When I joined the workforce over a half-decade ago, I wanted to have a good job and wanted to have a life. I soon realized that what seems to be a somewhat unreasonable demand back then sums up one of the most important statements of most Millennial and Gen-Z workers.
This might not be surprising now, after the whole COVID and lockdown situation, but remote working was rare a few years back. Thankfully, I found a company that offered me a remote working position even when it was not a norm back then! ( A big shoutout to Woodapple for that!)
The workplaces have changed, and going to a job, sitting at a desk for eight hours, and going home at the end of the day are no longer the undisputed norm. Today, more than ever before, people are working in places outside of the conventional office, coworking spaces are a booming industry, and across the globe, companies like Twitter and Facebook are embracing work-from-home as a permanent solution for their employees even if the pandemic gets over.
It is estimated that by 2025, around 70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month. So while 2020 was considered the year of remote work, it was just the beginning as we see the trend continuing in 2021.
However, remote working isn’t a novel concept. After the Great Recession hit back in 2008, many US companies downsized their office space to save money and allowed their employees to work from home. But what was born from necessity has stuck around long after the economy rebounded. It turned out that remote work had far more benefits besides cheaper office rent.
So, if you are planning to work remotely, here are few tips to keep in mind-
1. Invest in high-quality remote tools and platforms
When working remotely, effective communication is the key to convey the message to your colleagues.
Messaging platforms, high-quality video or audio conferencing tools, and task and project management software are necessary for ensuring that you and your team continue to perform well regardless of where they work from.
2. Encourage the Results-Only work environment
The ROWE concept, as developed by Cali Ressler and Jody Thompson, talks about evaluating the team members by their performance, results or output, and not by their presence in the office or the hours that they work. The idea behind this concept is to encourage delivering results over face time at work. They promote that employees can work when and where they feel most productive while balancing their work and family demands.
The five most important factors to keep in mind when setting an output goal are SMART- Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. For example, if you are a coder, a SMART goal for you could be releasing a specific feature each week, or if you are in sales, a SMART goal could be pitching to 20 prospects in a day with a target to close five deals each week.
3. Regular feedback
Putting a proper feedback mechanism in place can always improve the work. Since the team is working remotely with minimal contact with each other, the chances of misconception, implicit assumptions, and conflict are high. Thus, giving and receiving feedback is even more significant during remote work.
4. Prioritizing remote employees’ growth
According to Hubspot’s report, 40% of remote employees feel remote life has negatively impacted their career progression. So, to facilitate your team’s growth, even when working remotely, it’s crucial to set up quarterly or yearly performance and career growth review.
Tracking your team’s progress, even when you don’t have the privilege of watching them excel in-person, can help you quickly identify high-performers on your team and reward them accordingly.
The “new normal” is offering companies the chance to truly redefine their values and enable employees to make their own decisions regarding where, when, and how they perform best. What’s your take on this style of working?