The ultimate guide to working remotely

An illustration of employees sitting at desks and collaborating, while working remotely.

With the sudden shift toward remote work, the year 2020 changed the workforce for good. As more and more companies embrace a fully remote or hybrid environment, they face a new set of challenges that require an entirely new way of working 

To make sure your business is prepared for this shift, we’ve compiled a detailed guide to working remotely. 

Let’s dive in! 

What is remote work? 

Remote work, often referred to as teleworking, is a work environment where employees don’t have to be in the same physical location as each other. As long as employees are able to get a Wi-Fi connection and conduct their work online via collaboration technology, they can work from the comfort of their homes or anywhere in the world. Often, this means teams are spread across different time zones or locations. 

At the end of the day, remote work requires teams to take advantage of communication and collaboration platforms that allow them to chat, message, text, call, and video conference with each other to get work done. 

The different types of remote teams

Fully remote

A fully remote team doesn’t have a physical office location. Your employees generally work from home or another location besides a central office.  

Distributed teams

When companies set up offices in different cities from their main company headquarters, the team is considered “distributed.” With distributed teams, it’s essential to employ the right collaboration tools to ensure your entire company stays in the loop while physically apart. 

Hybrid 

A hybrid team is neither fully remote nor in-office full-time. Instead, they are a combination, or hybrid, of both. For example, employees might come into the office on select days and work from home on the other days. 

At Broadvoice, we’re no stranger to remote work. Below, we’ve compiled our best tips to help you be your most productive and succeed, no matter what type of team you are. 

Top tips for working remotely

Encourage employees to set up a home office 

Just as it’s important for employees to have a clean, functional space at the office, the same is true for working from home. Help them find a comfortable workspace by equipping them with an ergonomic desk, chair, and anything else they might need to find success while working from home. 

Communicate, communicate, communicate 

It’s all about communication! Although opportunities for random interactions with team members might be lost, there are still ways to recreate that culture through digital communication if you’re deliberate about doing so. Be transparent about everything happening in the company and within a specific project so the entire team is always in the loop. To do this, set up a daily stand-up or check-in to make sure all team members are aligned and on the same page. Also, consider having a chat to discuss non-work-related activities to create a further sense of belonging among team members.  

Allow your team autonomy 

No one likes a micromanager, and this is especially true with remote work. As a manager, you might find it difficult to not always know what your employees are working on, but it’s incredibly important to trust them and allow them to work at their own pace. As long as they are hitting deadlines, communicating, and doing superior work, take a step back and give them the freedom to find the work schedule that best suits them.  

Build clear processes  

Since your team is distributed all over, it’s important to establish clear guidelines and processes for how things are done. For example, if a manager is in a meeting, what’s the best way to reach them? For a project, what is the specific process to follow for revisions? Make sure you have processes in place for each part of your team’s workflow to cut down on miscommunication and help your employees know exactly what to do/who to turn to if they need help. 

Employ collaboration & communication tools 

It’s absolutely paramount to find the best tools to allow your team to do their best work possible. If you don’t have the right tools in place to facilitate communication and collaboration, your team won’t be able to accomplish any of the above points. Try to find an all-in-one solution to cut back on apps and make sure all your platforms integrate well with each other. For example, b-hive Communicator allows your team to chat, text, call, and video conference all from the same platform, no matter where they are at. 

As our technology continues to advance, more companies are recognizing the benefits of remote work and recruiters are also embracing the wider talent pool to choose from. 

Why remote work is the future of the workforce 

It reduces costs 

This one is huge! Contrary to popular belief, if your employees work remotely, you can significantly reduce costs. In fact, Global Workplace Analytics found that an employer can save about $11,000 per year for every employee who works remotely. If you have remote employees, think about the money you’ll save on upkeep, electricity, and anything else that’s needed to manage an office. Plus, employees save money too. According to a study by Flexjobs, employees can save up to $4,000 a year! It’s a win-win for both parties. 

Expands the talent pool 

It can be challenging to find the right talent for a job, especially when you have to account for location. If you have a great prospect, but they don’t want to move to a smaller city for a job, you might miss out on that talent. With remote work, you are truly free to find the right person for the job, regardless of geographic location. That means your talent pool is now expanded to the entire world, opening up countless possibilities to find the very best person for the job. 

Reduces environmental impact 

Remote work can help you and your employees lead a more sustainable life. A recent study by Global Workplace Analytics found that if employees worked remotely just half of the time, it could lead to the following savings in one year: 

  • $20 million in gas 
  • 54 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions (equivalent to taking almost 10 million cars off the road for a year). 
  • 640 million barrels of oil (worth $64 billion) 
  • 119 billion miles of highway driving 

Imagine these numbers years from now—these savings compounded over time could truly have an impact on the planet. 

Remote work isn’t going anywhere, so make sure you have everything in order to equip your team for success. And once you’re set up, be sure to check out our guide for our top tips on managing your remote employees. 

 

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