Today’s business world moves exceedingly fast and is getting faster all the time. Companies constantly need to need to adapt to new circumstances and economic realities quickly and effectively, or else potentially face being put out of business by a faster-moving competitor.
Even prior to the pandemic, remote work was a growing trend, particularly among tech firms. But today, it’s grown to become a key fixture at many different organizations that might not have supported remote work previously.
That said, successfully managing a business with remote workers isn’t as easy as hiring someone with a laptop who happens to live in another city (or on another continent). There’s an entire remote work culture that needs to be built and nurtured. There are a handful of companies who have done this exceedingly well, and it’s worth looking at them if you’re looking to craft your own remote work culture. Here are a few things these companies have done to promote a healthy, productive, and loyal remote workforce.
When you have a team that’s distributed across multiple countries and continents, it’s essential to ensure that work is moving around the company effectively and efficiently. In other words, people need to know what they’re working on and work on it at the right time. Lack of communication and processes here can be a real productivity killer, not to mention the confusion and frustration employees often feel when those two things are lacking.
To avoid difficult situations, businesses can look to automate certain workflows to ensure that everyone is working on what they’re supposed to be working on all the time. This is something that Zapier excels at. It makes sense, too, given that their platform is all about automating tasks. Things Zapier likes to automate: Status updates, company-wide messages, links to video meetings, and more.
Ditch the Office Hours
Back in the days when everyone worked at the same location, it made sense to have people be physically present at set times (the good ol’ 9 to 5). But with a distributed workforce, that’s likely not possible, especially if your teams span the globe.
Today, it’s totally unrealistic to expect everyone to work the same hours every day. Instead of requiring employees to be present online during a given time, it’s generally more productive to set deadlines and expectations that are free of specific working hours. For example, you might say certain administrative tasks or a project milestone needs to be met by a certain date.
One company that seems to do this well is Slack. Despite being a communication tool for distributed workforces, Slack only went full digital in August of 2020 and doesn’t plan on returning to the office until June 2021. This move has forced the firm’s internal communications to be more text-based, which they claim has helped them maintain “clarity, efficiency, and measured decision-making.”
Equip Your Team
One of the biggest challenges for workers new to remote work is having the right setting or environment at home to be productive. That’s why many remote work companies offer a home office stipend to help pay for supplies, including comfortable office chairs, laptops, and other materials you might find in an office. This is an easy perk that doesn’t cost any additional funds, given that these expenses are already things companies should be buying for their employees anyway.