2020 has come and gone, but remote working has continued into 2021 for many professionals. The Eternity crew has been working remotely full-time for nearly ten months, and we have experienced a series of trials and tribulations throughout that time. Prior to the stay-at-home orders, our employees worked remotely every Friday, making it easier for us to adjust to our new work from home environments.
If, however, you were not already implementing remote working for your business before 2020, the stay-at-home orders may have forced you to alter the way that your business operates. Unfortunately, this does not appear to be going away anytime soon, and we will likely be working remotely for the foreseeable future.
Although this is frustrating because the majority of us are ready to have a social life and a change of scenery, working remotely has its perks and provides real opportunities for many small businesses. One obvious benefit for employees is the sole fact that we no longer need to commute to work. Even if you are only allowing your employees to work remotely two days a week, you can remove a source of frustration and stress while also bolstering employee morale.
Now is the perfect time to evaluate your remote working plan, and make adjustments. These changes should not only benefit the business, but the employees as well.
Why Remote Work
Many of us do not have a choice, now that the stay-at-home order has been in effect. Those of us who have been working remotely for months have witnessed many benefits. Firstly, as a business owner you no longer have to spend money on a big office, freeing up your budget for more important things. Secondly, as remote workers, you have probably noticed that technology makes it easy to stay in touch with not only employees, but clients and customers as well. Lastly, from both the business owner and the employee perspective, the pool of applications has expanded, leaving room for more qualified applicants. Overall, working remotely has the chance to reduce stress regarding commuting, childcare, pet care, and so much more.
How To Make Remote Working Success
Whether you are a small business owner who is running a remote working business, or you are working remotely yourself, here are some tips and tricks for success.
1. Hire The Right Remote Workers
As a business owner, ensure that you are making the right decisions when it comes to who you are hiring. Eternity has hired two remote employees, both individuals fit in perfectly with our established remote working business model. Working remotely provides employees with more freedom, but with that freedom comes the challenge of managing time and getting work done. You have to know which applicants will be right for this type of work environment. Individuals with discipline and exceptional time management skills are the best candidates for the job. As a business owner, your job is to trust that your employees will get their work done when they are not being watched.
2. Set Clear Expectations
Nobody enjoys micro-managing, especially when we are all adults. It involves constant worry and the need to check up on an employee often. However, you do not want to ask an employee to do something by an important deadline, and later find out that the work was never completed. In order to provide a remote working environment that is both successful and stress-free, everyone involved must be on the same page. Set clear expectations when it comes to deadlines, check-ins and communication.
3. Use the Right Technology
While working remotely, you must have the right technology. Without it, you will experience poor productivity and delayed execution. Invest in the proper technology, even if that means spending a little extra money on the equipment and services that you need in order to experience a seamless execution in the long-run.
Eternity now has nine remote working professionals, making it essential to have a group communication tool. We use Slack for our internal and external communication, but we also use Trello to stay organized. Trello makes it easy to keep track of projects without having to ask questions and take up employees time.
Tips for Working Remote
Whether you have been working remotely for years now or just throughout the pandemic, there are challenges that come with it. Below are some tips and tricks to ensure you stay on track while working remotely.
1. Stay Organized
As previously mentioned, Trello is what our employees use in order to stay organized and map out our weekly priorities. This encourages our employees to meet assigned deadlines, while also putting a time limit in place so that you remain efficient.
2. Get Rid of Distractions
There are distractions everywhere, even in the office. There are several distractions at home, including children and a temporarily unemployed husband. However, as an employee it is your job to complete your work on-time, no matter how many distractions are in your remote work environment.
We recommend finding a quiet and comfortable space for working, with limited distractions. A private room is ideal, with a door that can be closed for privacy. We also suggest investing in noise-canceling headphones, or putting on some background noise if you are someone who is able to work simultaneously.
3. Set Regular Meetings
Whether you are setting weekly or bi-weekly meetings, it is crucial to the success of your business. Everyone on your team needs to make sure they are keeping in touch, without having to send a formal email every hour. Regular meetings make this easy, with a video check-in and a daily morning stand-up to keep everyone on track and hold everyone accountable. As a manager or business owner, we highly suggest encouraging a quick phone call with an employee if they experience difficulty or need more direction on a specific task.