During this COVID-19 pandemic, many small business owners are burdened with making the right decisions and moving forward. A report about small businesses on Goldman Sachs showed that 50% of small business owners don’t think they can keep running their business for the next three months.
Of all the factors that affect the decision-making process for many small business owners, employee retention is a key challenge. Paying staff out of the little inflow of money is challenging, and that’s why transitioning from office to work-from-home may be the best move for small businesses.
Naturally, you’d want to scale your business amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this article, we will show you why remote working is ideal for you. We will also share its benefits while teaching you how to manage remote employees.
Below are tips actionable tips for transitioning your operations from a traditional office to remote work.
1. Prepare a Well-defined Remote Work Policy
Creating a well-defined remote work policy is vital when transitioning from office to work-from-home. Recruiting a new set of employees to work remotely, or asking your current employees to start working from home is a big change. So, you should have a plan for the transition.
With the help of other people on your team, create thorough, employee-friendly remote work policies that address the following:
Availability: This should inform your potential remote team about the flexibility that working remotely for your company affords them.
Remote Work Productivity Tools: Your remote team should know all the tools they’ll need for communication, project management, and work scheduling, among others.
Data Management: Ensure that data and files will be shared seamlessly and stored securely. Inform your remote team about the tools you’ll use for this purpose.
2. Review Hiring Policies
The benefits of hiring remote workers are numerous if managers review their hiring policies to reflect expectations and the critical roles remote workers have to play. For small businesses, hiring the right employees can’t be overemphasized.
So, employers must review their hiring policies to accommodate people who possess soft skills as much as they also possess hard skills.
3. Get Ready with the Right Work-from-home Tools
Working remotely is proven to be a productive way of working, with stats to back the claim, such as a 2019 State of Remote Work report by Owl Labs. The report showed that most remote employees work more than 40 hours a week, which is about 43% more than office workers do.
However, without the right work-from-home tools, working from home may be challenging, and there may be issues with communication, project management, reporting, and employee monitoring.
Below are some of the remote work tools that can help you transition from office to work from home.
Communication is vital when engaging a remote team. You must be in touch with your remote team to keep them abreast of developments in the company and to ensure they have access to necessary information. From time to time, your remote team members should also interact with their colleagues, formally and informally. Tools like Slack, Zoom, Telegram, and more, support features like real-time chats, file sharing, and voice/video call for seamless communication.
One of your most significant pursuits as a remote team manager should be your remote employees’ productivity, mainly because it will affect how much progress you make in your business. To keep your remote productive always, use time tracking apps, such as Traqq, to monitor how much time your employees are spending on tasks that matter the most to your company. You can also use screen-sharing options, mouse and keyboard tracking, and more to ensure your remote team members have their heads in the game.
4. Groom the Management Team
Unless you want to burn out quickly, assign some of your responsibilities to the management team so that you can focus on other essential tasks that can also affect your business growth. The efficiency of your management team will determine the performance of your remote team.
So, it’s essential to prepare them for the task of managing your remote team. If you need to pay for courses to help them become better managers, don’t hesitate to do so. They represent your company, so give them the training that befits the level of success you want in your business.
5. In-Person Meetings Must Continue
Most people who start to practice remote work often think that it’s the end of in-person meetings. However, in-person meetings must go on in your company. In-person meetings help to create a stronger connection than when using apps for conference meetings, such as Zoom or Skype.
Look for a place where you can hold meetings regularly with your remote team, even if it’s outside the four walls of your office, but ensure that you don’t stop one-on-one sessions. Such meetings bring about ideas that can transform a business for the better.
6. Uphold Company Culture
Communicating your company culture to your remote team helps them to conduct themselves more appropriately. According to Acadal’s business culture statistics for 2020, the most reasons why employees act the way they do is attached to the culture their company upholds. Creating awareness about the company culture helps to separate those who want to work for you from those who don’t care about your business.
7. Trust Your Team
After putting all the tips shared in this article in place, set the ball rolling, and trust your remote team to deliver. If you need to review policies, make corrections, or any other necessary change, call your management team and discuss the best ways to implement the changes without harming your remote team or your business’s progress.
Transitioning from office to work from home is a lot easier these days. With highly-improved technological tools for working remotely, managerial skills, and resources to help you manage your remote team effectively, you can have the best remote team set up even though it’s your first time.