It’s no longer about working ‘Nine to Five’ and companies are embracing remote working to attract talent and work to adapt to flexible working patterns. Businesses are taking heed as applicants look to compliment their lifestyles with flexible and remote working – increasingly prioritising this over salary.
As a result, companies seeking new talent are being encouraged to consider alternative working arrangements to adapt to the changing face of the work force. To some business owners this is a new concept but there are definite benefits that can improve productivity and offer cost saving opportunities.
The key is having the technology to facilitate remote working so you can be assured employees are able to be fully operational outside of the office. So how do you make remote working work? Understanding what it is, the expectations of employees, and requirements from an employer are essential.
What is remote working?
Remote working is the ability to complete your job role outside of the standard office environment. It is a progression of ‘Smart Working’ and is a response to individual’s requests for flexible employment.
Remote working can come in many forms and can involve working from home occasionally, working off-site permanently or balancing half the week in the office and half out.
How does it work?
It requires commitment from both parties; trust in employers to deliver the support required to operate successfully at home, and trust in employees to deliver the standard of work and accountability expected from a remote worker. Setting clear ground rules and managing expectations in terms of work loads as well as regular meetings virtual or real-time are important.
Is there a need for remote working?
Based on our research with the Sheffield City Region into Hard to Fill Vacancies and Skills Shortages findings reveal flexibility is key for people when considering a change of role.
Certain job roles lend themselves more naturally to remote working those which are technical such as web based or companies operating on cloud based systems. Digital and creative businesses are already embracing the move to more flexible working and in many instances making for a more productive business.
To make it work you need to have the technology in place to ensure an employee can be fully operational out of the office. Considerations include a strong Wi-Fi connection, laptop, desktop and smart phone. You will need to ensure there are shared tools to allow for home working; great platforms include Google Docs for shared files, Slack for a virtual shared workspace and Dropbox for storage.
Without these being in place remote working is destined to fail and will limit future opportunities so if you’re going to embrace it do it properly.
Relationships and Culture
Set the ground rules so there is a clear understanding of expectations. Routinely hold regular check-ins with individuals in person or remotely via Facetime or Skype to make sure they are engaged and happy in their role. Remote working has its advantages but you need to ensure spirits are high amongst your team and your culture isn’t damaged as a result. Set regular virtual team meetings or hang outs, virtual or real time these are essential. There are great forums to keep engagement from your team and between team members; there’s Facebook Workplace and Slack which can support team conversations work and non-work related.
Remote working is a forward thinking approach which certainly has its benefits – not only are you limiting your team’s carbon footprint with limited commute time, but there is clearly a benefit from limiting overheads and office premises.
Do you have remote workers in your team? What are the secrets to making it work we would love to know and share these with other like-minded businesses? Get in touch right here.