How you feel about working remotely depends a great deal on your expectations. For some, it sounds like a dream-job situation. For others, a convenient option when the situation calls for it. And for some, a colossal mistake full of opportunities for misfires.
We believe remote work has a place in modern business, if approached the right way. We’ll get to that in a bit. First, we’d like to share an example of just how mind-blowing working remotely can be.
Whenever technology opens new a new door, someone’s bound to push it to its limit. The results are almost always interesting, and sometime enlightening. Take the start-up Unsettled, for example.
The subject of a recent New York Times article, Unsettled “organizes 30-day co-working experiences around the world for creative people, entrepreneurs and other professionals seeking to combine work, travel and redefining themselves.” Sure, that sounds interesting, but what does it mean?
Imagine this. For a month, you’re abroad. You’re surrounded by energetic, enthusiastic people in an unfamiliar location. You have all the resources you need to do your job, like Wi-Fi connectivity and work space, plus the adventure of international travel.
Granted, you may not be ready to take that kind of plunge, but Unsettled shows just how feasible working remotely is. There’s an entire community of people who work remotely all the time, from all over the world.
The benefits of working remotely.
Some of the benefits of working remotely are obvious. Remote work allows for flexibility, versatility and a whole new layer of collaboration. Even if a co-worker is on the road for a conference, you can still schedule a meeting and get things done.
But the benefits don’t stop there.
According to one report, a whopping 77% of employees claim they’re more productive when they work remotely. With fewer interruptions, they can get more done. They’re also less likely to take time off. Perhaps most surprising, “42% of remote workers feel they’re just as connected with colleagues as if they were working on-premises, and 10% feel even more connected.”
Not only that, but remote workers are happier, too, stating they “enjoy the freedom and flexibility” when working remotely.
Remote work options that really work.
Of course, even with stats as compelling as these, you can’t just tell folks they can work remotely and hope for the best. There are three key questions to determine if remote work will work for your business.
1. Are you comfortable offering a remote work option?
As the leader of your organization, if you’re not comfortable with remote work then it’s not really a feasible option. You don’t have to justify your preference. It’s okay if you aren’t a fan of working remotely.
If that’s where you are, then the die is cast. No remote work for you. On the other hand, if you see some benefit to working remotely, consider the next two questions.
2. How will you hold remote workers accountable?
This is a big one. Remote work and micromanagement don’t mix. If you’re going to allow your staff to work remotely, you’ll need to be able to hold them accountable without being overbearing.
Will you focus on output and productivity? Reporting? Weekly follow-up meetings? Make sure you have a plan for accountability, and make sure your employees know what it is.
3. What tools will your employees need to work remotely?
Finally, remote work is only possible if your staff can function away from the office. The best way to make that happen is with cloud solutions.
The cloud gives you options for storage and remotely accessible applications. With the right suite of cloud solutions, your people can do every component of their jobs regardless of where they’re located. However, this is also the hardest element of prep.
The solutions you need.
Finding the right cloud services for your company is no easy task. It requires some real expertise. There are a lot of cloud solutions out there. If you want to ensure you’re using the ones best suited for your business, you may want to get an expert opinion.
If you’re gearing up for remote work and would like some help selecting the best cloud solutions for your team, KME has the expertise you need. We’ll guide you to the right blend of cloud services for your needs. Contact us today if you’d like some help going remote.