As more of the global workforce continues to work from home, many companies and employers have had to adapt to managing a remote workforce. In order to help those who have not been used the world of remote working, John Williams, Head of Marketing at flexible working specialists Instant Offices discusses how businesses can overcome the typical challenges of managing a remote team and build a healthy company culture outside the office.
2020 stats show the number of people working from home has grown by 140 per cent since 2005, and telecommuting has increased by 115 per cent in the past 10 years. An Owllabs study show globally, 8 per cent of employees work remotely on a full-time basis, while 52 per cent work from home at least once a week. The trend looks set to continue – Upwork predicts that 73 per cent of all departments will have remote workers by 2028.
For many workers, increased connectivity in personal and work lives has made the transition into remote working a relatively easy one. By streamlining work processes in this way, the team can be more professional, productive and efficient in the long run.
- 75% of people say working remotely means fewer distractions.
- 86% say it reduces stress.
- 76% would be more willing to stay in their current job if offered more flexibility.
- 21% would give up some of their vacation time in exchange for flexible working options.
- Companies that allow remote work have 25% lower staff turnover than companies that don’t.
However, along with the benefits, there are some challenges to managing remote teams including getting people in different locations to work together for a common goal and keeping track of activities, goals and productivity.
Growing Company Culture with a Remote Team
Choose tools that match your culture - Because all communication and collaboration will be done using online tools, it is essential to choose apps and software that match the culture you are trying to create. You also want to make it as easy as possible for your remote team to stay up-to-date.
Team building - Team building does wonders to foster communication, especially among remote workers who do not see each other on a daily basis. While people are self-isolating it’s still possible to be social with platforms such as Skype or Zoom for group messaging and video chats for a light-hearted catch-up to see how everyone is.
Recognition - Public recognition for a job well done is one of the most effective and most natural ways to motivate a remote team.
John Williams said, “increased flexibility benefits businesses and employees, and top talent has already sought out organisations that encourage and support teams working from home, coworking spaces or coffee shops. There’s plenty of data to back up the benefits of working remotely so work will continue even with the challenges ahead. With planning, open lines of communication and the right tech, there’s no reason why companies can’t run successful remote teams for short periods or even integrate more into their future approach on a permanent basis.”
Tools to Help Remote Teams Thrive
- Slack – a popular web and desktop chat tool.
- Skype – global audio and video platform.
- Google Hangouts – Google’s chat platform.
- HomeSlice – a time zone viewer.
- Wrike – one of the leading cloud-based solutions for collaborative work management.
- Trello – an online visual planning and collaboration tool for virtual workgroups.
- Asana – An online management tool to quickly capture tasks, to-dos, reminders, and ideas.
- Zoom – audio and video and online meetings made easy.