The remote work revolution is finally here. (Well, it’s actually been around for a while now.)
Today, remote jobs are as plentiful as ever, and the demand doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.
Still, things are far from ideal, and there are still quite a few problems we need to iron out. Read on and find out what they are – and how you can help address these.
Working From Home Isn’t for Everyone
While remote work is becoming more popular, it still isn’t viable for everyone. It’s great if you can work on your own and actually benefit from the flexibility, but some workers still need the structure and daily face to face interactions that a traditional workplace often provides.
Certain factors can predict someone’s suitability for remote work, such as:
- Personality type. Extroverts often have a hard time with remote work because they thrive on face-to-face interactions. Introverts are generally better suited for remote work because they prefer the solitude that comes with working at home – and the comparative freedom it brings.
- The nature of their work. Client-facing functions can be carried out remotely to some extent (e.g., customer service), but there are still jobs that require in-person interactions or field work. These usually involve medical or engineering functions, among other things.
Generally, creatives like writers and graphic artists also do best when working remotely. As do plenty of IT roles such as developers, database administrators, and programmers.
The ongoing battle thus is to determine which jobs are truly suitable for remote work and which ones should still require people to come into the office – and which people to assign to the said roles.
High Turnover Rates
No matter how introverted a remote worker might be, they can still burn out without proper supervision and regular interactions. In addition, remote workers often don’t have access to the same level of mentorship and feedback as their in office counterparts. This can make them feel a lack of career growth and stagnation.
All this can lead to decreased productivity and even higher job turnover if left unchecked.
Nip this in the bud by ensuring that your remote team has regular contact with each other. This can be through chat software, video conferencing, or the occasional in-person meeting.
Provide remote workers with access to mentorship and feedback from their managers or from experts in their field. Think regular check-ins, offering online courses, or connecting remote workers through a mentor program.
For all its benefits, working from home isn’t without its occupational hazards. Feeling isolated, for instance, is one of the biggest problems remote workers face.
In a remote set-up, it can be challenging to stay connected and to feel like you’re a part of the company culture. Getting help or feedback could also be trickier, especially when you’re working asynchronously.
Thus, it’s important to stay hands-on when building and cultivating your ideal company culture. From the very beginning, determine what values you want your company to embody, and make sure all policies reflect that.
And as mentioned in the previous section, regular check-ins and adjustments are important.
Don’t get me wrong. Remote work can actually result in more productivity – but only if you do it right.
One thing many companies still struggle with is providing their remote teams with a system that promotes accountability, motivation, or support. It’s not quite as easy to do so when the people you work with every day are oceans away, after all.
However, there are a few ways you can help remote workers stay on top of their workload – even from a distance:
- Set deadlines for remote workers and be very clear about what’s expected of them.
- Have regular check-ins with remote workers to ensure that they’re on track and to address any emerging issues early on.
- Provide remote workers with the right resources to get their jobs done, such as video conferencing or task management apps.
Asynchronous Work Schedules
I’m referring to teams with members that live in different time zones. It can be hard for them to get things done because real-time updates and communication aren’t always possible.
However, a few precautions can make this work. First, it’s best if everyone knows what their job entails, and which parts of their workflow to prioritise every day. Secondly, a project management app can help keep everyone on the same page.
And should there be emergencies, make sure those concerned give timely updates and notifications.
Done right, these measures can prevent remote workers from getting overloaded or leaving work unfinished.
No one knows what 2022 has in store, but we do know that you won’t have to face it alone.
Remote Staff has been assisting Australian SMEs and entrepreneurs like you find, hire, and manage skilled remote workers from the Philippines since 2007. With our expertise and experience, you can build your dream remote team and continue to scale your business faster and more sustainably to meet the demands of a changing future.