With benefits ranging from employee satisfaction and reduced attrition to increasing productivity and saving more than USD$10,000 (over CAD$14,000) per employee, implementing a remote workforce has a lot to offer businesses of all sizes. Yet, leaders—from business owners to supervisors—are struggling with the new dynamics of managing a remote workforce.
i-Virtualize understands these pain points. Our team has always worked 100% remotely, with employees across the region and contractors across the globe. To help strengthen your leadership skills and prepare you for the “new normal” of leading remote employees, we’ve developed this list of our 10 best practices to drive remote workforce success.
1. Embrace a company culture that values everyone
Just because you don’t see your employees every day, doesn’t mean they’re not out there working hard for you. Both executives and employees—more than 80%—rank having a company culture that emphasizes everyone’s strengths, encourages mutual respect, and focuses on positive motivation is a foundation for business success.
2. Trust your employees
If you can’t trust your employees to work hard for you, then they shouldn’t be your employees. From late-night problem solvers to early bird go-getters, we all have different ways of getting the best out of ourselves. Trust your employees are giving their best for your business.
3. Empower employee productivity
Focusing on employee productivity, instead of insisting they work traditional hours, will pay off. But it’s up to you to give them the right tools to do their jobs so they can stay productive. Investments in secure access, VPN, business-centric apps, and/or 24/7 help desk support will help them do more for your success.
4. Manage Expectations with Clear Policies
Having policies regarding your expectations ensures employees know what’s expected of them and that they will be held accountable. Even if they seem like no-brainers to you—punctual responses, being on-time for meetings, achieving deadlines, and respecting their coworkers’ time—may not be so straightforward to them. Spelling it out gives everyone peace of mind.
5. Keep channels of communication open
Choose video conferences instead of audio-only phone calls so you can stay connected with employees and they can stay connected with one another. From choosing the right devices, BYOD or corporate-owned, to implementing a cloud calling solution, having the right technology in place, can keep communication flowing.
6. Make collaboration simple
Collaboration technology makes sharing files, brainstorming, innovating, and problem solving virtually easy. Workers are more productive and output is more efficient when teams collaborate and companies that promote collaborative working are 5 times as likely to be high performing. Utilizing cloud-based collaboration tools and apps, makes working together, without being together, something everyone can do.
7. Hold regular check ins
A leading issue for remote workers is feeling ignored by management. Schedule regular check-ins every other week and really engage with employees. Be sure to use a minute or two of this time to connect on a personal level before diving into business discussions.
8. Reinvest your savings
Analysts conservatively estimate that companies can save USD$11,000 (over CAD$15,000) per year for each employee that works from home part of the time. With your total workforce working from home all of the time, that can add up. Add in reduced overhead costs and you can realize even more in net savings. Think about reinvesting those savings in your tech stack, partnering with an experienced managed services provider, and amping-up your security.
9. Ensure you have the right technology in place
When the influx of employees were sent home and told to stay there, workers found that it was increasingly difficult to access business-critical applications, connect using VPN, and ensure the mobile devices they were using had enough security. Bottlenecks, security gaps, and connection issues can all be easily avoided with the right infrastructure and storage—on-premises and in the cloud—in place.
10. Maintain IT security
Hacks and ransomware are on the rise with more people accessing company data remotely. Find out what your present gaps are with a network and security assessment, so you can fill in the gaps and protect your business’s future.
i-Virtualize Empowers the Remote Workforce
i-Virtualize understands the struggles leaders face when it comes to employing a remote workforce. Even though our entire team works remotely, we’re a tight-knit group that’s 100% dedicated to our customers and their success.
We can help you make educated decisions about your technology needs and how to get the most out of your IT investment—from assessing your current infrastructure through helping you design and implement a solution that’s unique for your business to managing your IT on a daily basis. Our team’s myriad of backgrounds, knowledge, perspectives and real-world know-how positions us to creatively and affectively solve your remote workforce technology problems.
Speak to one of our engineers today, and start doing more with i-Virtualize.