Embracing Remote Work: Best Practices for a Successful Virtual Team

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Even before the pandemic, it was evident that an increasing number of jobs no longer required the physical presence of employees in the office. While most organizations still preserve some in-person jobs, those positions with a large amount of computer usage and paperwork are often transformed into remote work. Many people are quick to shun the idea of continuing video calls, longer than usual email threads, and a lack of seeing coworkers face-to-face, but a growing number of professionals prefer remote jobs for the flexibility and comfort offered by being able to work from home.

Remote work isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, so it’s time to embrace this phase of the technological revolution, using best practices to generate success in the physical world.

Remote Work in Practice

Nearly everyone has worked remotely at some point in time over the pandemic, and many people continue to work remotely. Industries have adapted much faster than expected to the changes afforded by the rise of virtual offices, and many positions are only available online now. Remote work can be a double-edged sword, as it is very conducive to productivity for those who are technologically inclined, but it isn’t for everyone. Most organizations today have adopted a hybrid workspace that utilizes both in-person and remote employee labor to get the job done. The recruitment team at PEG staffing can help you locate experienced professionals willing to work in both remote and in-person settings.

In practice, remote work can be a great option for positions such as accounting, information technology, software development, graphic design, writing, and sometimes even consulting. Being able to connect through online services has the benefit of reducing unnecessary travel costs and affords people the opportunity to stay at home when necessary. Remote work can be great for people who have duties at home such as childcare or attending to family matters that require proximity. For remote work to be effective, communication between employees and directors of the organization must be efficient to ensure there are no gaps in knowledge or information.

From Office to Home Office

In the transition from office to home office, it is important to keep some of the best practices of remote work in mind. Some of the major differences between in-person and remote work include communication, time, and social networks. Regular office work generally requires a large amount of instantaneous communication where misunderstandings are easily resolved as the body language of others is read. Remote work may result in challenges with communication as the connection is not always strong, and vocal tones do not always carry well over calls and emails. Time is also managed differently in both settings as the office time is generally regular, such as 9 to 5, but many remote jobs offer flexible scheduling if required meetings are attended, and hours are completed. Social networks may also be different for remote work as virtual employees have to work harder to form connections with their peers. For some, the benefits outweigh the challenges of remote work, and employers can work to improve the workforce experience by providing video call and email etiquette classes, as well as providing opportunities to socialize between in-person and virtual employees.

Something for employees to consider if they are switching to virtual careers is well-being. In the home office, it is very easy to stay stationary for longer periods than in a traditional office space, as there may be no set breaks. Being sure to stand up and walk around regularly can be a great thing for staying healthy. Additionally, investing in ergonomic equipment for your home office can pay off greatly in reducing strain and stress on your body.

Top 3 Best Practices

Being mindful of employee well-being and improving the remote office space with the best practices of effective communication, utilizing business management tools, and promoting accountability allows directors of organizations to empower their remote employees and ensure all duties are completed.

Communication Is Key

Effective communication is what makes the business world go around, especially in virtual teams. Communication is not always the easiest thing in person, and switching to remote positions can sometimes make it nearly impossible to share instructions and ideas. However, utilizing communication strategies and tools such as video conferencing software, conference calls, and collaborative workspaces can break down the communication barrier of hybrid work environments. Communication is also important in building interpersonal relationships within an organization, and these can be fostered through in-person events, online sessions, and mentoring programs to foster social networks.

Utilizing Business Management Tools

Business management tools have been innovated to integrate the hybrid work environment of many modern organizations and provide the functionality necessary to fulfill organizational needs. Depending on the sector with which your organization operates, they may use some combination of Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, and specialized software for the industry. Additionally, most employers have a system of logging hours and projects to ensure employees remain accountable and being compensated for their work even outside of the traditional office space. If your organization needs business management tools, researching options for your specific industry should be your first step.

Promoting Accountability

Accountability is something that many businesses struggle with in both their in-person and remote employees. In the remote environment, especially, accountability becomes very important as it ensures tasks are being completed on time, all members understand their roles in the team, and progress and performance are monitored. The first step to promoting accountability is setting clear expectations and goals to make sure all employees understand the tasks at hand. Additionally, making sure all team members understand their specific roles can ensure that no one has overlapping tasks. Finally, regularly monitoring performance and conducting feedback sessions can drive accountability home.

Connection at Every Level

The option to work remotely can be a great thing for people who are technologically inclined and thrive off being in their home environment for their careers. While remote work is not for everyone, it is just as necessary as in-person work and requires similar attention from the directors of an organization. To embrace remote work fully, it is necessary to build strong connections between all employees within an organization, ensure effective communication is practiced, and promote accountability within the workforce. When these measures are taken, the hybrid work environment is set up for success. If you are interested in hiring more remote or in-person positions for your organization, contact PEG Staffing!