The coronavirus pandemic has forced many companies to operate remotely; during subsequent lockdowns and imposed social distancing, it was either this or nothing. While some came back to offices as soon as possible, for other businesses, it turned out to be such an excellent solution they decided to keep it that way.
Running a fully remote company has a long list of benefits, including convenience, cost-effectiveness, eco-friendliness, and flexibility — among other things. However, many factors need to be considered to ensure your business will thrive, and all the operations will keep going smoothly. No matter whether you are a digital marketing agency in Glasgow or a software house in New York, going remote without analyzing these factors and coming up with a solid plan of action is simply not an option.
From investing in the right tools and scheduling regular check-ins and meetings to establishing clear communication channels, staying empathetic and flexible, and encouraging remote team-building — below, you will find five tips for running a successful remote business.
Implement the Necessary Tools
For remote work to be successful, it is crucial to implement the necessary tools for it. In doing so, you will be able to stay in touch with your team members and ensure transparency and accountability, regardless of whether you run a PR firm Pennsylvania, a consultancy firm in Delaware, or an online shop in Wisconsin. Other than that, you can invest in solutions that will allow you to fax online, market your brand more efficiently, and increase your client base.
A few vital tools you should consider are:
A project management system, such as Workast, Basecamp or Trello will allow you to track project progress and stay on top of deadlines.
A cloud-based document storage service like Google Drive or Dropbox to share files and documents.
A communication platform such as Slack or Zoom to facilitate effective teamwork.
A social media management service, such as Hootsuite or Buffer will help you monitor your brand reputation across different social media channels.
A virtual assistant service, such as Zirtual or Fancy Hands, will help you delegate tasks and save time.
Schedule Regular Check-Ins and Meetings
While communicating is essential for successful teamwork and coordination, it is also vital to schedule regular meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page and updates are being shared. At least once a week, schedule a meeting with your entire remote team to share updates and collect feedback.
Additionally, schedule meetings with each team member individually to check in with them, see how they are doing, and offer them help if they need it. Doing this will keep everyone on the same page and help prioritize tasks effectively. And if your company is too large for that, have your managers and team leaders check in on their team members, then meet up with the management yourself.
Excel at Task Management and Delegation
Organizing your activities and delegating tasks are essential to ensuring your business performs at the highest level. Though it is important for all companies – remote or otherwise – incorrect task management can create problems in an entirely virtual environment.
This is mainly due to the fact that you do not have an in-person view of how your employees work, what they are doing, and if they are all staying on task. If you neglect it, you can easily start delegating too few or too many tasks, which is just as bad.
Luckily, there are a few simple tips to streamline and optimize your task management.
Delegate tasks according to individual skills and abilities. Do not give someone a task they are not capable of completing or do not have the necessary skills for.
Set deadlines for each task and make sure to communicate them clearly to your employees.
Create a central task repository where all tasks are stored and can be easily accessed. This can be a simple Excel spreadsheet or an online project and/or task management tools like Workast, Asana or Trello.
In case you need to assess the progress of specific tasks, consider investing in a time-tracking solution like RescueTime or DeskTime.
Encourage Remote Team-Building
Team-building is essential to the success of any business that strives to become more than just a bunch of people involved in monetary transactions. It is crucial to encourage it as much as possible, even if you work remotely. For example, you can organize a virtual team-building activity such as a scavenger hunt or play office bingo.
While it is definitely possible to form a great team while working remotely, the lack of in-person interaction can be detrimental to the success of your organization. Encouraging a little bit of team-building will help with that. It is all up to you to come up with interesting ideas — as long as everyone has fun and gets to know each other better outside of work, remote team-building is something you should look into.
Stay Empathetic and Flexible
Maintaining a good relationship with your employees is crucial to the success and longevity of your remote business. Even though you are not sharing the same office, you should make sure that your employees feel comfortable, acknowledged, and appreciated.
To make this happen, you need to be flexible and understanding. For example, if you have an employee who is new to remote work or who has not yet mastered all the required communication tools and techniques, spend time with them and help them work through any issues they may be having. Also, remember that you do not always have to give them instructions and assignments — sometimes, all they need is a friendly pat on the back.
And while it goes without saying, try to be as empathetic as possible towards your employees, especially when they experience difficulties and challenges. Doing so will help foster trust, which is essential for a successful remote company.
Establish Clear Communication Channels
Finally, to ensure that all communication is effective and efficient, it is crucial to establish clear communication channels. Not only will this allow you to reach the entire team and get in touch with any of its members, but it will also make it easy for everyone to share updates, send files, and ask questions.
Moreover, your employees need to know how to address specific issues, questions, or doubts and how to communicate with people from other teams or departments. Keeping communication transparent will help reduce the risk of misunderstandings and miscommunication, which is crucial for smooth operations.
Keep in mind that the level of communication you want to establish will depend on the remote work culture and the size of your company, so be sure to stay consistent.
Invest in Employee Training and Development
A fantastic way to ensure that everyone poses the necessary skills, knowledge, and qualifications is to invest in employee training and development. Doing so will not only keep your employees on top of their game and help them improve their performances and results, but it will also keep them motivated to stay with your company and improve their working habits and behavior.
To get the most value out of employee training, you should consider investing in a long-term plan. That way, you can offer training courses that strategy, leadership, financial management, and marketing, which are relevant for all employees, regardless of their position or job description. And by getting everyone involved, you can establish a company-wide learning culture that will help everyone stay ahead of the competition and improve their skillsets.
It is especially important in a remote company; you certainly don't want your employees to feel neglected, otherwise, they won't stay with you for long.
Additionally, try to offer personalized training courses on topics related to their specific position and job description. Doing so will help ensure that your employees possess the advanced skills and knowledge necessary to excel in their area of expertise and contribute to the success of the company.
Provide Equipment if Necessary
If some of your team members are working remotely, it is up to you to make sure they have access to the necessary equipment and resources. You can offer them a stipend, or you can buy the equipment yourself. Depending on your industry and the nature of your staff’s daily responsibilities, the necessary equipment may include:
A work laptop,
A work phone,
A printer and scanner,
A desk and office chair,
An ergonomic keyboard,
An ergonomic mouse,
Another great way to facilitate better remote work for your employees is by giving them a stipend for their home office. This will give them the opportunity to purchase their own equipment, set up their home office in a way that suits them, and work more comfortably.
The Bottom Line
There you have it — five essential tips for running a successful remote company! They can help you achieve your company’s goals and thrive in the competitive market. All you need to do is follow the tips mentioned above and enjoy their benefits.
Remember that running a fully remote business has many potential benefits and advantages, but it also involves long-term planning and careful considerations. To ensure success, implement the necessary tools, schedule regular meetings, encourage team-building, stay empathetic and flexible, and establish clear communication channels.
Implementing these solutions will help you run your business smoothly and efficiently. Plus, it will also help you keep your employees happy and engaged. Good luck!