The Golden Principles of Remote Work
The benefits of enabling employees to work remotely attract many employers especially in IT and Tech industry to adopt remote work as a new standard for normal operations. This collection of golden principles of remote work aim at helping you achieve outstanding results in a fully virtual environment.
Let's briefly list again some of the most common benefits for employers:
no workspace expenses, unlimited talent pool, headcount agility, higher productivity, diversity & inclusion, high morale and lower turnover.
To make full advantage of those benefits, you need to implement efficient remote work practices. So, here is ...
the #1 guideline for employers willing to maximize the investment of adopting remote practices.
1. If one person is remote, the whole team operates remotely
When choosing the path to accommodate virtual workforce in your operations, you need to guarantee collaboration. Good collaboration happens when everyone is treated equally. Everyone should have access to the relevant resources and information. To engage your employees, give everyone equal opportunity to participate.
Nobody wants to be the person on the screen when everybody else sits around the table in the conference room. This experience just sucks and is not gonna produce any positive results. Just this basic thing, can do serious harm such as to increase frustration and break the alignment among team members.
2. Track results instead of attendance
Remote companies benefit from high productivity. The efficiency boost comes when mixing clear goals with right KPIs and creating detailed specifications. Together with a transparent task management process sets you for success.
Implement SMART goals or OKRs or whatever system you find good to highlight what you want to accomplish on a company level. Break it down to specific sub-goals on team/department level. Lastly, always put a directly responsible person for each specific assignment. Evaluate employee success on the job based on the actual contribution rather than time spent in front of the computer. Normally, the well defined WHAT in a task, stimulated various creative ways on the HOW. Let’s remember, we hire experts because they know how to do the job in the best way possible.
3. Prefer writing to talking
The true power of remote work is keeping the documentation up to date. Our ability to create, store and maintain documentation defines our long-term success being remote. Keep all information in one centralized location. Make it accessible to everyone. Writing down an idea or suggestion leads to a better structured proposal. Share your new idea with the team in written form and ask for feedback, comments or questions again in а shared document. You will be surprised how your decision making process will improve when you give people time to read and analyze new information at their own speed and time.
4. Meetings are a luxury
Meetings are the most expensive communication channels of all. They take time from each and every participant so think twice if you need a meeting at all. Second, define the goal and re-think who shall attend the meeting. Inform each participant on what’s the expected contribution from them. Remember, you can also gather feedback and questions in a written form.
Meetings designed for social intentional interaction are an investment in your culture. It’s a problem to schedule a meeting for 10 people when 1 person will be talking all the time. It’s a gift you have 5 x 1:1 meetings when 10 people will actively participate. The 1:1 are weekly meetings and should be encouraged. Food for thought: Your daily status update can be automated with StatusHero or other software and you can use the time with your team to socialize and build relationships.
5. Hire based on Values
I have never heard of a remote company suffering from talent shortage. However, this does not mean the challenge of recruitment and onboarding is smaller. CVs and applications are constantly bombarding the hiring managers. Let's accept the fact that there is a great number of amazing candidates with solid portfolios. They all rank high on the hard skills. Some of them rank high in remote-work skills. Then the question becomes: How to choose who to hire? The answer is based on shared values. Why would companies have values if they don't live by them every day…
6. Build culture of ownership instead control
By giving employees ownership you give them control. Empowering them to be finally responsible is the ultimate employee engaging strategy. Your organization success is tied to your employees' on the job success. Delegate the challenges to them. Design your company culture to incorporate freedom. Encourage and demand ownership mentality from day one. Praise and acknowledge achievements publicly. Let the hard workers shine and grow. Allow them to run experiments and to solve complex problems.
A professional passionate about their craft is motivated when they are given freedom. It’s a known fact also that the retention among remote workers is higher than in a traditional office environment. At the end of the day, human capital is your competitive advantage and as a CEO or Founder, you should care to nurture it.
Now, you are equipped with the golden principles of remote work. And you are one step closer to implementing efficient remote work!
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Founder at Remote IT World