This article comes from Entrepreneur.
Here’s what to keep in mind for a successful transition to remote work.
Before transitioning a team to remote work, it’s important to outline expectations, share them with everyone on the team, and update them regularly.
These policies will depend on the team size and needs, however, a general remote policy should outline:
Going remote brings a whole new set of challenges to the hiring process as well. Whether a company is building a remote workforce from scratch or transitioning to hiring remote employees only, managers will need to revise any hiring strategies to reflect remote work expectations and responsibilities. For instance, it may be more important to focus on a candidate’s soft skills — such as self-motivation and communication skills — to ensure they’ll be an appropriate addition to the team.
Team collaboration and communication can become messy and disconnected quickly if managers aren’t careful. Therefore, it’s important to have all the tools in place to support remote workers before making the switch.
When working remotely, teams will need a way to communicate with each other painlessly. Email is not always the best option, so remote teams should opt for communication tools such as Slack, HipChat or Skype to stay connected. All of these tools offer real-time messaging, video call options and the ability to organize conversations by channel, project or topic.
Organization will be key for teams working remotely. It’s a good idea to set up a cloud-based project management tool so that everyone can access the files and information they need at any time. These tools also offer ways to organize projects between different departments and set deadline reminders. A few of the most popular project management tools for remote teams include Trello and Basecamp. For document and file sharing and management, Google Drive, DropBox and Box are popular options.
A successful transition to remote work also depends heavily on well-prepared managers or team leaders. For many managers, the process can quickly become overwhelming, so it’s important to train and prepare them well. The first step is to make sure managers have the right tools (such as those mentioned above), so they can be available for their employees, answer any questions, offer feedback, and most importantly, keep projects on track.
About 35 percent of employees admitted they would leave their current job for one that offered remote work. Additionally, 90 percent of people who currently work remotely say they plan to continue doing so for the rest of their career. The demand for remote work isn’t going away, and team leaders that don’t trust their employees will find transitioning to remote work difficult.
There will be challenges along the way and managers won’t be able to control everything all of the time, so it’s important to let employees find their own solutions to challenges that arise when necessary and suggest how to improve things moving forward.
With the right planning and preparation, teams can transition to remote work successfully.
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