It seems that the era of an entire team huddling together in the same conference room at the same time are long gone and remote working is something which has seen a significant rise in recent years, with the so-called ‘telecommuters’ making up at least part of many businesses’ workforce across the globe.
In defining a “telecommuter,” the term refers to an employee who works outside of a traditional office environment, often from a home office. A telecommuter utilizes technology (like Skype and GoToMeeting) to connect the rest of their team — their colleagues.
Working in a “virtual office” environment is more of a norm than an exception.
It is reported that one in five workers across the globe telecommute from outside the workplace. A research conducted by Stanford University has indicated that those who work away from home are over 13% more productive than their traditional office-based counterparts. The reason is simple: telecommuters enjoy more job satisfaction.
For the employer, it provides a broader (and more global) room for skilled, talented and qualified people, because location is no longer a deterrent or a cost factor when recruiting employees.
And as for the employee, the “virtual office” life provides a room for a much better balance between work and other things like family and their own interests. Besides, a working in a virtual office environment doesn’t require one to work on a fixed and restricted schedule, giving the employees more flexibility. And when there’s flexibility, it results to increased productivity and improved job satisfaction.
We cannot discount that increased productivity and job satisfaction are fantastic benefits that telecommuters enjoy. But they’re not, by any means, the only reasons why so many companies are choosing to allow employees to work from the comfort of their own homes the majority of the working week.
Whilst some disagree, it’s clear that remote working can offer a business and its employees a wealth of benefits. To many people though, these things are still unclear. Get the right team and the right manager, however, and there’s no reason at all why it can’t work and bring with it a change for the better.
Removing geographical recruitment barriers
Apart from job satisfaction and productivity, one of the other reasons why remote working has become so popular is the fact that recruiting talent becomes easier. Geographical barriers are quickly broken down, so long as a competitive financial package is on offer, the opportunity to hire the very best and most qualified persons for the certain positions becomes highly possible.
Several problems commonly associated with recruiting an office-based team member do not exist when employing remotely. But as you’d expect, managing employees spread out across different towns, countries or continents, can test even the most experienced and seasoned managers.
Making remote management a little easier
There are, however, a number of approaches which those managing a remote team can make use of to make the task a bit easier and, in many instances, it’s simply about following processes.
Managing a remote team starts at the recruitment stage and is an ongoing process but when it’s done well, it’s a way of working which can, ultimately, benefit all parties involved.
If you’ve not tried it, you need to give it a go and if you’ve tried it but found it unsuccessful, you need to give it another go. Managing a remote team is very different, in practice, to managing an office-based team and, as such, it can take time for management styles to change and an individual to get the most out of his or her team.
How to successfully manage a remote team
SilverDoor recently launched an infographic titled ‘10 Ways To Successfully Manage A Team Whilst Working Remotely’ which offers 10 fantastic, actionable tips for those managers getting to grips with the right approach to managing a team in this way to utilise on a day to day basis.
Why don’t you take a moment and have a look at the infographic below and then start to work out how you can utilize the tips in your own management approach, growing the success of your own remote team?
Ultimately, remote working looks set to continue to grow over the coming years as connectivity increases even further and more and more businesses start to understand the benefits which this, now-proven, approach brings with it.