Are you transitioning your team to remote work? Way to go! There are a ton of benefits of remote work for both your business and your employees. For instance, your employees will have a more flexible schedule and they’ll be happy to get rid of the dreaded daily commute. And your business will save money by eliminating the cost of a traditional office space and it can improve employee retention.
But even though remote work offers a lot of benefits, the transition can be hard. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make the process of going remote easier.
So, whether your entire team is going remote or just a portion of your team members will start working from home, here’s how to easily transition your team to working remotely.
Outline Expectations and Policies
Before you begin to transition your team to working remotely, it’s crucial that you outline expectations and policies and share them with your team. When you set clear expectations and policies, it will help make sure your team continues to work smoothly and efficiently when they start working from home full-time.
There are a number of factors you need to consider when outlining remote work expectations and policies, including:
- Availability – Do your employees need to be working during specific business hours or can they choose their own schedules?
- Productivity – How will you measure the productivity of your team and track the progress of projects?
- Equipment – What equipment or tools do your team members need in order to do their jobs effectively?
- Security – Do you need to set security rules such as not allowing your team to work on public wi-fi, for example?
- Eligibility – If only some of your team is transitioning to remote work, which positions are eligible?
By outlining remote work expectations and policies you can set your team members up for success and avoid any confusion.
Put Remote Work Tools in Place
Remote work is possible thanks to all of the remote work tools, mobile apps, and cloud-based applications on the market today. These remote work tools will enable your employees to not only get their own tasks done from home but to collaborate with their team members and easily stay in communication with each other. So, be sure to put remote work tools in place before you begin the transition.
And no, we’re not just talking about email. Here are some tools that will make remote work easy for your employees:
- Communication – Use an instant messaging platform like Slack so that your team members can easily communicate with each other. With Slack, you can even set up specific chat channels for each team.
- Productivity – To make sure your employees are doing their work and not just sitting around at home, you can use a time-tracking app like Time Doctor.
- Project Management – For easy collaboration and project management, use a tool like Asana or Trello. You can also use Google Docs for file sharing and collaboration as well.
- Security – Use a password manager tool like LastPass to store encrypted passwords online. And if your remote employees are going to be working from public spaces, have them use a VPN service.
Be sure to spend some time training your employees on how to use these remote working tools so that when it’s time to start working from home, they’ll know exactly what to do.
Start the Transition Gradually
Transitioning from working in a traditional office to working remotely can be a significant change for your employees. If one day they’re in the office and the next day they’re at home and never coming back—it can be stressful. So, to make the transition more manageable and less overwhelming for your team, start the transition gradually.
For example, you can start off by having your employees work from home one day per week. Once they get more comfortable working remotely, you can then gradually increase the number of days. When your employees feel comfortable with the transition to remote work, they’ll be more confident and successful.
Schedule Regular Video and Face-to-Face Meetings
When your employees are used to going into the office every day, they’ll miss being able to talk with their coworkers face-to-face. Working from home can be isolating and that isolation can lead to less engaged employees. In fact, according to Gallup, employees who work remotely 100% of the time are among the least engaged.
To boost engagement in your new remote team and make them feel a little less lonely, schedule regular video meetings. Using a VoIP provider with video conferencing features or a video conferencing tool like Zoom, your remote team members can connect with each other “face-to-face” and you can keep everyone up-to-date with what’s going on in the company.
Aside from regular video meetings, make time for some real-life face-to-face meetings too. For example, you can get your team together once a month at a coworking space. Or, do something fun like going to an escape room. Our company is entirely remote with team members all over the world. So, once a year we fly everyone to a company retreat. Providing your remote team with opportunities to hang out in person will help you build a stronger, more connected remote team overall.
Trust Your Team
Of course, when making the transition to remote work, it can be stressful for the business owner as well. If you’re a business owner, you’re used to being able to check in on all your employees and see with your own eyes that everyone is working. But, if you want your remote team to be successful, you need to trust them.
According to a CoSo Cloud survey, of the respondents that work remotely at least a few times a month, 77% report greater productivity while working offsite with 30% accomplishing more in less time and 24% accomplishing more in the same amount of time. So, trust your team. As long as you put everything into place—like expectations and remote working tools—you can trust your employees to get things done.
With these tips for how to smoothly transition your team to working remotely, your business and your employees can reap all of the rewards of remote work and then some. And if you haven’t considered going remote yet, now is the time to start thinking about it.
work from home – DepositPhotos