The reality is that the popularity of remote work is growing quickly; 56% of global companies allow remote work. More and more companies are jumping on the remote working trend in order to hire top-notch, non-local talent as well as enabling employees to practice better work-life balance. In the wake of recent events with the COVID-19 pandemic, more organizations have had to transition into remote operations. By leaning on our considerable experience in successfully working with remote employees, we’d like to share four tips to deliver success in remote working situations.
1. Communicate Expectations and Guidelines Early
A remote work policy is essential for organizations with remote employees and especially for those who are just getting started with remote work. Instituting a clear policy helps remote employees work from anywhere productively, no matter the situation. It is critical to share that policy across the organization and have it readily available for the employee’s reference. This policy and others relevant to your employees should be stored in an accessible and secure location.
Be sure to clearly communicate productivity expectations with your employees. Implementing project management software can enable your team to give digital updates on projects and their progress. Alternatively, create a process to check in with your employees about their progress on projects or assigned tasks. Different teams will require differing levels of oversight and detail in this check-in process. Focus on what works best for the productivity of your team.
2. Make security a priority.
Security is a top priority for many businesses in their normal operations. Computers are locked when left alone, files are secured, networks are protected, etc. When employees are working out of their home or in another city, it can be more challenging to keep your data secure. Unsecured Wi-Fi networks, the use of personal computers and the absence of a remote IT department can make it easy for someone to steal your data. Ensure that the tools you are using on these devices have rigorous security when dealing with sensitive information.
Set security standards when drafting your remote working policy. You can require things like a password-protected internet connection, a work-issued laptop with preinstalled antivirus software, and regular updates of their equipment to prevent breaches. Some IT teams can even log in to computers remotely to perform maintenance and check for at-risk items. Form a security policy that works best for both your business and your remote team. A good cybersecurity agreement ensures that your employees know what security standards are expected of them.
3. Have the proper technology in place.
Open communication with remote workers is an essential part of any successful remote work policy. Without face-to-face contact, those in charge must make an effort to touch base more frequently and communicate priorities, goals, and deadlines with their direct reports.
Invest in communication tools that are designed specifically for remote work. Traditional email and phone calls are still valuable tools, but they might not fully meet the communication and collaboration needs of your team in the transition to remote connection. Be open to bolstering your communication standards with new technology and tools.
4. Consider Your Team
The amount of remote meetings is on the rise, but they don’t always check all of the same boxes as traditional, in-person meetings. Your virtual meetings may lack the nuance of facial expressions, tone, and posture which make up a substantial portion of effective communication. Understanding that idea and allowing it to inform the way you communicate is important, but also in the way your team communicates. As the transition progresses there are likely to be communication missteps. Have patience with your teams, and be overly communicative to try to relieve those stressors.
In a situation where only a portion of employees works remotely, ensure you have a plan for how those members can easily plug into your in-person meeting. An often-overlooked element to video conferencing is that it tends to reduce the amount of catching up and chatting that happens before the meeting is fully underway. While this saves time, it can also reduce the amount of camaraderie in the team. Encourage this catching up period before the meeting begins. The connection of being part of the team is an important contributor to an organization’s success.
How BoardBookit Supports Remote Working Policies
BoardBookit was built to include digital tools that can make working remotely as a board or executive team member easier. With features like unlimited users, e-signature, secure discussions, virtual voting, and more, BoardBookit eases the burden of remote work within your organization.
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