Our top tips for working remotely/working from home
As a company who’s been supporting working from home since day one, we’ve seen both the benefits and the challenges it brings. Working remotely is growing in fashion, but it’s still something that for reasons unknown, many “more traditional” companies seem to be against. That was, until Covid-19 started forcing offices around the work to give remote work a go, which is why we thought we’d share what we’ve learnt over the last 3 years so that you can make it a success.
Benefits of working remote/working from home
Working from home boosts productivity
One of the major concerns we had when we started off was that people won’t be as productive working from home as they are in the office. What we saw, though, was in fact the opposite! According to a study by Stanford, working from home actually leads to a 13% increase in productivity. With time and project management tools like Teamwork, it’s really easy for managers to see what their team is up to and if they’re meeting deadlines.
Working remote means less time off work
Another great statistic is that 55% of employees are less likely to take time off work if they work remotely. We can vouch for that – by giving employees the freedom to work around their kids and allowing them to get bits done during the day, we haven’t had anyone call in sick in nearly 2 years. And, they’ve made up their hours, too.
If we’re being completely honest, we’re always a bit stumped when other businesses tell us that they don’t support remote working because it’s too complicated. As long as you have access to the internet and a computer, there are tools available to make remote working a success. Here are some of the ones we use:
- Remote meetings – GoToMeeting
- Project management – Teamwork
- Internal chat – Slack
- TMS – Protemos
- File sharing – Google drive enterprise
You save on office space
Offices, especially in big cities, can get pricey. When you let your team work from home, it means you don’t have to pay for overheads like office space. It’ll be one of the few savings you can actually make that your team will be happy about!
You’re able to hire the best no matter where they are
Those of you who have tried hiring in Ireland will know that the political climate is causing younger people to emigrate, and those who have jobs are likely to stay in them. There are more vacancies than qualified workers, making it hard for businesses to find talent in their local area. By allowing team members to work from home, it means you’re not limited to talent in the local vicinity – you have access to the best the country has to offer. And, if you’re willing to take on a freelancer, you can hire from virtually anywhere in the world.
Negatives of working from home/working remote
We’re firm believers in the fact that being able to work remotely far outweighs the negatives, but there are a few challenges we’ve faced along the way which you will probably encounter, too.
Lack of community
While we love the freedom of working remote, one of the things we really miss is being surrounded by colleagues. We have plenty of banter over Slack, but it’s not quite the same as randomly deciding to go for a beer to celebrate the end of a tough project. We’ve managed to solve this issue with plenty of team buildings, and having online meetings.
When we first started, we thought standard recruitment procedures worked for remote work. We soon realised they didn’t when we had deadlines being missed. Since then, we made sure that the ability to work from home was classed as a skill in itself, and made sure we had processes in place to manage everyone remotely. There’s always going to be people who take the piss, but processes are what will help weed them out before they become a problem.
So, as you can see working remote has both its pluses and minuses, but if done right, the positives far outway the negatives. Working remote is something you can really use to your advantage, especially with younger team members who love the flexibility of being able to work anywhere in the world.
Hopefully, the Coronavirus will inspire some of those more rigid companies into modernising and allowing remote work because it really does pay off. What are your thoughts on working remote? If you have any tips or even any disaster stories, we’d love to hear from you!