Constructing a Telecommuting Firm with Longevity
Within the past year most businesses have transitioned their teams to work from home at some capacity. Unfortunately, there is still a lot of talk that this is a short-term fix. If you think this is going away, you may want to reconsider. According to a FlexJobs study on C-suite leaders, 78% believe telecommuting is here to stay long term. A Gartner study of leaders found that 80% of companies plan to allow their employees to work remotely at least part-time even after the pandemic. Some of these companies being big tech giants like Twitter and Microsoft.
So, if remote work is here to stay, what are the biggest needs to setup your team for longevity? First, like a good mechanic, you need the right tools. Find a communication platform that fits your teams’ style and needs. Many use Slack, Microsoft Teams, Basecamp, Discord, etc. The key here is setting up and including it in your procedures, so everyone is on the same page.
Second, do not micromanage. If you did not do this before, why would you doing it now? Simply put, when making a significant transition such as working remotely (at any capacity) you probably feel or felt some type of disconnection and, in turn may be overwhelming your staff with questions and unplanned “check-ins” that they did not experience in the office. If this continues employees will become at risk of feeling that they are no longer trusted, let alone slowing them down by unnecessary interruptions. Remember, everyone is learning to transition towards working remotely, having someone constantly over your shoulder is not helping.
Highlight personal interaction. When you meet with staff individually or as a group, take the few minutes to ask personal questions and check in. This is what some might call “socializing.” This was a key piece when you worked in the office, but something that you could casually do throughout the day as you refilled your water or checked the mail. Working from home limits the opportunity to do this, so make use of every opportunity!
Finally, remember to Communicate. This may be my favorite. Regardless of situation, your communication on this transition should be clear for EVERYONE to understand. If not, reanalyze how you could provide clarity to those not understanding. With communication, we should seek feedback, whether it be the entire team or a few staff members that you know will be open and honest. This establishes trust, comfortability and rapport with staff and impacts how they view the organization. Start today.
“Communication – the human connection – is the key to personal and career success.”
– Paul J Meyer
Dedicated to your success,
Director of Operations