The future of remote work and how to build a strong distributed team
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a catalyst for the growth of remote work, with many companies adopting remote work arrangements to ensure business continuity during the pandemic. As a result, remote work has become more prevalent, and many experts predict that it will remain an important part of the workforce even after the pandemic ends.
The shift to remote work has created new opportunities for companies to build distributed teams with talented professionals from all over the world. Remote work has allowed companies to expand their talent pool, improve productivity, and reduce overhead costs. However, building and managing a strong distributed team presents unique challenges that companies need to overcome to remain competitive.
In this blog post, we will explore the effectiveness of remote work and the potential downsides, as well as strategies for building a strong distributed team. We will also discuss the future of remote work and the potential long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on remote work.
As remote work becomes more prevalent, it is essential for companies to develop strategies to build and manage strong distributed teams. This will help companies remain competitive and succeed in an increasingly globalized and digital economy.
The effectiveness of remote work
The effectiveness of remote work has been a topic of much debate in recent years, with many companies and employees struggling to adjust to the new way of working. However, studies have shown that remote work can be very effective in increasing productivity, reducing overhead costs, and increasing employee satisfaction.
One study conducted by Airtasker found that remote workers are more productive and work longer hours than their office-based counterparts. According to the study, remote workers reported being more productive by 27%, working 1.4 more days per month, and taking shorter breaks than their office-based counterparts. The study also found that remote workers take fewer sick days, are less likely to take time off for personal reasons, and are more likely to work overtime.
One of the reasons for this increased productivity is the lack of distractions and interruptions that often come with working in an office. With fewer distractions, remote workers can focus more intently on their work and complete tasks more efficiently. Additionally, remote work can help reduce the time and cost associated with commuting, allowing employees to devote more time and energy to their work.
However, remote work can also present challenges, such as difficulty maintaining a healthy work-life balance. When working from home, it can be challenging to separate work time from personal time, leading to overworking and burnout. It is essential for remote workers to establish clear boundaries and create a designated workspace to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Another challenge of remote work is communication and collaboration. With team members working in different locations and time zones, communication can be more challenging than in a traditional office environment. Companies need to invest in the right tools and technologies to enable remote communication and collaboration to ensure effective teamwork.
Despite these challenges, the benefits of remote work are clear, and companies need to develop strategies to make it work for them. This includes investing in the right technology to enable remote work, developing clear policies and guidelines for remote workers, and providing support and training to help remote employees succeed.
How to build a strong distributed team
Building and managing a distributed team requires a different approach than managing an in-office team. It's crucial to ensure that remote employees are productive, engaged, and have the necessary support to perform their job. Let's explore some best practices for building and managing a strong distributed team.
A. Hiring remote employees
Remote hiring presents a unique set of challenges and opportunities. Here are some tips for companies looking to hire remote employees.
Focus on the right skills and mindset.
When hiring remote employees, companies need to focus on skills and mindset that match the job and the company culture. Look for candidates with excellent communication skills, self-discipline, and the ability to work independently. It's also essential to consider the candidate's past experience working remotely and their experience with remote communication tools and technology.
Use specialized remote hiring platforms.
Hiring remote employees requires a different set of tools and processes than hiring in-office employees. Boon is a platform that streamlines the remote hiring process. It allows companies to create job postings, filter and screen candidates, and conduct remote interviews. Boon also provides companies with an easy way to onboard remote employees and facilitate remote team communication.
B. Managing remote employees
Managing remote employees requires different skills and strategies than managing in-office employees. Here are some best practices for managing remote employees:
Establish clear communication channels.
Communication is essential for remote teams. Companies need to establish clear communication channels to ensure that remote employees have access to information and can communicate effectively with their team. Use video conferencing, chat tools, and project management software to ensure effective communication.
Create a positive company culture.
A positive company culture is essential for any team, but it's especially important for remote teams. Remote employees need to feel connected to their colleagues and the company mission. Companies should organize virtual team building activities, recognize and reward remote employees, and foster a sense of community among the remote team.
Provide the necessary technology and tools.
Remote employees need the right technology and tools to perform their job effectively. Companies need to provide remote employees with the necessary software, hardware, and collaboration tools. Use cloud-based tools that allow remote employees to access company data and documents from anywhere.
The future of remote work
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way people work, and remote work has emerged as a new normal. This trend is likely to continue even after the pandemic ends. Companies need to understand the potential long-term effects of this shift in work culture and plan accordingly.
One of the most significant changes is that remote work has become a more attractive option for many employees. Remote work offers many benefits, such as more flexibility in terms of work hours, no commute time, and a better work-life balance. These benefits are particularly appealing to younger workers, who prioritize work-life balance over other factors. As a result, remote work is becoming more popular, and companies need to adapt to this change to remain competitive.
In addition to attracting and retaining employees, remote work can also offer cost savings for companies. Remote work can reduce office rental costs, utility bills, and other expenses associated with maintaining an office. This can be a significant advantage, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises. Moreover, remote work can provide companies with access to a more diverse pool of talent, as they can hire people from different parts of the world.
As remote work becomes more prevalent, it is crucial for companies to develop long-term strategies to support remote work. One of the essential aspects of these strategies is to ensure that employees have the right technology and tools to work effectively from home. This includes high-speed internet connections, collaboration tools, and project management software. Companies must also provide training to employees on how to use these tools effectively.
In addition to technology, companies need to develop policies and procedures that support remote work. This includes policies for communication, performance management, and work hours. Companies must also ensure that remote workers have the same access to training and development opportunities as office-based workers.
To support remote work, companies need to promote a positive company culture that is inclusive and supportive of remote workers. This includes creating opportunities for remote workers to connect with each other and office-based workers. Regular team-building activities, virtual social events, and one-on-one meetings can help create a sense of camaraderie among remote workers.
Finally, companies need to ensure that their remote workers have access to the same benefits and perks as their office-based workers. This includes healthcare benefits, retirement plans, and paid time off. Companies need to ensure that these benefits are offered fairly and equally, regardless of where employees work.
Remote work is here to stay, and companies that embrace it will have a competitive advantage. Boon can help companies build and manage a strong distributed team, from hiring to onboarding to ongoing support. With the right strategies in place, remote work can be a powerful tool for building a successful and sustainable business.