Why Remote Work Is Growing (And How To Be A Part Of It)

According to studies, 70% of the world’s manpower work remotely at least once a week. Employees are motivated and productive when they are permitted to work remotely. Working hassle-free with no distractions and zero travelling help them get more work done.

In 2014, only 126 companies were into work remotely, but the picture has changed. Working with virtual teams is now a trend. Many famous names, such as Dell, Glassdoor, Amazon are into remote business. Not only increased throughput but cost-cutting is another big reason why businesses are leaning towards hiring virtual teams.

Remote Work Is Becoming The Norm. Why?

Flexible work is here to stay. Gone are the days when offices were the only place to work. Ditching the cubicles, employees now work from different locations like a coffee shop, home, etc. Remote work is becoming a ‘ must-have’ to recruit talent across the world. Remote talent, especially millennials and generation Z expect to transform the face of the corporate world and want to work remotely.

Gen Z people are not cubicle dwellers. They expect the freedom to work from anywhere. According to the Future Workforce Report, young managers are open to allow their team members to work outside of a traditional office environment. It also states that two out of every five employees will work remotely within the next three years.

According to the future of work and on-demand talent program manager at Microsoft, Matthew Mottola, “Millennials are equally, if not more committed to their work. But we expect more from our company.” He also added, “We expect to architect our career according to our lifestyle and passions. With various opportunities, this generation has at their fingertips — freelancing, remote work, entrepreneurship — companies no longer assume this generation will settle for the status quo.”

Flexible working option has become an important factor to keep the best workers happy, engaged, and productive. According to a poll by Gallup, 33.3% of workers would change their jobs for a more flexible, remote schedule. Companies should adopt it to hire and retain talent.

Here’s why the future of remote teams is happening now.

  1. More Remote Work → More Loyal Employees

Along with widening the talent pool and cutting expenses of hiring in-house employees, remote work has a lot to offer to the companies. It can enrich the companies with a more loyal workforce. Working remotely builds trust in your employees. You trust them for what they do. It is like a personal investment and a push to their confidence levels. It results in increased loyalty. Employees give their best to maintain their loyalty.

2. Best Choice For Startups

Are you planning to drive your business ideas into a reality? Rather than diving into the ocean of traditional corporate practices, you should go remote right from the start. Here’s why:

  1. Geographical locations are no more barriers. You are free to tap top talent, diverse professionals from any corner of the world.

  2. Remote work policy works better for employees and they are happier. Even they prefer to take an 8% pay cut to work from home. According to researchers at Harvard and Princeton, 45% of telecommuting workers say they love their job, whereas only 24% of cubicle-dwellers love their job.

  3. Connecting with telecommuting workers is easy now with the help of technology. You can easily plan your tasks, projects and teams using collaboration tools.

3. Nonstop Work

Dispersed and mobile teams outperform traditional teams, if managed properly. Utilizing the maximum potential benefits of remote work policy reduces the project cycle time. How? It is because you can keep the work going for 24*7. Two virtual teams of different time zones can back each other up during odd hours while working on the same project. For example, the New York team can pass the work onto the next team, say a team in Hong Kong. Yes, it is like a relay race.

4. A Rise In Productivity

According to this HBR article by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, 83% of Millennials and 75% of Boomers say that the freedom to choose when and where they work motivates them to give 100%. Not all employees want to dwell in cubicles. Just give them some freedom and see a rise in their commitment and throughput.

Employees who commute daily, say for half an hour, are more likely to show a drastic rise in their productivity levels when they adopt the concept of working remotely. If you allow them to work from home, you gifted him/her an extra hour to work.

Remote work is trending and so the challenges. There are several hurdles like language and culture barriers, lack of cohesion in the team, etc. Remote companies should take certain steps and introduce some policies to get the maximum output from the virtual team.

Here are a few tips and tricks for team managers to guide them on how to get the best out of the remote teams and reach success zenith.

5. Leadership Keys To Open Door For Remote-Friendly Work

With the rise in the number of teams that work from far locations, the leaders have to face additional challenges. Here are the things which you should do differently. These tips will help you make remote work seamless and bridge the gap between you and mobile professionals.

  1. Keep Your Hand In The Remote Team

Your team wants you. No matter if you work with in-office teams or you have geographically connected teams across the world, team members need your guidance. One of my CEO friends made the mistake of dipping his toe in the remote work rather than completely pursuing it. It is one of the most common mistakes which backfires them badly.

Teammates expect your support and feedback to go head-to-head and give their best. You need to go the extra mile to keep in touch with your offsite workers. It will require additional communication with them.

“We need to take a more flexible approach to both the workplace and the work we do; one that provides us — both the physical and cognitive space — to harness the incredible power, insight and experience we offer, but focused not on the individual processed but instead on the overall outcomes our organizations are seeking to achieve.” — David Coplin, Chief Envisioning Officer of Microsoft UK.

2. Write Schedule Updates

Provide regular updates to the remote team as well. Share what expectations you hold from them. Rather than saying it over the call, write to them. If you either want to appreciate them for their good work or criticize for the customer service approach, converse everything in writing either through chat or emails. So, no more wasting time to share a piece of knowledge with virtual workers. Utilize your writing power to articulate a complex thought and use writing as a tool to win the battle of working with remote teams.

3. Get The Work Done

Award them peace and calmness. Let them work in their remote workspaces. Rather than poking them, again and again, to share the status of the work, coordinating who will do what, dictate a deadline of every respective task — get a task management software.

Assign tasks so they can work without any disturbance and respect the time zone difference. Kick away sloppy management at your workplace and help your employees tackle their work without distractions. Hence, you will get the work done.

“It’s more important to give employees quiet time than it is to cram them into an open office.” — Paul Farnell, Co-founder of Litmus.

4. Remote Teams Need An Onboarding Process Too

No matter whether your company hires remote or local employees, it is vital to train them to make a perfect fit for the organization. No candidate is aware of your workplace policies and the quality of the work you expect from them. Make sure they are trained on company processes, culture and expectations during their initial weeks.

There are a lot of methods for creating a structured onboarding process. CEO of Single Grain, Eric Siu, has said a few words on this, “One of my favorite tricks for onboarding remote workers is to set up an internal wiki that covers things such as where to find company information, who can answer your various questions, what tools the office uses and so on.”

He also stated that the company has centralized internal documentation and includes screen casts to show how different tasks are performed. Hence, it becomes a breeze for the remote teams to get up and running.

To encourage your team to reach you with questions as quickly as a wink, then set up a communication channel and check-in at least biweekly.

Don’t Forget To Ask These Questions To Your Remote Team

One of the major issues that the leaders face while working with virtual teams is the lack of feedback. You need to ask simple questions to your remote team to know how they feel while working with you. These questions will help you to keep in mind the influence and the difference you’d make as a leader. You influence people when you listen to their problems and solve them. Invite feedback asking the following questions.

  1. Is anything you want to ask?

  2. Where do you need help?

  3. What else do you need from my side?

The Bottom Line

Remote work is cropping up across almost all sectors. Many companies are working with fully distributed teams and their success and accomplishments are comparable with their counterparts. It’s because they don’t treat their remote workers as second-class citizens and make basic information accessible to them. In the technology-driven world, you need to utilize technological updates to home in on the goal and grow. Using collaboration tools would help and ease acquiring global talent.

Written by: proofhub