Remember way back when “work from home” was considered merely a niche job for part-time employment and supplemental income? Well, that is clearly not the case anymore. Businesses worldwide were forced to either adapt or shut down in Q2 and Q3 of 2020 and embrace the new work norm of working remotely. Those businesses that were able to adapt utilized impromptu work-from-home strategies and many of them quickly saw that running a company from remote leadership, with remote teams, takes a whole new set of unique protocols, tools, and skills. However, remote work can and will yield the same business success, if not even greater, when properly implemented.
We have been operating on a remote and hybrid work model at Fully Accountable for the better part of a decade. What we have learned in that time has allowed us to increase our profit margin by 100% each year. We have proven that remote and hybrid work models can work in long-term situations, and benefit both employee and business owners. Now, we’re going to share our top insights and tips from this remote leadership journey that you can apply to enhance your business.
Efficiency and communication in a remote work environment must be highly self-managed on an employee level, and individuals that will be a good fit for these remote roles must be extremely self-motivated and proactive. This does not mean we suggest a laissez-faire management relationship, far be it from that. Remote leadership requires protocols and tools in place that assist in communication and transparency of work being completed. For example, we have developed proprietary software that we use to manage our own back office. All employees and their workloads “live” in this space, whether they are in-house, remote, or hybrid (employees who work partially in-office and partially remote).
Of course, goals and objectives must be clearly communicated, and regular video meetings with the team as a whole, and round robins with each department, help keep all of the remote teams aligned and connected while looping in executive leadership for summaries. We have found this to be a highly efficient use of both our time, as the leadership, and that of our employees. Which brings us to our next topic: Maintaining a proper balance.
Remote work has been loudly praised by many of those who meandered into it without choice during the pandemic, for greatly increasing their quality of work-life balance. Suddenly, people were able to balance some very key basic needs in their daily lives outside of the workplace, while maintaining productivity and efficiency! Now, unsurprisingly, an alarmingly large amount of these newly adapted remote workers, an amount far higher than the majority, do not want to return to the office full time. What this means, is that to be able to attract and retain quality talent, you just might need to consider meeting these new demands for remote and hybrid work models.
Lastly, but not least, is the importance of a thriving remote company culture. Let’s face it, conjuring up culture virtually is not nearly the same as having hip decorated high-tech offices, and it’s not like that casual talk and organic social interaction that happens over the smoothie machine in the breakroom can occur. We have always held live events that would bring both our remote teams and in-house employees together to meet in person, all expenses paid of course, and these became some of the most celebrated traditions that we found ourselves looking forward to throughout the year. Herein enters the drastic and obvious decrease in all social gatherings since early 2020, which led to so many planned trips and networking events being canceled.
Want to know what we did to adapt even further to this new hyper-remote culture during a lockdown? We simply said, the show must go on and shifted our physical events to hosting them online. Video conferencing platforms can be used for more than just meetings, after all, and can serve as wonderful opportunities to bring your remote teams as close to in-person communication as possible. We just recently held our annual employee retreat virtually with a full schedule of events, live music, and speakers, and even a swag bag mailed out safely after attendance. There was dancing and joking, and given the right encouragement, a truly social environment the entire team was able to enjoy and participate in was created in that virtual space.
All in all, a company and its employees can not only survive with remote work and hybrid work models, they can thrive! A certain attention to new details must be observed, but with keen remote leadership, a permanent remote team of employees, and/or a hybrid team of employees, could be the best complement to your increased success yet.