In addition to reducing expenses in general, working remotely contributes to both employee satisfaction and retention, reducing the likelihood of additional hiring and training expenses due to employee attrition.
Switching to a remote workforce, or even a partial one, however, is not simple. As with any changes from old to new, some adjustments are necessary, not only to make things work, but to keep things working smoothly and productively.
If one thing emerges as being vital to any remote workplace setup, it is leadership and trust. This is not to say that employees do not trust their company leadership; rather, company leadership must go out of the way to maintain the sense of belonging and personal interaction present in the traditional workplace, and take steps to make sure that remote workers feel similarly involved.
Where a more spontaneous leadership style might work better in a traditional work environment, touching base with your workers can no longer be a case of “let’s all meet up at my office later.” Especially in the case of teams whose members are working in different countries or time zones, leadership needs to take a more deliberate, planned approach to scheduling meetings.
While telecommuting workers generally express a higher level of job satisfaction, they have also cited a sense of isolation or exclusion from the rest of the company. It is this latter fact which leadership must be careful to keep in mind and address.
With teams no longer working in the same physical environment, keeping lines of communication open becomes more important than ever, as well as the quality of such communication.
For starters, goals and expectations must be accurately communicated at the beginning. But more than just relaying a set of guidelines, leaders must make sure that everyone in their team understands what is needed of them. With everyone on the same page regarding the team’s direction, work will flow smoothly and productivity will not be impaired.
In the same way that leadership styles must change, the company must do so as well to accommodate the information-sharing requirements of a remote workforce. One of the most crucial things that companies must ensure is that all members of their remote teams must have the necessary tools they need to carry out their work.
To find the right tools though, some teams may have to experience some trial and error. Internet access is the most basic of these tools, however, and is also the foundation for all because without it, remote collaboration will not happen. Those interested then in seeing what a remote workforce can offer has to make sure that all team members have reliable internet service regardless of where they work and the tools they use.
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