Remote Work: Pros and Cons
Four best practices for companies in managing workers who work remotely some of the time are utilizing technology, maintaining consistency, setting clear expectations and focusing on goals.
- Having technology optimized for the remote working experience is a best practice recommended by many experts. Such tools include online collaboration tools, file sharing software, and communications tools. These tools need to be optimized for in-office workers as well, ensuring they have space for video-conferencing.
- Not having the right technology can harm productivity and performance for remote workers, and make collaborating as a team more challenging. By having technology optimized for remote work, companies can maintain company culture and maintain productivity.
- Telus is a Canadian company with some full-time remote workers, workers who work remotely part of the time, and workers who work in the office full-time. The company "incorporates leading-edge technology such wireless connectivity, videoconferencing, Live Meeting, messaging, social media and Telepresence solutions to support its mobile workforce."
- Companies that maintain consistency between remote workers and office workers do best, according to experts. This means including remote employees in regular team meetings and events, having regular communication with all employees, and regularly getting employee feedback.
- Having consistency as a best practice helps ensure that remote workers are just as motivated and just as informed as in-office workers, and that the concerns and ideas of remote workers are valued.
- Ali Popp, Talent Programs Manager at Influitive, a company headquartered in Toronto, highlights the fact that her company regularly makes remote workers a priority.
Set Clear Expectations
- It is important to set extremely clear expectations both for the remote employee but also for how managers should handle remote workers. These expectations should be set right away, during employee on boarding and training
- Clear expectations are especially necessary for remote workers due to the decreased oversight and the need for them to manage their own work. Setting these expectations can help remote workers achieve their goals.
- For Influitive, they set clear expectations by "incorporating remote work training into your employee on-boarding process for both remote and in-office employees."
Focus on Goals
- Experts recommend that managers focus on company goals when managing remote workers as opposed to the exact day-to-day activities of the worker.
- Setting goals can help team members work cohesively, focus on the company mission, and stay motivated.
- Shopify, headquartered in Canada, promotes the idea of having trust in their remote workers to complete their goals, without continuous oversight.
Best practices were determined based on their inclusion in multiple expert publications.