Remote work strategies are increasingly becoming more widespread than ever. In fact, more than 50^ of workers in the US work remotely, either part-time or full-time. And, while some have begun to return to their offices or work in a hybrid environment, the trend shows that remote work has no signs of stopping.
According to a survey conducted by Upwork, by 2025, more than 30 million employees will be working in the remote work system. That’s more than an 80% increase from the pre-pandemic period. This is relatively expected since more and more companies are leaning toward this new model. Now, everything falls into the hands of the business leaders and managers.
However, according to Harvard Business Review, around 40% of managers lack the essential skills for managing remote teams, and they’re mostly unaware of the common pitfalls that could hinder success, such as:
- Confusions regarding remote work rules
- Communication gaps
- Poor work-life balance
- Disregarding workers’ expectations and feelings
- Leadership skill gaps
If you don’t know where to start, then you’re in the right place. This article will discuss the keys to an effective and successful remote work strategy below. Read on!
Communication is one of the biggest problems when it comes to working remotely. Since you’re not working together face-to-face, it’s quite challenging to collaborate with other teams, have a small chat with other employees, or check everyone’s desks.
For this reason, you have to look for other techniques that’ll help you promote effective communication throughout your company. Here are some tactics that may help you:
Invest In Internal Communication Tools
These are solutions developed to streamline engagement and communication within your company. They promote face-to-face interactions through video conferencing services that nurture camaraderie and effective employee collaboration. If you’re interested, you may visit SafeCall or any similar local service provider to get started.
This is an effective way to encourage your employees to talk to each other as if they’re in the office. You may start by promoting ‘Good Morning’ greetings and small chats over your morning cup of joe. This will make your remote work strategy a little less remote and more comfortable for everyone.
Build A Virtual Water Cooler
Water Coolers are group-based chats that allow people to talk about non-work-related stuff, such as binge-watching movies, everything about pets, etc. This is an effective way that’ll help promote positive and healthy relationships and reduce work pressure. After all, nothing’s better than a picture of lovely pets and discovering a new show to watch during weekends.
Set Remote Meeting Rules
When everyone is physically absent, it’s quite easy to miss crucial details during the meeting. Also, since working remotely means staying at home with their loved ones, there’ll be even greater distractions than the conventional work setup.
To further address such concerns, here are some important steps you might need to take:
- At the start of the meeting, let your employees socialize and catch up with each other. This is also the perfect time to distribute essential information regarding the meeting.
- Take the minutes of the meeting and disseminate the information afterward.
- Make sure that everyone in the meeting has their phones, social media accounts, and other causes of distractions shut down.
- Make sure that everyone has a shared calendar to allow managers and meeting moderators to schedule the meeting based on time zone differences.
- During the meeting, make sure everyone will be given a chance to speak and voice their opinions, even if it’s a simple yes or no.
Set Healthy Boundaries At Work
Remote work environments could make it impossible to have a work-life balance. In fact, remote employees work much longer than those working regular office hours, leading to a higher risk of work-induced stress and burnout.
Burnout is the archnemesis of all employees. It’s the state of being extremely exhausted due to prolonged stress and other work-related causes, such as demanding workloads, unrealistic expectations, and lack of internal support. As a result, employees will be less productive emotionally and physically exhausted, and dissatisfied with their jobs.
If that’s the case, you need to set healthy boundaries to prevent burnout and its negative consequences. Here are some effective strategies that may help you in this matter
- Limit working hours to a normal eight-hour shift or lower (minimum of seven hours).
- Encourage your employees to do self-caring activities, such as going to the spa, fitness hubs, or out of their homes to breathe fresh air.
- Establish wellness activities during virtual team meetups, such as mindfulness relaxation breaks.
- Let them share personal stories and interests.
- Promote regular breaks away from the virtual world.
Clarify Work Expectations
Adjusting to remote work isn’t easy. It can lead to confusion, misalignment, and frustrations, especially if things aren’t as clear as the broad daylight. Therefore, make sure to set expectations before continuing your regular work schedules. This way, your employees will be able to work productively and efficiently.
Make sure to set clear expectations around the following:
- Communications – How will everyone communicate properly? Will they have someone to talk to in case of emergency and sudden technical concerns?
- Scheduling And Availability – Are their work schedules clear and reasonable?
- Performance – How will you be able to improve their performance? Are you considering feedback from your employees?
- Recognition – Do you recognize the efforts of your employees? How do you plan to compensate for their hard work?
- Deadlines – Are your work deadlines reasonable? Do you have established deadlines for specific work tasks?
By answering such questions above, you’ll be able to clarify things with your employees, improve their work efficiency, keep them aligned, and avoid damaging conflicts.
Host Annual Company Events
Annual company events are the perfect time to allow employees to meet their colleagues, connect with them, and form a sense of belonging.
Since remote employees won’t be able to meet others face-to-face, planning a set of activities that’d also allow them to interact and engage with one another is a great way to boost their morale and experience
Furthermore, don’t limit such events to your employees alone. Allow them to include their spouses and children, and even their beloved pets. After all, the more, the merrier, right?
These days, more and more businesses are transitioning to remote work strategies. Others may find it easy, but many certainly don’t. Good thing there are helpful ways that may help you improve your company’s remote work strategy. These techniques will foster good relationships between your employees, improve their remote work experience, and inspire them to be better. After all, your business won’t succeed without the help of your company’s most important assets—your employees.