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Managing remote work effectively

Aude Creveau
Aude Creveau

If you find the current situation too uncomfortable for commuting to work, you're not alone. According to a Buffer survey, 99% of people said they would like to telecommute to some degree throughout their careers.

Few people realize how simple it is to manage remote work across numerous industries.

If your work involves a computer or independent work, you could be working from home. If you meet your benchmarks without constant oversight, you may tire of the constant hovering.

Below are some ways to manage remote work without missing a beat and how offering flexibility provides the work life balance your employees are looking for.

What is remote work?

Remote work is a typical day at work- but not in your typical office setting. Professionals with remote jobs can execute their daily tasks in the work setting of their choosing.

In theory, you don't have to work in an office of any kind. Your work is portable, meaning you can take your work with you anywhere. That's right- you can hit up your favourite coffee spot!

Remote workers may meet up with coworkers or employers from time to time. They do not rely on in-person meetings or a traditional work environment to succeed. Meetings typically become emails and conferences become conference calls.

Your essentials to remote work

The only think you need is a wifi connection and a computer. You might need the same office supplies.

You may use all the same tech as you would in an office setting. You may still need things like a coffee pot, but don't worry about having to share it (or the weird-smelling microwave) with anyone else!

You can plan your day based on your unique personal and professional goals. Many people who telecommute enjoy the flexibility of working without as much oversight.

Remote work is somewhat stigmatized- major companies typically require onsite work. Freelancers may do remote work, but even some freelance work is still done onsite.

Many people rely on their employer to indicate the possibility of remote work. Fortunately, society is beginning to view remote work positively! In fact, companies have turned to remote work as an answer to implement the required social distancing requirements, becoming the world's largest home office experiment.


Why remote work is on the rise

Increased connectivity

Thanks to the rise and ever increasing range of online tools for remote work, staying connected and working towards the same goal is no longer a challenge. Tools like Slack, Zoom, and HR software, make remote work, or managing remote workers possible.

Rising real state value

Added to that, the constant rise in living costs and renting space in hot tech hub cities such as London or San Francisco, make remote work the most cost-effective option for small businesses and startups. This is why everyday around the globe, more and more companies decide to become fully remote companies.

A shift in the workforce

With Millennials and Gen Z seeking for a digital nomad lifestyle, the job search will soon start shifting towards remote positions or openings that offer remote work benefits at the very least.

Advanced tools

Big data allows people to learn and research more than ever. Analytics tools, time and attendance software, digital asset systems, and other tools are now accessible with one click.

Time tracking software and productivity tools are key to launching a successful remote work experience. You can log your time or monitor how long certain tasks take. Over time, you may not want (or need) to do either.

Accessible tech equipment

Tech is also more portable than ever. Unless you need a consistent control environment for research, you can likely take tech with you wherever your remote work setting is.

Portable keyboards can charge on-the-go so you don't have to wait around at the coffee shop. Some laptops allow you to flip the screen so you can share your findings freely.

Chromebooks make it easy to take your work with you. They also are great for jobs that involve a lot of typing. Tablets can switch screens so you can manage multiple web pages at once.


Benefits of remote work

Increased productivity

Studies show that productivity is a major concern for employers. Employees don't want to feel overworked, nor do they want to sit around at a desk all day.

A study on remote work conducted by the Stanford Business School found that remote workers were 13% more productive than those in the office.

Fewer distractions and sick days also add to productivity over long periods. 75% of employees say they deal with fewer interruptions from colleagues.

As the numbers speak for themselves, decreased productivity is nothing to fear.
The lack of commute time allows employees to start working earlier in the day. Even without a traditional 9-5, employees typically complete a full shift's worth with hours to spare!

Even with flexible travel options, remote workers tend to use less vacation time.

Increased wellbeing

People who are doing remote work don't just work differently- they live differently. Employees can create a lifestyle that balances their personal and professional priorities.

Remote employees note far less stress than their onsite counterparts. Replace your daily commute with a mid-morning gym session or a casual stroll. Small breaks like these refresh employees and relieve them from everyday stressors.

Even high-level positions use remote work to improve wellbeing. Project managers or team leaders find it easier to manage team members who telecommute. High-level employees also enjoy better relationships with loved ones when they telecommute.

Remote work allows people to feel engaged and focused instead of pressured to perform. When employees feel trusted, they are happier in (and outside of) the workplace.

Increased employee retention

Employers hate to spend money going through the hiring process. Employees also hate going through burnout every few years.

According to the same Stanford's study, the majority of participants showed improved attitudes about work and less absenteeism. Attitudes remained positive after extended periods at remote jobs.

Workers who feel more engaged and committed are more likely to grow with the company. Even those who are happy in their current role are more likely to stick around. As an added benefit, employers save money when they don't have to spend time and money replacing employees.

Improved employer branding

Strong employer branding relies on attracting top talent. Offering flexible schedules is no longer different. An astonishing 80%  of U.S. workers say they would turn down a job that didn’t offer flexible working.

In order to improve one's brand, employers must also retain top talent. Telecommuting typically cuts employee turnover in half. Employees show more loyalty to the brand and its long-term success.


Tips for remote work

Treat it like a day in the office

You already know you can do the work onsite. Don't fret about what to change at first.

Wake up and go about your morning routine the way you normally would- sans commute, of course! Dress the part and go forward with specific goals for the day.

Designate a workspace

Our brains work differently in different settings. Create a zone that helps you get into work mode.

Choose a space that is quiet and undisturbed. Make sure the space is comfortable enough to be in for long periods, but not so comfortable that you would nap there.

Make sure your laptop can handle various work tasks like typing and handling digital assets.

Take breaks

Just like in the office, get out and get fresh air when you feel you need it. Go for a run or walk when you get stuck in a brain fog.

Take the occasional snack break or cuddle with your pet. Just keep breaks short enough that you can easily slip back into your work.

Plan your day

Outline tasks for the day. Start by "eating the frog" instead of putting off certain tasks. Log your productivity for the first few weeks.

You'll have a better idea of when you get the most done. You will also find your workflow faster.

Communicate with your team

Be proactive in how you communicate and approach problems. If you work with a tech company, for instance, list out possible roadblocks and ways your team can avoid them together.

Break your process down into milestones. Reach out to relevant team members before moving from one milestone to the next.

Keep communication lines open with people working above and below you. Your quality of work still affects them and vice versa.

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Ensure a successful remote work experience

Remote work is what you make of it. The above working remotely tools and tips will help you turn your time remote into time well-spent.

kiwiHR's absence management software makes managing remote work easily possible. We allow you to define remote work policies, share them with employees, and set allowances for those who qualify. HR software like ours can streamline HR management. We save managers up to 700 hours of work per year. This way, teams can focus more on furthering the company vision.

You don't have to manage remote work the old-fashioned way. You and your team will see lasting improvements with our streamlined approach.

Sign up to try our services free for 14 days. A successful remote work experience starts with us!

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