How to Effectively Transition to Working Remotely
This is the first of a three-part series discussing the sudden transition to Remote Work that many of us are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While working remotely has been a growing trend for years, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced even the most resistant employers to accept working remotely as a legitimate way to work. Although it has its challenges, many companies are now being forced to adapt. Consequently, there has never been a better time to truly understand how working remotely can benefit organizations in a myriad of ways.
“Productivity has been proven to be, on average, 35 to 40% greater when employees are able to work remotely, while profitability has shown to be 21% higher.” (Forbes)
As such, there are many reasons why companies should use this time to learn the best ways to manage workers remotely, not only during the current pandemic, but also in the future as a long-term solution. Even for a short-term view, there is a huge challenge facing many of us as to how to effectively transition to working remotely with such short notice.
Remote work can be difficult. We all have heard the stories of children walking in on an important Zoom meeting or dogs barking. While these drawbacks can be frightening, they often humanize us as employees, create icebreakers, and ultimately lead to stronger employee-client relationships. There is also a strong correlation between happy employees and happy clients. Working from home is not necessarily for everyone but having it as an option has proven in study after study to be effective in improving employee morale. It has also been proven that working remotely just one to three days per week while also adequately allowing for the group meetings and face to face interactions that many organizations prefer can be extremely effective.
How can companies implement working remotely effectively?
Organizations that have effectively implemented a successful work from home program focus on honesty, performance, and trust, but are also supported with cutting edge technologies to enable communication and workflows. While adequate technology and security cannot be overstated, it is easier to implement technology than it is to implement a culture of trust. Therefore, managers need training too. It is not enough to implement the right technology and only train lower level employees on how to work from home. Managers must be retrained on how to effectively manage employees working from home as well.
Working remotely adds a different element to traditional management practice. We have to learn how to manage effectively without face to face interaction. We will discuss some best practices and techniques in our next blog post.
By Jacob Kerby, Senior Associate
RVR is helping numerous clients with the transition to remote work on both the technology and management aspects. Please contact Jacob Kerby at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in discussing further.