It is more than clear that nowadays, many companies are facing struggles towards keeping their business running. This uncertain pandemic is changing work culture, forcing companies to establish suitable conditions for their staff to work from home. Building a remote work culture (working from home) might be the solution to save your business.
It is challenging to create efficient remote work culture overnight. Due to our world’s situation now, companies and employees have to adapt to working from a distance. It should be done rapidly to preserve the workplace for employees while keeping the flow of services provided at a satisfactory level for your clients. Nevertheless, the ability to work productively from a distance might impact lowering the potential losses.
In this article, we will provide simple tips on where to start if you and your company are willing to begin implementing remote work culture.
How do we know that?
At Baltic Assist, we are creating a remote work culture for over 5 years now. Around 55% of our employees are working remotely at least 90% of their time. 97% of our staff is fully capable of working from home without decreasing the productivity and time spent on preparing systems.
1st Tip: Track Productivity of Your Employee Working Remotely
If an employee or a team does not have experience working from a distance, and managers do not know how to control employees, it will create distrust and uncertainty between both. The manager is responsible for meeting deadlines and hitting the goals. It is challenging to keep track of projects, tasks, and even communication between team members without a physical presence.
Creating a system of three main components could solve the problem and help to assign tasks and projects and follow-up and evaluate employee’s work from home.
- Project and task management. There are online tools to assign tasks and projects, manage them, and check the progress. It will help the manager assign, control, and measure the employee’s performance even more than being physically next to them.
There are many different project and task management tools (even for free – basic plans) to cover essential business needs. At Baltic Assist, we recommend these tools: Jira, Asana, Trello.
- Time Tracking. You can track the time of work on different projects, check the performance and efficiency of your team members working from home. The integration with the project and task management tool will show a clear picture of employee performance.
There are also many different tools for time-tracking. Our choice is Hubstaff, but there are other great tools, such as TimeCamp or Toggl. Most of them have a free version to cover basic needs.
- Communication tools. To communicate virtually, we use several different mechanisms. Slack is our primary tool for internal communication, sharing files, and solving quick problems. Wrike is excellent for sharing sensitive information, which needs a high-security level. Microsoft Teams and Zoom for video conferencing and virtual meetings with clients and team members.
2nd Tip: Educate Employees Working From Home
The worst thing you could ever do is implement new systems or principles without reason just because others are doing it. If you have a purpose and see how a particular tool will be useful for everyone in the company – explain it to your employees. Clearly, Openly and Consistently. It is one of the critical aspects of creating an efficient remote work culture.
3rd Tip: Set Principles of Communication
You got used to asking questions, discussing, and organizing meetings physically. There were clear guidelines for solving different kinds of tasks. For example, if the problem is urgent and needs to be addressed quickly– you shout a name and ask for them. On the other hand, if you have a complicated question that requires a more extended response, you write an email or organize a meeting.
Working remotely, it remains the same, just the tools change. What type of questions, problems do you solve by email, phone, or chat tools? Who is responsible for answering questions and issues of a particular topic? Create principles, guidelines for remote communication in your company, and explain them to employees.
4th Tip: Make Employees Feel Important
Remote work might create the feeling for a team member of being less critical, disconnected, and isolated, which can lead to lower productivity and turndown of manager and company. Instead, there should be constant meetings between colleagues, providing daily tasks and involvement in organizational initiatives and events. Such as remote trivia game night, or virtual lunch break, you will be surprised how it raises the employee’s morale.
5th Tip: Advice on how to set up Home Rules and Routine
Home has an association with relaxation, resting, playing with kids, etc. The least it associates with work. Especially when children and pets are playing around and making noise. Thus the productivity will decrease, leading to missing deadlines, unfinished tasks or losing clients, etc. How to change that? Advice on how to set up a working place at home.
First, set up the workplace at home where nobody will interfere, or at least the level of interference will be reduced to a minimum.
Secondly, create the same routine as going to the office – wake up early, wash, dress as you are used to for work. Scientifically proved that our brain turns on into the work regime when we are preparing the same as going to the office.
Setting up the rules for yourself and your family is essential. Set the time when you are working, and nobody can disturb you. Meanwhile, specify the time, which will be for fun and family.
Extra Tip: if it is tough to concentrate working from home, try rewarding exercise. Set a reward for yourself (such as a cup of coffee, a piece of the pie, a walk with a dog, a nap, etc..) after you finish a task. You can do it each time, starting from mini-tasks and going to more significant. You will be able to do more jobs than 90% of other people working from home.
During this uncommon situation in the world, businesses have to adapt and change. Building a remote work culture is one of the vital aspects of today’s situation. You can change and implement the systems overnight, but building a remote work culture will take longer. You can begin by applying project and task management, time tracking, communication rules, principles, and tools. Then, explain and educate employees and never let them feel unimportant.
If you do so, for the beginning, your employees adapt easier and will be more productive. Your services will remain at least the same, leading to happy clients and lowered risks of potential losses.
If you have any questions or need assistance, feel free to ask us here. We will be happy to help companies in these challenging times. Together we are stronger.