3 Questions to Help You Build a Remote Work Strategy
As economies reopen, companies everywhere are reevaluating their office policies. Businesses everywhere had mixed reactions to the stay-at-home economy, with some finding new levels of efficiency and others longing to get back into the office, but it certainly underscored the need for every company to have a remote work option or policy in place. Whether remote work is baked into your culture or it’s a new experience, companies — especially small businesses — should build a remote work strategy to maintain not only efficiency, but also sanity. Here are three questions to ask as your small business builds a policy for remote work.
What tools will you use to communicate?
No matter what business you’re in, communication is key. Phone calls, video meetings, email, text, drone drops... The modern combinations of how to remain in contact and disseminate information in a timely manner are seemingly endless. Sure, it’s not the same as sitting around a conference table, but really, aren’t the best ideas hatched at the most random times?
There are plenty of communications and collaboration tools to keep your team connected, which is why it’s important to standardize, or choose which tools will become part of your official tech stack. You’ll want to find communication and video conferencing tools that fit your budget, grow with you, solve multiple problems, and are easy to implement and use.
How will you handle project management?
Efficiency is always a concern with remote work: With the creature comforts of home beckoning, will projects get completed on time? Recent studies show that working from home benefits employees in several ways: not only does it eliminate the daily commute and increase productivity, it can also lead to healthier lifestyles. In many ways you can stick to what was working for your business prior to COVID-19; just adapt the added benefits of today’s video conference and collaboration technology. But you may consider adding a project management tool or even hiring a project manager to build schedules, automate where possible, and ensure efficiency.
How do you keep everyone engaged and happy?
Working from home has plenty of upside, but a valid concern is that boundaries are blurred. So how do you help employees maintain their mental health? It’s all about personal connections. Be sure to keep the lines of communication open and don’t skip the watercooler talk; if your team isn’t following a traditional 9-to-5 workday, you can use things like Slack or video conferencing to your advantage. Schedule 1:1 virtual check-ins with each team member and consider a regular virtual lunch with your team. This helps everyone feel connected and helps prevent feelings of isolation.
A few simple connection points will show everyone that you value socialization, human interaction, and mental wellness. And when you find things that work, be sure to add it to your process.
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