In my previous job, I had no option of moving from the workspace. My employers believed that the longer you were in the office, the more productive you were. I remember spending many hours sitting around trying to be productive but feeling tired, I literally couldn't stand another minute there (and it wasn't a bad job). I think of the long hours in traffic jams and public transportation overcrowding. Finally, I would arrive at work tired before starting my day and finish it as if I had run a marathon.
I think about all this because moving to remote work was a drastic change. It was not easy to adapt and organize my tasks, but in a short time, I recovered my quality of life and found the balance between working from home and being productive. I start and end my workday with energy; that allows me to enjoy the rest of my day and be ready for the next one.
The reality is that until recently, very few companies took remote work seriously enough. However, circumstances worldwide are changing and companies are incorporating the mindset that remote work is just like any other job: you have responsibilities, co-workers, and goals to meet. The only difference is where you work and how you communicate. However, there are several prejudices with this work methodology and we forget that at the end of the day, it is the same job in a different scenario.
The limitlessness of remote work:
1. Trust: Yes, remote work can be VERY productive.
Many companies I've talked to say they are skeptical about the productivity of their remote workers, basically because they believe that remote work means their teams will be distracted or have a sense of "losing sight" of what they are doing. However, studies such as the one conducted by Airtasker show that remote teams tend to work more days per year compared to 100% of face-to-face companies and that the productivity techniques they use are quite similar to those they would use in an office.
Trust is vital for optimal performance in your remote team: if you place trust and base performance on setting clear objectives and aligning them with the objectives of the team in common, there will be no excuses or reproaches, because everyone knows what they have to do. If there is trust, there will be a commitment to carry out the tasks and therefore, a successful performance.
Trust is the foundation for the success of any remote work team.
There are multiple ways to motivate the productivity of a team as it transitions to working permanently or partially remotely. For example, you can regulate the KPI's or OKR's by giving additional value to the objectives achieved remotely.
2. Increase the talent pool and take the team one step further.
I have learned one thing from my experience working in technology: we need more talent and understand where to find it. The point is that many times the talent is there, one click away from participating in your team and, possibly, many miles away. Maybe that Data Scientist you've been looking for for so long lives on the other side of the city (and doesn't want to move to a distant job) or on the other side of the mountain range, or why not, maybe he or she is crossing the ocean.
Currently, at Get on Board, we work with people from 4 different countries and our team grows without borders thanks to this: if we need talent, no matter where it is, we can find it and "bring it" with us.
3. Distance can be a strategic ally
Remote work not only helps team happiness and talent growth, it also expands brand presence in regions that might never have been thought of. Let's think about it this way: remote collaborators are ambassadors of the company and therefore, they will be strategic allies to grow, either in brand positioning or at least in outreach.
For example, at Get on Board, we are all ambassadors for the company. We participate in events in different parts of the world, we are one voice regardless of the country in which we are located.
4. Transform remote work into Corporate Social Responsibility.
Many people are unable to attend physical workplaces for different reasons: they care for children at home or are with sick family members; they live in rural areas to provide a better quality of life for their loved ones; they have a motivation to travel; or they have a physical difficulty that prevents them from moving or communicating easily. Remote work is not only for people who want this as a lifestyle, it also allows fathers and mothers to be closer to their children and people with reduced mobility or chronic illnesses to be able to fully develop professionally.
5. Organizational happiness and remote work
In simple terms, the term organizational happiness has to do with a company's ability to provide working conditions for its employees to deploy their individual and group strengths. Little has been written about this, but in broad terms, happiness at work (as described by employees) is an indicator of organizational happiness. It is the company's responsibility to facilitate the conditions for this to occur in its facilities.
What does this have to do with remote work? Well, a lot. Remote work is a way of providing better life quality to your employees; you are giving them back time to spend with their families and friends, to enjoy their hobbies or perhaps to continue studying and growing, you are reducing commuting times and you allow them to work from home if they do not feel well enough to come to the office. These are "hygienic" conditions for people to deploy their strengths, which results in talent retention, but you also have people who are motivated, committed and appreciate that you trust them.
Finally, remote work does not have to be an absolute practice in a company, the idea is to integrate these practices little by little, talk about it, evaluate results and accompany each other as a team to find the balance in their productivity and above all, work happily.
Do you already work remotely in your company, do you want to start working remotely, we want to know how you are doing, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share tips on this exciting world of remote culture ✨.