Fully remote companies have become increasingly popular within the last few years to reduce office costs and promote a better working environment. The pandemic continues to hold much of the world on lockdown, making remote employees a necessity for many companies. The need for social distancing and working remotely doesn't need to be a bad thing. Working remotely can offer higher productivity and reduced office costs. Companies like Dell found many benefits to working remotely and put it into practice long before COVID-19 made it a requirement.
There are many benefits, including increased employee loyalty, but the true gift is the cost-effective nature of working remotely. PGI estimates that one full-time remote worker saves a company approximately $10,000 a year. CoSo suggests that when a worker is allowed to go fully remote, 77% of them are more productive than they were in an office.
Now, this doesn't mean that having remote employees or becoming an entirely remote company is free of pitfalls. Many challenges come with not being in a centralized location. It is important to hold certain practices in high regard and regulate your employees effectively, even from a distance. Let's look at the best practices for remote companies.
Having the Right Equipment for Your Employees
Having the proper technological set-up for every employee inside and outside of the office is fundamental to operating a business smoothly. It goes beyond just having high-quality computers. You'll want proper AV integration for your office and sometimes in your home if you handle large clients and projects.
With so much equipment and software on the market, it's hard to know what the best options for your company and employees are. If your company is struggling with its AV set-up and looking for managed options, Applied Global Technologies may be able to assist you in your needs.
Setting Up Effective Communication Channels
According to usefyi.com, 27% of remote workers said the most challenging part of working remotely was communication. In a regular office, you can walk up to someone's desk and ask them where they are on a project or to pitch your ideas for your next client.
Casual walk-ins aren't an option for remote office work, so how do you communicate? In recent years hundreds of communication apps have evolved to eliminate this problem. Communication clients like Slack allow a clear communication channel for all employees in separate rooms dedicated to clients and one-to-one chats.
You have many options when it comes to keeping communication channels open for your employees:
The Importance of Video Conferencing Software
Working remotely doesn't mean the absence of weekly team meetings or a reduced need to check in with your employees face-to-face. Along with clear communication comes the importance of video conferencing software. The right video conferencing platform allows for team meetings as well as one on ones.
Video communication is vital to every remote team, but their services and technology can sometimes be challenging to navigate. At Applied Global Technologies, we can manage your video and AV networks for you, eliminating the headache that so often comes with technology. There are many software options to accommodate your team, including these two popular platforms that our team frequently works with:
Cisco WebEx was acquired in 2007 and has continued to grow ever since. What makes it such a good video conferencing platform for your company is its unique security features and its sophisticated free option. For smaller companies in need of video conferencing solutions without the price tag, WebEx might be the platform for you.
The free option is available for up to three users and includes most of its premium features, including screen sharing and some recording options. It also allows for as many as 50 participants in a single meeting for up to 40 minutes. For large-scale businesses that need more, several paid packages offer unique features.
Its video quality is impressive, and the platform is easy to use. It can also easily be integrated with nearly 150 different applications, including popular business-related platforms like Slack, GSuite, and Calendly. WebEx users can schedule video calls directly from Google Calendar or Gmail.
As a bonus, WebEx offers an AI-powered assistant. The assistant can transcribe the meeting in real-time as well as take notes and set up future appointments. The company's success and competency is apparent, hosting over 6 billion video conferences per month.
Zoom is by far the most popular video conferencing solution available to date and is used by millions of companies worldwide. It has become the go-to pick for corporate meetings and schools conducting distanced learning during the pandemic.
Zoom is easy to use and makes joining a meeting a breeze. You only need to open the meeting link. It seamlessly integrates with GSuite as well as Calendly to allow you to schedule and send meeting invitations. Enjoy handy options like screen sharing and speaker view or change your background for a professional touch no matter where you are.
Finding the Right Project Management Tools
You've mastered communication and video conferencing, but that's only the first step. One of the biggest hurdles new remote companies face is keeping projects managed and documented between different team members in different time zones.
Project tools like Asana, Trello, and Click-Up allow remote companies an organizational path to easily assign tasks and move them along to the next step in the creation process without getting confused. These platforms are imperative to keep a company running smoothly.
Holding Your Employees Accountable
Most office employees hold an assumption that remote employees go to work in silk pajamas and bunny slippers. The bunny slippers might be correct, but remote employees still have a job to do. Finding creative management solutions to hold your employees accountable is an integral part of forming a successful remote company.
So how do you do this? First, instituting an employee dress code for video conferences can be an effective way to promote professionalism, at least on camera. Time management programs like Time Doctor provide built-in accountability tools for remote companies.
Time Doctor, in particular, takes screenshots of an employee's computer while monitoring their websites and creating a catalog of what and where they spend their time. You can also use Task lists and check-ins on Trello and Slack to add to an employee's accountability, so they know their projects are being tracked and manage them accordingly.
Marketing provided by Joseph Studios.