How to Make Remote Working Work For Your Small Business
Traditional theory is wrong!
Traditional theory rewards employees for the hours they are in the office and is less focused on measures such as quality of work, quantity of work and most importantly…how happy clients are!
For Employees working remotely to be engaged and happy, they need to be trusted. To keep track of your team’s work and development you need to lead them. As a Director set the end game but let their direct reports (managers) check in more regularly. Hire people you can trust in the first place and who have the skills in place to perform their current role without supervision.
A great benefit to remote working is an increase in project management skills by all concerned. If you know what the deadlines are, and the milestones to get there you can check in at those points to make sure work is being done well, is correct and goes the extra mile.
The real key to making this work from my experience is planning and having great internal systems and training.
When we take a client on, they accept our proposal online and a secure form is sent to them automatically to fill out their details and add copies of their ID. We then receive this back, process it onto our systems right away and book in a kick off meeting. We have a set list of questions to answer in those meetings and notes to be made on the client for the whole team.
The workflow is set. Everyone knows how it works. We constantly seek client feedback to improve the flow. I don’t need to check on this because I know it’s getting done. I trust my employees to know the deadlines.
However, if I do get a moment of panic and want to spy on progress I can check all the current new client conversion jobs (for example) in Workflowmax (Xero Practice Manager), what’s been done, what emails have been sent and what we are still planning to do against the deadlines. I can even see how much time has been spent and how much it has cost us as a firm.
Facetime is Important Too!
Simon Sinek writes in his book ‘Leaders eat Last’ that we are over reliant on social media for short, sharp injections of happy hormones and there is no lasting fulfillment anymore without physical relationships.
To solve this remote teams can utilize things like Slack and video calling once a week to catch up. Better still organize quarterly social meetups. Get together and get out of your normal routine. Last night we went to play board games and try Venezuela food!
Why not hire a chalet in the Lake District and brainstorm all weekend. Just make sure to look not only for skill but also check his or her qualities of being an authentic person. Or take part in a tough mudder for charity and train together.
Go to an industry conference. Read about our team adventure to Tony Robbins UPW earlier this year!
Any activity, as long as everyone is present and there is ample opportunity for team bonding.
Have one-on-ones and have regular check ins one on one with your employees. Get their feedback on life in general and make the chat informal. Give them the opportunity to provide feedback.
We use Charlie – this software holds all of your staff data, tracks time off requests, tracks sick leave and all that other admin stuff. Invest in good HR software to make your life easier!
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