The world of work has changed since the Covid pandemic. Although telework existed previously, it’s now more the rule than the exception. Many of today’s workforce would rather quit than return to the office full-time.
Launching or changing to a fully remote model offers multiple benefits, such as attracting top talent and saving on office rent. However, you still need to make money. Here are five tips to make a fully remote business profitable.
Many people adore telework, but not all do. Those who dislike it often cite feeling left out of office camaraderie as one of their biggest complaints. Feeling isolated is understandable, especially if you used to look forward to socializing with your BFF at the water cooler several times a day.
It’s a bit more challenging to encourage a friendly group atmosphere when you all work from your respective couches — but many companies manage to do so beautifully. One way is by hosting regular team-building activities to boost productivity, positivity and morale. For example, you could host a trivia night or have a virtual scavenger hunt, all through the magic of Zoom.
What if you occasionally need team members to come together, or you don’t work well without an office to report to every day? You don’t need to rent an entire facility that you rarely use. Explore the fabulous new world of co-working spaces. You’ll reap benefits in terms of productivity while paying a fraction of the cost of a dedicated workplace.
People who have switched to this working model claim it benefits their overall productivity and mental health. Unlike traditional office spaces, you’re working with people who aren’t employed by the same person, eliminating the cutthroat competitive aspect that can inhibit team sharing as everyone scrambles to get that one promotion. Instead, people can focus on bouncing ideas off others, forming diverse working relationships dedicated to helping each other find the best answers.
Such arrangements provide team members who may need it (including you) the stability and structure of reporting to an office for work. You can also work from home and await your cable repair when necessary without stressing over the oodles you’re spending on unused rent.
When you have a fully remote business, training new staff members becomes trickier — but not impossible. You might not be able to pair them with a mentor in a traditional sense. However, can you arrange a go-to member of your senior staff who can handle most of their questions? It’s much easier when you’re new and uncertain to have one point of contact versus trying to figure out who is the appropriate person to ask.
Another common trick remote businesses use to train is developing proprietary materials to use with all new hires. That way, you don’t waste time reinventing the wheel each time someone new comes on board. Staff members appreciate the structure, knowing that everyone had the same “initiation rite” that they did.
Are you more authoritarian or democratic in your leadership style? Research from Salesforce suggests that workers who feel heard are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to work to the best of their abilities than those who felt they had to blindly follow orders or face the consequences. Therefore, do more than invite employees to speak their minds. Send out surveys inquiring about work practices, asking staff members to make suggestions to make things more efficient and productive.
Are you considering using spy software to track how hard your staff members work? Please — take your finger off the control lever. You’re probably getting carpal tunnel syndrome from micromanaging it too much. Hire employees you trust and let them do their jobs.
Software that manipulates your staff member’s webcams and microphones could open you to potential liability. People have a right to privacy in their homes. Plus, such scrutiny breeds resentment among your workers, making even dedicated employees devote more mental time and energy to figuring out how to “get away with” human needs, like going to the restroom instead of focusing on the task at hand.
It’s understandable to use some monitoring software to keep track of time worked on projects, and you have much more leeway if you issue devices to your employees versus asking them to download software onto personal computers. However, it’s better to let each team member’s work volume and performance show you that they’re doing what they should — not spy on them each time they stand up to stretch.
However, you need to safeguard your proprietary data and any personally identifiable information (PII). Hackers can destroy a fully remote business’ profits with the right keystrokes.
Therefore, please invest in the best anti-malware programs you can find. Use a VPN when connecting in public spaces, such as coffee shops. Issue these to employees and contractors who use their systems to connect to your databases.
The world of work has changed since the pandemic, in many ways for the better. Follow these five tips to make your fully remote business profitable.