Remote work has been normalized recently, with many companies operating either entirely remotely or incorporating a hybrid work model. There are benefits for all parties when it comes to remote work, but there are also a few key challenges involved. It is important to be aware of a few key considerations and how these can be managed so that there are no issues relating to remote work and so that your employees can enjoy the flexibility that this can provide. So, whether you have a remote team or are adopting a remote/hybrid work model soon, here are a few key considerations.
First, you must ensure you have the right technology in place. Remote work is only an option because of the available tech, and you will find lots of tools that can facilitate remote work. Investing in the best tools and technologies is important so that you and your team can work together as if you were in an office environment. This will include things like cloud services, videoconferencing software, screen-sharing software, and group chat apps.
Leading on from this, communication is hugely important when it comes to remote work. You need to ensure that you have the best tools to enable communication, but you also want to ensure that you get the right balance when it comes to communication. You do not want to micromanage and frustrate staff, but you also want to make sure that you maintain strong communication and provide support. It is smart to get to know each team member’s preferred communication style so that you can keep them happy and maintain the right level of communication with each person.
Following on from this, you also need to consider how you will keep your team united. Inevitably, team unity and cohesion can take a hit when your team does not share an office space, but there are things that you can do that can help. You should arrange regular virtual team-building activities, host informal video chats during the working day, and arrange collaborative projects to keep your employees in dialogue with one another. Internal newsletters can also be helpful for keeping everyone on the same page and feeling part of a team. If practical, arranging periodic in-person social events to keep your team connected is also a good idea.
One of the most important considerations in 2023 is cybersecurity. Cybercrime has been rampant since the rise of remote work, and this is no coincidence. Remote work can present vulnerabilities that cybercriminals are capitalizing on, so you need to prioritize WFH cybersecurity. This will involve investing in high-quality WFH cybersecurity products as well as creating a WFH cybersecurity policy. You should also provide training for your team so that they can follow best practices, including using strong passwords and encrypting data. You also need to provide training for your team so that they can detect and avoid common scams, including phishing.
You also need to establish policies outlining rules and expectations surrounding remote work and what your remote team should be doing. Remote work only works when your team knows what they can and cannot do, especially when it comes to working hours and taking breaks away from the desk. When this is all outlined in a policy, it will ensure that everyone knows what is expected of them and that they can enjoy the benefits of remote work. This can also prevent misunderstandings and give you peace of mind knowing that your staff knows what is expected of them. It also gives them a guideline of what to do if something unexpected happens.
Work-Life Balance & Well-Being
Following this, you want to make sure that your team can enjoy a healthy work-life balance and make the most out of remote work. You also need to be wary of the potential downsides, including isolation and loneliness. This is why it is important to regularly check in, provide resources to help with mental health and encourage staff to make the most out of remote work’s flexibility.
These are the key considerations when it comes to remote work that will set you up for success and ensure that everyone benefits from WFH. Remote work can benefit all parties, but it can also present unique challenges and issues that need to be addressed. When you address these areas and manage a remote team successfully, you can ensure that employees perform to a high level, feel connected to the organization and other team members, and keep morale up.