Times have changed. Remote work is no longer a one-off luxury for a few employees. It's become the norm, for now at least. As such, it's important that companies realize it takes more than just technology and tools to create an effective remote workforce.
Over the past several months I have seen a proliferation of opinions and insights. But over the past two decades, I’ve been working with teams remotely and with the help of my peers have discovered some key principles that determine if remote work elevates an organization or becomes a toxic element that undermines an organization.
Let’s start the discussion with what a company must have to be successful culturally, not technologically:
An opinion: The leaders of the company must express their opinion on remote work, without mincing words. Whether this is temporary, the dawn of a new day or a wait-and-see, it doesn’t matter. Everyone in the company needs to know how remote work is viewed by their leadership.
It also needs to be backed with statements of fact. Here are a couple of examples:
- Our remote work stance is temporary because at heart, we’re an in-person business.
- We work remotely when it puts us in a position to service our customers in the best way possible.
This will help bring the entire company in alignment.
Defined Expectations: Even the most experienced remote worker needs to have an understanding of how they are expected to work. Therefore, explaining how everyone stays in between the painted lines allows for greater consistency, but also for individualism within those lines.
Metrics not Micromanagement: Remote work is by nature a statement of trust in your workforce. Your company must convert to evaluating production through measurement. Legacy techniques such as micromanagement erode trust and will send employees into black holes or filling their time with busy work.
Come out of the Ivory Tower: Remote work requires engagement from every level of leadership. When leaders set the standard for remote work by living it, everyone will follow. This means widening the conversation circle that most leaders interact with in a typical in-person office setting.
Listen: In a remote work environment, there is no lunchroom or “water cooler” (outside of Slack channels named “water cooler”). So, a company needs to develop a means of checking the pulse of their workforce. This means leaders have to adopt a higher level of engagement in the tools that drive remote work effectiveness, i.e. chat programs, video conferencing, wikis, task management software, etc. It brings to mind a classic parental saying: “Look with your eyes not your hands.” In this case, you must “listen with your eyes not your ears.”
Remote work is company-altering—regardless of whether choice or circumstances initiate it. For it to be positive we must be honest, transparent and engaged at all levels.
Truvelop's solution was designed to help companies manage, motivate, engage, and develop their employees - regardless of location. The time is now to implement a solution like ours. Giving managers the tools to evaluate, appraise, and support their teams - remotely - will generate ROI is multiple ways. Contact us today to learn more and schedule a demo.