Going Online with Your Business – How to Adapt to the Remote Style of Working?

The pros and cons of remote work

Recently, we’ve all learned the hard way that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. The Coronavirus pandemic made it pretty obvious that our everyday life can be turned upside down in the blink of an eye. By now, every company owner knows that the key to success is becoming more flexible about the way we conduct business!

Remote work isn’t going anywhere

What we mean by being more flexible is to abandon the traditional working model based on sitting in a corporate office. Now that most companies tried this model out and learned about the advantages of allowing their employees to work from their homes, it is unlikely they will just forgo this approach to day-to-day operations. According to some of the experts, this working model is the future. Big words? Maybe! But that doesn’t mean it is not the time to learn more about it and how to make sure that both your company and your employees are ready to comfortably go remote for good.

Remember to stay in touch

Studies have shown that in order to upkeep positive morale and staff’s productivity, short communication cycle periods are crucial. In other words, a manager should stay in touch with his team, communicate with them and… check up on them!

Easier said than done? Not really! There are various virtual interaction tools which can help you upkeep steady contact with your team. Messengers, software for keeping track of project progress, communicators… and even your phone! All of these will allow you to stay in regular contact with the rest of the team and ensure the efficiency of the crew as a whole.

Support your colleagues and employees

This one is a bit more problematic than it sounds. This is because it is much harder to read signs of fatigue or low morale among your team when you can’t see them face-to-face.

According to Albert Mehrabian, emeritus professor at UCLA, people evaluate messages based only 7% on content, 37% on the tone of voice and 55% on body language. That’s why we suggest organizing video meetings and video conferences.

It turns out that video conferences with your colleagues, supervisors or employees are the most effective way of maintaining proper discipline. Additionally, the managerial burden is greatly diminished due to the possibility to meet with everyone at once. Such conferences allow you to both manage the stress levels in your team, as well as address problems at hand at the same time.

Group discussion is crucial

This point is tied to the other we’ve mentioned, but it does deserve a separate bullet point. Video conferences, online meetings, chats and all that jazz can’t be just about supervision – it should also be an opportunity for everyone to speak up, discuss matters at hand and to… socialize!

Keep in mind that the remote model of working takes away all the social part of being at work. Employees need to feel a part of something, need to stay connected – or else they won’t have the same drive to improve and strive towards the common progress.

What do experts have to say on remote work?

To back up our claims that remote work is pretty great, let us show you some data. According to research conducted by 1 Million for Work Flexibility, a remote-work advocacy group, and Gallup’s 2017, State of the American Workplace report:

  • Companies which do not allow remote work experience up to 60 percent higher absenteeism rate;
  • Today, you are more likely to find employees from the Millennials and Generation X members if you condone remote work;
  • Remote workers are said to be up to between 20-25 percent more productive compared to onsite workers.

Potential risks of remote work

Now that we’ve covered how to keep the team at its best during remote work, it is time for a grain of salt. Not everyone agrees that remote work is the new best thing, and we should let those voices be heard as well. So, what do the remote-sceptics have to say?

Judith Olson, a professor at the University of California Irvine (UCI) claims that while solo work is indeed handled more efficiently by remote workers, the collaboration aspect may suffer.

“It’s the collaboration aspect that suffers. There is something called ‘the attribution error’ in psychology that plays out here: If someone local is unavailable or out of the office, you attribute it to the situation, that something must have come up. If someone remote is unavailable, you attribute it to the personality, that they are shirking, avoiding you or are incompetent. So, the decision-makers, who are likely in the office, attribute evil personal motivations” – Judith Olson

How about you? Let us know whether you see the proliferation of remote work as the next revolution or a temporary necessity!

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