Carl Witton, Chief Growth Officer & Partner at TANGRAM looks at effective ways to get the best out of remote working.
The advertising world as we knew it has changed significantly and probably permanently. Remote working, once the dream of a few free spirits has become the norm for thousands. However, once tried it is an interesting and exciting way to work, provided it’s done correctly. It enables staff to work in a space that suits them best. A cool cafe with pleasant views is far more inspiring than a dull, poorly lit office. Flexible working hours also play a huge part.
Benefits of Remote Working
Remote working is advantageous for both employer and employee. From the company’s point of view, there are huge savings on overheads. Office rent and utility bills become a thing of the past. With the advent of Zoom and other internet platform meetings, so do expensive air tickets and hotel bills.
From the employee’s viewpoint, there is the saving on travel expenses and quite often expensive lunches which can now be taken at home. There is no need for office clothing either. Staff can sit around in their underwear for all it matters. As long as the work is done and done well, who cares?
People work in different ways; some of us are morning people, some of us are definitely not. The idea that we can all work at times that suit our productivity the best must be a plus to both employee and employer. We will all recognise that post-lunch slump in energy levels. With remote working, a quick stroll to a cool cafe will improve moods and therefore productivity.
Another benefit for the company is the boost to its reputation, especially among professionals with young families. Generally speaking, child care is enormously expensive, in some countries prohibitively so. The employee saves a lot of money while the employer gets a relatively stress-free member of staff.
There is a huge pool of untapped talent who are simply not in a position to work in an office. Instead of your company being restricted by geography, a whole world of talent is literally at your disposal. Remote working brings people who live hundreds or even thousands of miles away to your doorstep. This, of course, enables you, in time, to build a far more talented and experienced team than would otherwise have been possible.
Why Wouldn’t You Go Remote?
If you are still undecided, the opportunity for partial remote working is something else to be considered. It is possible to run a remote office with weekly in-person meetings to ensure that everything is going to plan. Even this doesn’t necessitate a real office. With the advent of co-working spaces, meetings can be held in a space that suits everyone.
If you decide that remote working is the way forward for your company, there is are some excellent tools to make everything run smoothly.
Cloud-Based Platforms to Make Life Easier
While many companies will be well versed in Trello and Dropbox, there are some other incredibly intuitive and useful tools at your disposal. Your time management, cost-effectiveness, and productivity can be improved immeasurably with the right system in place.
At Tangram we can work with you to find the best systems for your business. Whether you require simple project management functionality or a full ERP system that includes finance, we have the experience to ensure you get exactly what you need.
Daily Contact Ensures Peak Performance
Despite continually improving systems, email is still a trustworthy way of maintaining daily contact. Cloud-based, multifunctional platforms enable safe, secure, and organized cataloging of daily contacts.
One of the great strengths of email is its ability for remote access. They can be checked with ease, anywhere. It is also a reliable backup if Apps fail. Select your preferred platform making sure your team knows how to use it and that they check it, daily.
Team Catch Ups
Teams, Hangouts, or Zoom are effective cloud-based communication platforms. They are ideal for quick drop-ins or client meetings at any time.
Here at Tangram, our global team meet weekly, to discuss any company news and update each other on live projects. It’s something we all look forward to and it builds a stronger working relationship. It is often said mornings are better for meetings. However, if your team is spread around the globe like ours, then a bit of shuffling around with times may be necessary.
Additionally, taking some time each month to touch base with individual team members is also recommended. This personal touch builds morale, makes team members feel valued and helps you monitor effectiveness and staff satisfaction.
Build the Right Team, Then Trust It
Trust is an essential part of any relationship. Lose that, and you lose everything. Stop worrying about how your team members are getting the work done. As long as the work is getting done, who cares? Whether they are lying on a beach, sitting in a café, or chained to a home desk, as long as the quality of their work is good, you’re good? Right?
As long as they are checking in regularly and getting on with their work, you get a company operating smoothly and efficiently. If they are going to be uncontactable for a while, they should, of course, inform you in advance. Over time, you will grow to trust them.
Your online work can be protected using encryption tools like 1password. Used with good remote worker contracts, it will make sure you have a worry-free life.
A Happy Team is a Productive Team
For some managers, the idea of not working in an office environment is scary. However, I hope I have shown that by using the right tools and processes in place, in conjunction with good lines of communication, remote working will benefit your company, your staff, and yourself. A good way in, is to start slowly; maybe two days per week. As you grow in confidence, I feel sure that you will see that it’s a no-brainer.
A happy team is a productive team. Your stress levels will diminish, and your work-life balance will keep you and your family in a very good place.