Running or maintaining a business that supports remote workers comes with its own set of benefits and challenges. But creating a collaborative environment that fosters relationships and good workflow, even if it’s digital, can be complex. However, with the growing development of applications and software to support remote workers, it’s easier than ever to keep your workforce happy and productive.
1. Time Management
Keeping track of time is an important aspect of any job, but it serves a few different purposes when workers are remote. While in an office, it’s easy to remind yourself to take breaks by chatting with coworkers or going with your office mates to grab some lunch. However, while working from a home office, work can begin to take over and even run into personal time. It may seem counterintuitive, but taking breaks can increase productivity, creating a mental environment where the mind is free to focus on the task at hand. It’s also well known in 2019 that overworked employees are more susceptible to work-related stress and eventually job burnout.
So utilizing a time management software like Toggl can serve multiple purposes that all serve the overall productivity of your company. It allows for more accurate time-tracking which means project management timelines can improve with post-mortem data analysis.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a remote workforce is communication. With workers spread around the country or even the world, you won’t be able to schedule a quick, last-minute meeting to discuss the result of a client call or pop into a conference room to check how things are going.
That is to say, active communication between management and employees is key. Additionally, fostering communication between employees is beneficial as well. Employees that maintain working relationships with their coworkers feel less stressed at work and have a more positive outlook on their work life overall.
Fortunately, in this digital era, keeping employees connected can be done with a simple internet connection.
Useful connection apps:
- Instant messaging
- Video conferencing
- Phone lines
Therefore, no matter where your workforce is stationed, the internet can be used to connect apps. Voice over Internet Protocol, more commonly referred to as VoIP, allows employees to send and receive phone calls from their computer. Not only does this reduce the equipment necessary to keep employees connected, it means there are no limitations as to how communication can be executed. Remote employees will have access to all of the same communication tools used in-house allowing for a more active communication process between teams.
This comes as no surprise, but a large part of working together is collaboratively working together; collaborating on documents and giving constructive feedback to improve future performance. In the digital age, hard copies of documents are hard to come by, but making edits and providing insights are large parts of a productive work environment.
To clarify, employees should be able to see revision history or the suggestions made by their co-workers or managers on their documents, allowing them to make adjustments accordingly.
Applications like Dropbox allow users to maintain and work together on documents of various types. These platforms store documents in the cloud, making them ideal for businesses with a remote workforce to keep their information safe and secure and readily available for when they are needed.
In conclusion, as the world moves forward, more companies are realizing that the talent they need may not be in the area that they’re located. Allowing employees to work remotely may be in their interest to ensure the best product for their customers or clients. Remote work comes with its own challenges, but it has been reported that employees often feel happier, more productive, and more valued when they’re allowed the freedom and flexibility to work remotely.
To sum up, providing your remote workers with the tools necessary for their success will tangentially improve the quality of work you receive, making it a worthwhile endeavor.