After a tumultuous couple of years, remote working has become the new normal. Despite it being unexpectedly thrust upon us, many companies and employees took this transition in stride.
At the time, while we made the physical shift to working remotely, most companies didn’t change the systems or processes in order to support the new remote work environment.
Fast forward a few years and companies are finding themselves facing bigger silos, gaps around accountability, and other challenges. These roadblocks pave the way for claims like, ‘this company is not suited to remote working’, or frustration among employees.
What most companies didn’t realise is that traditional working models aren’t 100% transferable to the virtual environment. But with the right adjustments, companies might find themselves more suited to remote working than they initially thought. Here are some of the top ways for organisations to set their teams up for remote working success.
Create remote working policies
Similar to in-office working policies, every company operating remotely should have a set of policies. Remote working policies should effectively communicate expectations and drive accountability.
Some questions to ask when creating effective remote working policies are:
- What are the day-to-day expectations? (i.e., guidelines for working hours and expectations)
- What outcomes is each employee accountable for? (i.e., what are the goals for each individual or department)
- Do the policies foster inclusivity?
- Are the policies transparent?
- Do the policies prioritise business goals?
The policies you set should be a careful balance between managing business goals but also supporting your employees. Otherwise, they will simply be roadblocks and hinder productivity.
It’s also important that any necessary changes are communicated openly so every employee is aware of the policy changes.
Setting Up Communication Channels
Communication is imperative when teams are working remotely. There is no longer the option for employees to gather in person for company-wide announcements. Even when it comes to the day-to-day, you can’t simply walk down the hall and speak to someone on your team.
Effective communication doesn’t necessarily happen naturally. It’s up to the organisation to ensure there are processes in place to support the required levels of communication.
In many situations, this requires adopting new infrastructure to facilitate easy communication across the organisation. This includes anything from messaging platforms and video conferencing solutions. It also means setting up public forums for information to be shared across teams, from Q&As to virtual company-wide meetings.
Good communication can foster a culture of transparency across the organisation. It also encourages collaboration, so your employees aren’t working in silos.
Investing in Company Culture
It is easy for employees to feel disconnected when spending less time with their colleagues. Without positive company culture, you’ll find your team is less engaged and less productive.
Yes – creating a strong company culture can be more difficult when working remotely. However, it’s not impossible. It just requires a more thoughtful and empathetic approach. Fortunately, with all the software and technology available, remote culture-building activities are easier than ever before.
While it takes time to implement, your employees will be happier and produce better work. Good company culture can also help improve retention rates. Positive feedback about the employee experience at your organisation can go a long way, and even encourage new talent to join your teams.
Improving Project Management
When working remotely, it’s easier for projects to get lost in the shuffle. Proper project management and operations can help keep teams (and projects) on track and moving through the pipeline.
From project managers to project management software, improving your remote operating efficiency can boost productivity across the organisation.
When making the shift to remote working, it’s important to evaluate your company’s needs. The goal is to implement tools and solutions to address any challenges you face as an organisation.
Companies can even consider bringing in outside support to help identify areas that require improvement.
At Agile Management Office, we can help you identify the changes needed and define a roadmap that shows you where you are and how to get where you want to go based on your priorities, budget, capacity, and maturity.
The Bottom Line
Ultimately, remote working is the future and isn’t going anywhere any time soon. It’s time to change the systems and procedures to meet the new working world. Companies that are agile and adapt to the times will have better success navigating the new normal.
By taking the time to ensure your company has adopted best practices for remote working, you can feel confident knowing your employees and teams are set up for success.
Contact us, so we can help you create a straightforward, results-oriented framework that connects governance, delivery, and culture to help you thrive and organise.
If you’d like to engage Fatimah as a coach/advisor for your organisation to help you make sense of the chaos, then you can reach out to her by email at Fatimah.firstname.lastname@example.org