Many articles either promote, or are against, the work from home model. Both make their points, but what I think makes the most sense is…it all depends on the individual!
Not everyone enjoys a remote work lifestyle. There are some people who thrive in an office environment and prefer it, while others are content doing their work from home. Maybe even finding more productivity, due to their circumstances.
My company began virtually and has always been remote, so for me, I will 100% say that I know it can work. Leadership is a huge part of that, as well as trust.
There are ways to ensure work is being done, while also allowing flexibility to accommodate this new way of life. When an employer and employee have mutual respect for one another and professionalism is top of mind, a remote work relationship can work wonderfully.
Here are my three best tips.
Trust that your team will get the work done and don’t micromanage. If you start to see issues arise, you can always take the conversation from there. But starting off with the mindset that people won’t work hard if they aren’t in the office isn’t a great place to start.
Give your team the ability to be there for family, or other life needs, with a flexible schedule. Make sure they know up front what you expect and that they know how they can request time shifts with ease. If everyone is on the same page, this can work very well. It works out great when dealing with different time zones, for example. That flexible schedule can be a huge advantage when you have someone that likes to work late or early here on the East Coast and has West Coast, or global clients, to serve.
Stay connected and always be honest. Get on calls or Zooms, talk to each other, see if they need anything, chat about regular life, just like you would in the office. And always…LISTEN. They should feel comfortable telling you what they need to succeed.
Remote work has always been here in one way or another.
Many decades ago, I remember working for a company with multi-national colleagues and we would often get on the phone, look at the same Excel file on our respective computers, and work through a project together. It worked! And I felt like a team with those people because we had a strong connection, even via the phone. Now with the advent of video conferencing, it’s basically like being in the same room.
Think about how you can invest in yourself to develop and grow through this changing workplace landscape.
A few examples…
I bought a standing desk and moved my office to a new room in my house to accommodate it.
Our Rotary held a virtual Chocolate and Cheer event over the winter and a brewmaster and chocolatier presented, as over 100 participants feasted on goodies from the comfort of their own homes. No snowstorms to worry about. No one on the roads after drinking. THIS is the power of a successful virtual event. We raised a net of $21,000 dollars, more than the prior year!
My son just took a virtual cryptocurrency class with people from all over the world. What an amazing opportunity that introduced him to people he would never have met otherwise!
What tips for remote work would you add to this list? I would love to hear some ideas from you on how you and your team have embraced working remotely and what has really worked for you.