Remote work is a unique and non-traditional model of conducting business. However, in recent years it has gained popularity and is quickly becoming the most preferred form of employment among many demographics, particularly the younger generations. A remotely distributed company requires a different set of skills and level of flexibility that seems alien to traditional methods of administration.
This is primarily because your employees are not in an office environment and sometimes, you may never meet them in person. Running a remotely distributed company has taught me so much and amplified my understanding of what it means to run a business based on principle and trust. Here are the 10 biggest lessons I’ve learned.
Remotely Distributed Company
- The quality of the team you select will greatly affect the quality of work you get. Give detailed descriptions of the kind of people you want to work for you. Verify all academic claims as much as possible and test their abilities before issuing out assignments. A probationary period during which they can be evaluated for performance is necessary as it ensures that the person is capable of delivering quality work. Be particular about writing abilities because it comprises a huge percentage of communication.
- Clearly define and describe the nature of your work to remote staff. Poor communication or a misunderstanding of an employer’s vision is a major cause of setbacks in remotely distributed companies. It is important that your staff knows and understands the business and what it stands for, as well as their roles and the expectations you have of them.
- Hire people you trust and trust the people you hire. This is a big one. In social workplaces, you can easily monitor staff and ensure that they are doing their jobs when and as they should. This is not so with remote work, it tests your ability to trust. You must be flexible and trusting enough to allow your staff to prove their efficacy towards your business.
- Take full advantage of technology, equip yourself with the best business tools and software and learn how to use them. This makes your work easier, keeps you abreast of cutting edge technology and keeps you on top of your game. Automate tasks that do not need to be done mechanically. This saves time and energy and gives you an opportunity to focus on other parts of the business.
- Have a balanced working knowledge of finance. Running a remotely distributed company demands that you be meticulous and astute when it comes to money so the business can continue to be properly funded and to ensure staff are paid on time. It also helps if you are astute with finances in your personal life. I ensure to always use comparison services, such as Finty, to maximise what my money can do for me.
- Communicate regularly with staff in remote areas and organize hangouts with those within reach. This creates an opportunity for you to bond and form a good socio-professional relationship with the people who work for you.
- Show appreciation to staff and dole out rewards when the need arises. It is always motivating to occasionally give positive feedback and commendation when staffs do a good job. It goes a long way to ensure employee morale is high if they are rewarded for doing a good job.
- Establish a culture that represents what your business stands for. The integrity of any business is built on principles of honesty, accountability, transparency and good leadership. Instilling this mindset in staff from the onset makes for a team that is stable and credible.
- Focus on the goals that you set for each day. The accomplishment and delivery of goals are much more relevant to you than the activities that lead up to their completion. Set goals, delegate assignments and allow staff to execute the job you hired them to do.
- Establish good working relationships and connections with people in your field of work. Businesses do not grow in isolation. It is important to connect with colleagues and competitors alike as it gives the business an opportunity to collaborate and grow.
There are many more valuable lessons I learned working with a remote team, most of which are centred on defining the job and good communication practices. Remote work gives you the freedom to work from anywhere but it also pushes you to go beyond what you are professionally used to. It helps you to build the capacity to handle situations that a traditional social workplace will not prepare you for.