Remote work is here to stay, and businesses must adapt to stay afloat. But, not all is gloom and doom if businesses plan smartly and wisely to lead their teams, departments, and companies to thrive in these testing times.
In a recent survey, Vox revealed that an estimated 70% of the average workforce would be remote by 2025. Furthermore, most workers across the U.S have requested to continue working remotely post the pandemic. This tasks business owners and leadership teams to empower their employees to transition into a completely new working style. This blog covers a cheat code to do just that.
Five ways to empower remote teams at work
- Remember, who you are – remote or otherwise
A company’s culture, values, and ethics remain constant, irrespective of the miles between you and your employees. Remember that your culture isn’t location-dependent; it all comes down to the people involved. So pay attention to not diluting your work culture in this new transition.
Some things to pay attention to:
- Ensure you maintain a sense of collective belonging so that employees feel like they are a part of the shared vision and goal
- HRs and Team Managers can initiate little rituals that bring teams and departments together for informal events to build rapport
- Ensure to keep the morale of your employees high to prevent potential burnouts
Hat-tip: Have a virtual party on a Friday, on the house!
2. Educate, energize and engage your team
Remote working skills go beyond knowing just how to turn your camera on or off for video calls. In the academic paper, Remote Work: Competencies and Motivation, Roberta Sawatzky and Nathan J. Sawatzky from the Okanagan College School of Business revealed that several soft skills, from communication, empathy, and adaptability, among many others, were crucial competencies required to maintain success in this remote work context.
Tips for businesses to prepare for remote work transition
- Find new methods of onboarding and learning that include ways to ensure employees have enough freedom to become self-managed
- Encourage remote learning strategies around comprehensive content focusing on soft skills led by empathy and sustainability
- Educate your employees on healthy work-life balance, open leave systems, and more to ensure sound work habits and happy teams
- Have an open culture with transparent platforms or channels to enable teams to talk about their remote work challenges honestly
- Address operational and non-operational employee problems to ensure your employees trust you to handle the situation
3. Re-evaluate what has changed after moving remote
The United Nations International Labour Organization, in a recent study, pointed out that while remote working does come with benefits such as reduced commute for employees and not having co-workers or managers on top of you constantly, the pitfalls are also quite severe.
Oversight reported a 292% increase in expense fraud post the pandemic, which is well within the power of the organization to control and reduce. This indicates a dire need for businesses to move from traditional management to automated systems, especially if considering moving remote.
For instance, an automated expense report software can effectively tackle this problem. It can automate and streamline the entire expense management process, control business expenses, and prevent expense fraud with zero manual assistance. Like this, analyze all business processes and evaluate possible solutions that will empower your teams to work seamlessly.
Steps to consider while re-evaluating your business processes:
- Understand the impact of moving remote on variables such as team dynamics, internal communication, need for new technology, change in business expenses, etc.
- Identify the how, why, and when of what needs to change and discuss findings with respective departments
- List potential problems you might see coming – ineffective communication and documentation, inaccurate expense reports, or even expense fraud
- Consider evaluating different technology-driven software or services to address your remote work challenges across departments
- Gain and use actionable insights to improve and better existing processes, workflows, work habits, policies, schedules, and more
4. Relook culture, onboarding, and expense policies
With the change, it becomes imperative for decision-makers to listen intently to employee needs. In addition, every policy that Finance teams had previously set up is now liable to change to better adapt to remote work.
For starters, here are some quick pointers:
- Relook all policies and see what changes need to be made where and why
- Effectively communicate revised policies across departments and locations
- Gain feedback from employees on new policies and make changes where needed
- Gather actionable insights to revise or revisit policies where needed
5. Adopt technology to decrease the workload and increase efficiency
It takes more than having just a laptop or good connectivity to ensure employees are successful at work. Adopting the right technology plays a key role, and arbitrary decisions on this front become the most significant barrier to sustainable remote working.
The usage of automation-driven technology provides employees the freedom they’d need to remain productive at work. It also empowers employers with the right amount of transparency and insight to ensure the business is always on track.
The business world witnessed a tectonic shift due to the COVID-19 pandemic. With the global workforce rapidly turning remote, business owners and leadership teams are now tasked with making this transition effortless for their teams.
We’ve seen that the transition has been easy for businesses that have managed to keep a solid digital infrastructure in place with real-time chat applications, video conferencing softwares, expense management softwares, and more.
With these tips in mind, we hope organizations can ultimately capitalize on the real benefits of remote work while also achieving their business goals.