The COVID-19 outbreak has paved the way for a massive work from home experiment. While remote work has gained traction in the past decade, what we’re experiencing now can shape the future of work on an entirely different scale.
Many small business owners are thriving using this setup. It lessens overhead costs and assures flexibility. However, despite technology and innovations that make remote work easier, some are not keen on it. As the current situation calls for both safety and productivity, now might be the time to go on a trial run for remote work setups.
Can all companies adopt it?
Remote work can be very value-adding if business owners learn it. But that learning curve can be steep. The notion that productivity is tied with working in an office is deeply embedded in most industries. For entrepreneurs, having a real office strengthens the feeling that you are doing things right.
A pandemic might not be the best time to judge whether it can be effective for a business, but it can be enough to give you a glimpse of how it can help your company. Do you and your employees have the technology and utilities required to make it happen? Have you set up proper organizational systems to ensure a smooth workflow? These questions can help you determine whether it’s something you can do in the long run.
Is remote work different?
The reality is remote work is a wholly different kind of work. For one, it demands a different kind of management from leaders. What kinds of monitoring will be set up to determine your team’s productivity? How will you make sure you are documenting it properly? Is it possible to ensure that you and your team can create connections based on video interactions?
For workers, it poses more challenges in terms of work-life balance. There should be time to dive deep into work tasks, and there should also be time for meetings and other communications. Outside of work itself, there’s also the need to juggle personal time, household duties, and family life.
How can you make it work?
If you’re willing to do it past the current crisis, it’s essential to establish goals and objectives to determine whether it can work for you. But first, set up the proper communication systems that can help you ensure that you and your team and keep coordinating and interacting in the best possible way.
Managers should also let their team members work at their own pace, at times when they are most productive. Scheduling team communications is of utmost importance so that you won’t interfere with your employee’s ideal work hours. It’s also best to maintain a fixed schedule for everyone so that tracking projects and tasks are easier.
As leaders, it’s also important for you to maintain high morale, despite not being together physically. Be sure to celebrate small wins and commend team members on their successes. These votes of confidence will encourage your employees, especially since you trust them to do their jobs outside of an ideal office setup.
The idea of remote work might be lingering in your minds before this crisis even struck. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself now to decide. These difficult times can be challenging, but it can also show you how you can improve your organization’s systems. Working from home is not for everyone, but if you can pull it off, it might make your organization better.