Even if your company doesn’t currently have a remote work policy, there’s a good chance you’ll need to implement one in the future if you want to continue attracting the strongest talent.
Remote work is on the rise, and according to surveys, more people than ever are working away from the office to some degree. This is becoming so common that employees have begun to expect that companies will provide the option to work remotely.
This can benefit all parties involved. Obviously, employees appreciate the freedom of not having a commute. Additionally, a major Stanford study indicates that remote work policies may actually boost productivity, helping employers stay competitive.
That doesn’t mean making the switch is completely easy. You still need to ensure you can communicate with all team members. Luckily, technology makes this possible. The following are just some of the new tools companies are using to stay in touch with employees who don’t come to the office every day.
Video conferences are perfect substitutes for in-person meetings when employees are dispersed throughout the country, or even the world. Zoom.us makes holding such conferences easy, with HD-quality video and the option to join meetings via a wide range of devices. Whether your remote team members are using tablets, phones, or desktop computers, they can jump in on a video conference seamlessly.
Collaboration is key to the success of any software development team. When multiple employees are working on the same project, they need to work together frequently to check revisions, review coding, and stay up-to-date on their overall progress.
This used to make it difficult for remote teams to develop strong software. Github has changed that by offering a collaboration tool built specifically for the needs of developers. With this product, working together is easy, even when team members are working in separate locations.
Google Apps for Work
Don’t overlook the value of Google’s popular collaboration apps. Sure, they may be fairly well-known by now, but that’s simply because they offer major benefits. Whether you’re updating a spreadsheet, collaborating on a written document, or simply distributing documents to relevant team members, Google’s apps can be extremely useful. Two people can actively work on the same document at the same time despite being on opposite ends of the country. It’s easy to understand how this helps organizations with remote teams stay productive.
Turning employees into brand ambassadors is a smart way to leverage your workforce’s social media accounts to your advantage. When employees consistently share pictures and updates about the fun experiences they have working for your organization, their followers will be more likely to view your brand positively.
With Buffer, you can easily manage this side of social media marketing. Doing so doesn’t just promote positive brand awareness; it also ensures that remote workers still feel they belong to the same team. While they may not be able to interact with each other in-person every day, they can interact via social media.
Even with all these great apps and tools, there is still the element of tracking progress as a manager or executive. Evaluations or a performance management software are methods designed to track and grade your employees’ progress, which is especially helpful in this day and age of remote work.
Taking advantage of these kinds of tools is essential when switching to a remote work approach. Remember, letting employees work from home (or wherever else they wish) can be good for everyone. These resources help you adopt such policies without losing the ability to stay in constant contact.
About the Author
Baili Bigham is Content Manager at 15Five, continuous performance management software that includes weekly check-ins, OKR tracking, peer recognition, 1-on-1s, and 360° reviews. When Baili isn’t writing, you can find her binge reading a new book or strategizing ways to pet every dog in San Francisco.