According to one report, 53% of employees in the UK feel their employers aren’t doing enough to enable remote working.
Now, there are plenty of good reasons why this might be the case.
From the difficulty of creating a ‘team mentality’ from differing locations to the slightly more gristly issue of whether they’ll actually get their tasks done, it makes sense to be wary of giving your employees too much freedom.
But equally good arguments exist for the importance (and potential performance power) remote working offers.
Plenty of workers are more productive, more focused and happier when they have the freedom to work how they like where they like.
They might have responsibilities outside work which become less conflicting when they aren’t held on too tight a leash.
And the wonderful thing is IT has made all this easily executable without impairment to the work.
So what are the facts?
Well, as ever, each workforce will be different, meaning no data is totally definitive.
However, we do know that in some surveys as many as 86% of employees claim they ‘hit maximum productivity’ working remotely, and two-thirds of managers have noted a rise in productivity.
On top of this, evidence has accumulated that successfully working remotely can reduce stress, reduce staff turnover, save on overheads and real estate, boost engagement and even help the environment, as it brings about a decrease in commuter polluting.
Overall, it seems like allowing remote work would at least be worth considering!
To do it right, however, requires really nailing your tech infrastructure and knowing how to use it.
With this, we can help.
Here are the key factors you need to bear when moving towards remote working.
Connecting to the cloud
Historically, the issue with remote working has been access.
Access to the documents you need, the resources required, and the ability to share to what you’ve done with co-workers.
All of this is solved by Cloud technology, which is both intuitive to use and highly trustworthy.
Whilst connecting everybody up to The Cloud might require professional assistance, once it’s done it is an intuitive and easy way to share and distribute documents and files of all kinds.
Having jumped the hurdle of access, we face the more cynical resistance to remote working – getting people to do the work!
For a long time, this would have to be done by either motivating individual workers or checking in with them regularly in a way many might find invasive.
However, now project management platforms abound, and again, once a term learns to use them and habituates it, they function remarkably well in helping both assign and distribute tasks as well as maintain progress and track when and what has been done.
In most scenarios, they actually prove far more effective and efficient than traditional methods, as they keep your data nicely organised and even allow managers to gently ‘nudge’ workers when they seem to have taken their eyes off the ball.
Conference calls have existed for a good while now.
In fact, they’ve become a vital part of most large companies’ function, as employees are distributed across various cities and countries.
However, we often overlook the power of video conferencing to bridge remote working gaps.
For example, if you have employees who want to work from home, why not check in for a team chat in the morning, the way you might if the whole team were in the office?
Whilst some might feel a conference call can’t recreate a team mentality, it’s actually a very effective way of allowing communication to go unhampered when greater freedom is allowed.
Once a team gets used to working in this way, it becomes natural and easy, meaning you can have all the benefits of meetings and catch ups without all the unnecessary restrictions.
Whilst there are other ways IT can help mobilise a remote work force and keep everybody on task, if you can get these three simple fixes going, you’ll be more than on your way to a productive, enthusiastic team who aren’t compromised by commuting to an office every day.
It’s got to at least be worth a try!