Does Your Company Have a Long-Term Plan for Remote Work?
The great tech campuses of Silicon Valley were once a classic example of corporate work culture. With enticing perks and amenities like gyms, gourmet kitchens, and even nap pods, companies like Apple and Google put an incredible amount of effort (and money) into creating an environment that would inspire their employees to work harder. Then the pandemic hit.
Just two months after COVID-19 sent much of the world’s workforce home, Mark Zuckerberg announced that at least half of Facebook’s 50,000 employees would remain in their home offices permanently. Twitter employees will also have the choice to work from “wherever they feel most creative and productive,” even after the company’s offices reopen.
What much of the corporate sector realized too late is that in a world of Wi-Fi connections and productivity apps, employees don’t need to be in a physical office. In fact, when employees have the choice to work remotely, productivity increases by an average of 20 per cent and employee turnover is cut in half. Not to mention, the average medium sized business saves about $20,000 a year for each full-time employee who works remotely.
It’s a shame it took a pandemic for so many companies to embrace what small businesses long have: the freedom of a flexible workforce.
But running a successful business with a team that’s out of arms reach requires some thought and planning—especially if you’re in it for the long run. Here are some important factors to consider:
What Kind of Technology Will You Need?
The most important piece of the puzzle is the technology you’ll need to run your business remotely. This includes collaboration and productivity tools that your team will need to communicate and maintain a sense of community. If you need to share files, documents, or sensitive customer information between team members, you’ll also need to invest in a secure, reliable server.
But there are also some logistics to consider. Will you provide equipment such as laptops and software to your full-time employees? Can you help foot the bill for smartphone costs? If you hire contractors, what kind of technology will you require of them? Considering these things in advance is the easiest way to avoid hiccups along the way.
Should You Ditch Your Physical Space?
Just because you no longer have your team in the building with you doesn’t mean you have to give up all of the resources you worked so hard to build. If you still own or rent a physical office space, consider what it’ll mean for your business if you give it up.
Sure, you’ll save money on the physical space. But do you have an alternate location to meet with customers or hold in-person meetings? Will you regret not having a physical storefront when the pandemic passes? Will your brand image change if you take everything online?
How Will Remote Work Impact Your Company Culture?
Remote work is not just a temporary fix for a pandemic—in many ways, it paves a more scenic path towards the reason you started your business in the first place. Freedom, flexibility, and better work-life balance for you and your team are the hallmarks of remote work. But it will change your company culture.
Communication will become more important than ever, especially if you want to keep team spirits high. Regular team check-in’s and video meetings should be a priority in your schedule. If you’re able to accommodate regular in-person meetings, even better!
Remember, shifting to a remote workforce doesn’t mean you should give up that personal touch small businesses are known for. You’ll need to work even harder to be a good communicator with your team and your customers.
Are you curious how the shift to remote work might affect your bottom line? Give us a call and let’s chat
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