The popularity of remote working has grown a lot in the last 2 years. Many people have come to the realization that they can do their job just as efficiently as when they were going to the office – in some cases, productivity has gone up when working from home. What is more, hybrid working is widely agreed to be the future of modern work. Many businesses are already embracing this – such as Tech Quarters, who provide IT support services London organizations rely on; they have been remote every since early 2020, when they decided to get rid of their offices entirely.
If you’re a business looking to go fully remote, or to offer hybrid working (where some work in the office and others work from home, or split their time), then here is a checklist to look at that will help you implement these changes successfully.
- Stay connected with technology
Probably the most important thing for businesses to guarantee when they are offering remote and hybrid working is the technology they can offer to their employees. Communication is of the utmost importance when you have people working from home full-time, or spending only part of the time in the office. If in-office communication is the primary form of communication, your business will be inefficient. These days, real-time messaging is a big part of business; and if you have remote colleagues, then video conferencing will be essential. There are many services that offer this – an example is Microsoft Teams, which combines real-time messaging, videoconferencing, and telephony into a single platform. Look into these types of solutions to support remote and hybrid work in your organization.
- Encourage Socialization
One of the biggest challenges surrounding remote and hybrid working is that there may be reduced social interaction. This was a major challenge for many businesses that had to endure lockdowns due to Covid-19; and one of the most consistently cited challenges of remote working was loneliness. It can be very detrimental to one’s wellbeing if they are spending all their time at home, and having little socialization during the week. A business that offers remote and hybrid working should also be providing lots of opportunities for socialization. Some businesses schedule weekly meetings for the whole company, that feature team building exercises or games (such as quizzes or competitions).
- Encourage Users to Provide Feedback
Letting your employees know that you care can be done in many ways. One way of doing it is by letting them know that you value their options enough to ask for their feedback on things. For instance, with remote or hybrid employees, you may want to ask for feedback on how they think the company is managing and supporting remote work practices. This is beneficial to everyone, because you might find ways of improving things, which will lead to better productivity. It will also give employees faith in the organization, by making them see that their ideas are valued.
- Provide Recognition & Credit
It can be very demotivating if you feel like your work is not being valued, or your contribution is not acknowledged as often as other people’s. This can happen often with remote employees. They are prone to work longer hours, and receive less recognition because they aren’t as integrated as their in-office colleagues. Therefore, providing consistent recognition of remote employee’s efforts is very important. You can do this by speaking to them directly about this; by sending emails or social media messages around that give credit to them; or by scheduling company-wide meetings to raise awareness of all the good work that people have done in the past week or month.
- Maintain Transparency in the Business
It is very important to have a strong culture within the business. This involves ensuring everyone is up to date in the goings on within the company – this includes everything from the business’ profit and goals, what all the different departments are working on, and what individuals are working on (and what it is doing for the business). If an employee doesn’t know much about the business, they will feel less invested in the company – it can be easy for remote employees to feel disconnected from the organization. What is more, if a remote employee only knows about the work they are doing, and don’t understand their role within the wider context of the company, they may become demotivated.
Therefore, it is critical for an organization to keep every employee up to date on company news, departmental news, etc. Full transparency in this respect can be achieved in a number of ways – for example, scheduling weekly check-ins and organization-wide meetings to keep everyone updated.