could benefit from a people analytics platform that aggregates data from your many work management systems to offer a more comprehensive view into your remote teams.
2. Which steps will you take to maintain company culture remotely?
There is good news for those transitioning to full-time remote work. According to new research, remote employees actually feel 22% more connected to their work compared to their in-office counterparts.
Why? Because they feel listened to, and appreciate the flexibility their workplace provides. However, this doesn’t mean that the work ends here. Remote organizations have made significant strides in offering a remote company culture and a better employee experience, which may contribute to the positive, emerging research.
To join them, and gain benefits like increased productivity, retention, ROI and more, start by creating a culture statement. Ingrain this statement into every stage of the employee experience and into your organization’s work at large. Ensuring all your employees understand what your company stands for and have guidance in demonstrating its core values.
3. Which communication channels will you use?
Consistent and timely communication is critical when transitioning to a remote workforce. It enables collaboration across multiple departments, teams, business locations and even a global workforce that would otherwise be impossible.
To learn how essential it is to invest in the appropriate communication channels for your business, consider one of the basics: Slack. As a SaaS company, Slack targets an audience of many remote SaaS companies just like it. Those organizations can rely on Slack to achieve many highly valuable objectives in a remote work environment. Employees gain the efficiency and communication measures to use email 32% less, reduce meetings by 23%, and impressively bring their products to market 23% faster.
When it comes to your organization, there are several tools that your business can use to enhance effective communication and collaboration when working virtually. Consider mixing up video conversations with direct messaging and email. Additionally, define communication app protocols that consider time zones when scheduling meetings or expecting response windows.
4. How will you improve cyber security for your remote workers?
Both your customers and employees are trusting your organization with a lot of private information. However, remote employees often face several security threats. These include insecure passwords, phishing emails, video attacks, and weak backup systems.
Start by conducting a cyber security risk assessment to better protect your remote employees. It will also help to invest in asset management tools and regularly provide cybersecurity training to employees. Doing this boosts your company's credibility while protecting you from online attacks.
5. What changes will you make to your hiring practices?
Shifting towards a remote workforce broadens your hiring capabilities. You can leverage today's technology to employ remote workers from all over the world. However, doing this comes with protocols to define, complications to solve and several questions you may want to ask yourself.
Will you narrow the scope of your organization's hiring on local candidates only? Are international applicants going to be considered for remote work? If so, how will you offer all employees a strong experience, fair compensation, career advancement and workplace support no matter where they reside? And how will you ensure that they feel heard and seen in a workplace that considers their time zone and culture? Ask yourself these questions to build an ethical, efficient hiring funnel for your remote workforce?
6. How will you manage productivity and time issues?
More than two thirds – about 69% - of remote workers are experiencing symptoms of burnout. This influx is greatly impacting both employee health and business productivity. Therefore, your organization may want to come up with a viable solution to helping employees manage time and productivity issues before making the finalized transition to remote work.
What are your remote employee expectations? How will you handle employee burnout? Will you leverage a time tracking system? Ask yourself these questions to ensure your employees stay motivated.
7. How will you prepare as a leader?
Working with a remote team is more complex than you might think. It is not enough to provide hardware and communication tools for your remote workers. You need to ensure that your organization’s digital remote environment is agile and resilient. This starts with the digital processes you have in place for all aspects of work, from project deliverables and performance reviews to HR and business finances.
This widespread digital transformation and process standardization is no easy task, and 84% of organizations fail in achieving effective digital transformation. Businesses think that the success of their digital transformation comes down to technology. However, what makes or breaks digital transformation are people. Without a people-focused lens to digital transformation, business leaders often make the wrong investments and build a tech stack that hinders meaningful, profitable work more than it helps it.
What this means: as you transition to remote work, consider what you can do as a leader to align all people, processes and technology to achieve a remote workforce that has the tools to do great work.
8. How will you deal with remote disagreements?
Conflict in remote work usually starts out for the same reasons that flare up disagreements in traditional offices. Sources of conflict include:
- Personality clashes
- And difference in values
Dealing with these disagreements can be difficult when you can't have a face-to-face conversation. When faced with these issues, encourage your remote employees to take a break. These workers can calm down, thus making it easier to resolve the issue. It will also help to set ground rules on settling disagreements among your remote workforce. Doing this will foster camaraderie among your remote employees, which improves their overall performance.
Make a seamless transition to remote work with people analytics
Most employees prefer working from home rather than in offices. It, therefore, comes down to company leaders to help transition their business to accommodate a remote workforce.
At Pattyrn, we give you the guidance and support you need to transition to a remote team effectively and efficiently. Managing a remote team is easier when you empower your workforce to stay connected using Pattyrn's unique cross-platform insights. Ensure you book a demo today to get started.