Remote work” is an organization of work that consists of employing remote workers, permanently or almost permanently, remote work is a practice that tends to become more and more democratic, with the internationalization of companies. Remote workers then work either from home or from a co-working space. Companies employing remote workers must therefore deploy new management methods and new communication tools to motivate employees and increase productivity. We take stock of good practices and tools for working with remote workers.
Why work with remote workers?
Websites give specific information on remote working, with different organizations: home office, teleworking, remote work… The phenomenon is growing so much that some companies have even chosen not to have physical offices, the application that helps you manage and organize your social networks.
Why this craze for remote work?
Hiring employees abroad or in a region other than that of the head office offers many opportunities for companies. Above all, it allows them to save money: the employee will not need a workstation, and will lose less time in traffic jams in the morning. Thus, with remote work, companies record less absenteeism or lateness of their employees. In addition, workers will be able to be hired in a country with lower labor costs, maximizing savings.
In addition, remote workers tend not only to be more autonomous, but also to be happier at work. Remote workers are now seen as a significant advantage for workers, so they will be less likely to look for another job offer at the same time.
Finally, hiring teleworkers facilitates the diversity of employees, a powerful driver of productivity: different experiences, different cultures, different training… Especially if the company is not limited to a restricted geographical area, it will be easier to find the talent it needs!
The best distance working tools
The first organisational problem with telework is communication. Today, many tools exist to facilitate communication between employees who are not in the same room or even in the same country!
Skype (Microsoft) is one of the most widely used communication tools, as it allows not only to communicate via chat, but also to launch calls and video conferences. Smaller companies (less than 20 employees) can use the classic version of Skype, while larger companies can use Skype Enterprise, which can bring together up to 250 employees, or share a screen.
Businesses are increasingly using Slack, a mobile and desktop application that’s ideal for remote teamwork, to communicate. This application allows you to perfectly manage projects and carry out various tasks, such as managing tickets or the day before.
For the storage of your files, the Dropbox Business solution is a must: this tool allows you to store any file online, with flexible offers depending on the number of employees or the storage space required. You can also control link sharing settings and password protect links for added security. Google Drive Business or Google Drive Enterprise is also a favorite with businesses, as it offers unlimited and secure storage space, simple and intuitive to use, with access to an online office suite (Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Slides…).
Finally, for the organization, is certainly the most appreciated tool for companies working with remote workers. This project management tool works on the kanban mode: you can create tasks, classify them according to their progress status, add checklists, add a deadline, and invite your collaborators to projects. The notification system ensures that no task is missed!
5 tips to motivate your remote workers
Once the organization is well established, the hardest part is keeping employees motivated and productive, even from a distance! Here are our tips for doing so.
1. Involve remote workers
The first pitfall when employing remote workers is not involving them enough in the company. A remote worker must have met the manager at least once! At the time of hiring, make the effort to travel to meet him or her, or finance his or her round trip to meet the team. An involved remote worker is a productive worker who will be motivated by the success of the company.
2. Create a corporate culture
Even if the workers are far away, it is important to develop a corporate culture, not only to create a sense of belonging (and, again, involve remote workers), but also to bring all workers, whether remote or not, together around a common goal. When you are fulfilled in your work and in your professional relationships, motivation follows!
3. Set clear objectives
To motivate employees, we must give them a direction, and therefore set clear, precise and attainable objectives. This is also the case for remote workers! The clearer your expectations are, the more efficient remote workers will work, because they will know which direction to go in. You will see that they are the most autonomous workers once they start working on a project!
4. Remain flexible… but demanding
Remote workers are not expected to keep to minute office hours. That’s the whole principle of remote working! You have to trust them to use the hours they are most productive. If the remote worker doesn’t interact with customers, you can even allow them to work earlier in the morning or in the evening, at times when they are more motivated. You need to keep remote working an advantage for them.
However, there is no question of letting the worker relax: if necessary, accompany him/her in time management or ask him/her to fill in time sheets.
5. Encourage remote workers with feedback on their work.
Finally, when your remote workers perform well, let them know! Just because they’re not in the office doesn’t mean you should have fewer one-to-one meetings with them. Recognition for work done is one of the most important motivating factors at work!