by Matt Weik
You don't have to convince me that remote working is extremely beneficial. With my companies, I can work anywhere in the world and do everything I need without having to be in a specific office. That being said, even before I started my own business, I worked in the supplement industry, where I traveled around the country for years and then spent my Friday at home in my "office". Later my role at the company changed, making remote working the only way to get the job done without having to move to Ronkonkoma, NY – which I didn't want to do.
Since COVID-19 forced many companies to shut down and close their doors, this did not necessarily mean that the business had to come to a standstill. Those who planned, worked with their employees, and worked out a strategy to drive the business quickly realized that remote working was their only option. However, in my opinion you will find that working remotely is a great way to keep employees happy, reduce costs and still get the job done on time. That being said, some level of accountability and trust must be put on the shoulder of the employee to ensure that he or she doesn't sleep before 10 a.m., have a two-hour lunch, flick through social media all day, and quickly meet training on Afternoon and early check out.
How to benefit from remote work
There are some things a company can do to make it easier for employees to transition to remote work, either full-time, part-time, or only when needed, as is the case with many, many with the COVID-19 pandemic experienced. The following can be implemented to hold everyone accountable for remote work.
Adhere to normal working hours
It is best to keep the schedules the same. If you want to work 9-5, keep the same schedule while working remotely. Although it can be tempting to work off schedule as you are away from the office, it is easier to keep a sideways chase and lose valuable work time during the day. Hold your 30-60 minute lunch (whatever you may) and stay focused.
Determine an office space
If someone is approved and allowed to work outside the office, they MUST have their own area in their home where they can work without distraction. That does NOT mean your family room, where you have a 70-inch large-screen TV and feel the urge to turn it on for "background noise" that causes the employee to watch a full episode of SportsCenter instead of doing the actual work.
An extra bedroom is a great place to set up a shop or even a dining room if you don't have another place for a laptop so you can sit down and get the work done without interruption.
Share calendars with superiors / employees
Managers and supervisors need to manage their micromanagement staff – especially if they work remotely and have no picture of them all day. An easy way to get in touch with employees is to make calendars visible and shared for managers and employees. This shows how many calls are planned and how your day is set up.
It's also a good idea to get in touch with those who work remotely all day to see if they need anything if you're the manager or boss. If you fully trust your employees, let them go to do what they do best and don't annoy them.
Managers may also want to have a weekly conference call (e.g. on a Friday) with employees working remotely to see how their week went, what profits and losses they had, and how to start the next week at full steam can.
How does the company benefit?
The ability for employees to work remotely all year round is an excellent way to improve the work ethic and the employee's perspective on the employer. The employee can save time and money by not going to the office every day. You can work without interruption by not having other employees come to your office or step into your cabin all day. There are many benefits for the worker that lead to greater appreciation and loyalty for the employer.
If an employee does not necessarily have to be in the office every day, an employer may be able to negotiate their salary, and while the employee may have some money deducted from their salary, they have to work from home and do not waste the transit time to and from work and all of the costs involved can be tempting.
Here, too, remote working is not for everyone. Some employees are not suitable for remote work and abuse the system. You could potentially ruin it for everyone if the company loses money and loses trust in its employees. But for those who can work remotely, you may be able to do more during the day because you won't be interrupted or distracted by colleagues, conversations around you, people stopping by to chat, conversations with water coolers, etc. .
I see absolutely more companies in 2020 trying to get something going that people can work from home more often. In the end, it is a win-win situation for everyone involved, provided it is not misused.