Around 74% of workers in the US say that they would be less likely to leave a company that encourages working remotely. So running a 100% remote business seems like a no-brainer, right?
Well, keeping your employees happy is a great start but there is a lot more to running a remote company. You need to switch a lot of your regular processes to online-only and remote teams present unique challenges that you wouldn’t have in an office.
But with dedication and the right guidance, you’ll find the best remote work solution for your business to make it a success. Want to know how to do that? These tips will help you get started!
1. Make a Remote Work Business Plan
If you have an existing business that you want to transition to remote, you might not see the need to create a new remote work business plan.
But your financial projections likely look different without the overheads you have in an office. You’ll have new responsibilities for your employees and your entire company summary will be different.
Start your new remote workplace setup the right way by creating a fresh business plan. It will help turn your aspirations and dreams for your remote business into a reality.
2. Choose the Best Software and Hardware
Remote businesses live and die on fast WiFi connectivity. But their quality of life depends on the software and hardware that you and your employees use.
Every single employee needs a great laptop whether it’s their own or one your company will provide. If your remote employees will be home-based, they may need printers, scanners, and smartphones.
You will also need to choose the best software for your remote work toolkit. Your remote work toolkit should include:
- Emailing platform
- Conference/video call platform
- Instant messaging platform
- Cloud and file sharing service
- Taskboard platform
- Time-keeping software
Depending on your business, you may need to make more software decisions. For example, if you have a graphic design business or accountancy business you will all need to use the same art and finance software. This will ensure your team can collaborate easier and there are fewer technical issues.
3. Create a Remote Onboarding Process
Hiring remote workers is a different process from hiring in-person employees. So, you should create a remote onboarding plan.
As well as posting job adverts on sites like LinkedIn and Indeed, post to remote job sites like Remote.co and We Work Remotely. Use video conferencing to host job interviews and create contracts that allow new employees to sign with a digital signature. Make training videos and documents for every software you use and create a digital company handbook.
Make sure you (or your department heads) check in with new employees more than you would in an office. They are less likely to reach out in a remote business if they have a question or a problem.
4. Create Clear Communication Guidelines
Speaking of checking in, clear communication methods are vital in a remote business. Don’t assume that your employees all have the same ideas about what information should be in an email and what should be a video call. Create communication guidelines so nothing important gets overlooked.
Instant messages should be for general office chit-chat and “happy birthday” type messages. Your employees should not send anything work-related or important through this method.
Use email for detailed breakdowns of projects and relaying facts and figures. Employees could also send videos so employees can watch at their own pace.
Video conferencing, presentations, and meetings should be for collaborative communication. Virtual meetings can be more draining than in-person meetings so only schedule meetings when they are necessary.
But you should have at least one whole-company meeting (or several team meetings if you have a big remote business) every week. Your teams must have a good rapport and familiarity if they are to work well together.
5. Set Clear Company and Team Goals
One of the potential pitfalls of running a remote business is that it’s easy for one person to misread an email with a vital piece of information. That’s why you need to use a task board so that everyone in your business or team can see what the company goals are.
For example, you can create a board in productivity software that lists your business’s weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals. Your teams can break down these goals into tasks and delegate them to different employees. This will allow you to see that everyone is working towards your goals so you don’t need to micro-manage.
6. Cultivate a Positive Remote Work Culture
As a business owner, you know that keeping existing employees is far preferable to hiring new ones. If you have hard-working and skilled staff then you should do everything you can to keep them by fostering a great remote work culture.
The remote web workplace setup is already appealing to many workers, but there are downsides. Some employers and employees expect their colleagues to be available 24/7 and to work longer hours since they don’t need to commute. Shun these bad working habits by setting a good example and telling your employees that this isn’t acceptable.
You can still do a lot of the social aspects of office culture even though you have a remote business. Celebrate everyone’s birthday by giving them a day off work instead of a birthday card and slice of cake.
And you can still host an office Christmas party! Send your employees a gift package with a party hat and bottle of wine and celebrate with a virtual quiz.
Never Stop Learning When Running a Remote Business
The world of remote work is still changing all the time. When running a remote business, it’s important to keep improving your skills and learning about the latest practices.
And it’s important to seek expert advice and support too. Remote Work Made Simple knows the ins and outs of managing remote teams and running a remote workplace. We specialize in fixing productivity and communication issues in remote businesses plus so much more.
Check out our website for tailor-made remote work assessments to help your remote business thrive.