Top tips for successful remote working

This winter has underlined the cost that businesses have to bear if they have to close their offices or run at reduced capacity because of poor weather conditions.  In our article here we’ve already described some of the top reasons why you should enable your employees to work from home.  In this article we’re going to give you some tips on how to successfully enable remote working:

  • Lean on technology.  There are many technologies specifically designed to improve remote working and bring teams and customers together.  Whether it’s video conferencing or other ‘unified communications’, chat or project management apps, file sharing or file collaboration tools, or hosted PBX systems to seamlessly integrate your employees with your communication infrastructure, well implemented technology can make the difference between success and failure.  Make sure you talk to an expert in the field and lean on their guidance.
  • Make time for daily communications.  In the physical workspace employees often catch up at the start of the day, either formally or informally.  Carrying this practice forward into remote working allows people to connect and discuss any issues or challenges that the day may bring.  Don’t just lean on these catch-ups for work related discussion.  Enabling employees to chat about who has a birthday that day, or the latest episode of Game of Thrones helps to bond teams and encourage better teamwork.
  • Availability is key.  In a mixed environment where you have some onsite and some remote working employees, it’s critical that everyone has visibility of availability.  Using shared calendars and rotas helps to make it clear when employees are available and working.
  • Train your staff in best practises for remote working.  It’s easy for employees to fall into bad habits and not necessarily the ones you’d expect. For example many remote workers feel the need to constantly prove that they’re working.  They feel pressure to reply to emails and chats immediately and worry about how their efforts are perceived.  Remind your employees that it’s acceptable to use a busy status or block out time if they need to concentrate on tasks without distraction.
  • Concentrate on culture.  It’s easy to lose your company culture with remote workers.  Make an effort to include remote workers in activities and make sure you regularly enable remote employees to meet face-to-face.
  • Don’t take advantage.  Remote workers are often inclined to work harder and longer than office based employees.  Remember that these employees are not available 24/7.  Remember to reward and recognise their efforts.
  • Reinforce a culture of positivity.  Workers that aren’t allowed or aren’t able to work remotely can sometimes express negativity towards remote workers.  Ensure your business has a positive attitude towards remote working.
  • Don’t forget to man-manage.  Your remote teams still need line management.  Make sure you establish processes that get the best from your managers and teams.

For more advice on how you can implement remote working in your business call our helpful sales team on 01138315555 or email sales@northerntelecom.co.uk.

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