Remote work is a growing phenomenon. Some of the world’s largest companies, including Spotify and Quora, allow their employees to choose the location where they’d like to work from—and they won’t be the last.

Letting employees work outside the office has several benefits for refocusing time, increasing productivity, and prioritizing personal well-being.

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According to Harvard Business Review research, working from home during COVID-19 lockdowns led to employees spending 9% more time with customers and external partners and 12% less time in meetings.

But that’s not to say that remote work doesn’t pose several challenges, miscommunication, project delays, and isolation are all possible byproducts.

So, how can businesses begin working with remote teams to maximize the associated benefits? Let’s take a look.

7 Successful remote working strategies for long term

Remote working is about copying your in-office operations from a different location. Here’s how you can develop a successful remote working strategy.

1. Schedule regular catch-ups

Buffer and AngelList publish a new edition of their State of Remote Work report every year. In the 2021 report, 16% of survey participants cited loneliness as their biggest struggle when working remotely. A further 16% said they struggled with communication and collaboration the most.

buffer state of remote work

Companies can reduce the number of employees suffering from these effects by scheduling regular catch-ups. These don’t have to belong. In most cases, 10 minutes per session is probably enough. Moreover, catch-ups can be scheduled periodically; once or twice per week should do the job.

By scheduling regular check-ins, teams can ensure that projects continue moving forward without unexpected delays. Moreover, they can build a sense of togetherness and camaraderie—increasing engagement and reducing feelings of isolation.

2. Set clear communication expectations

There are many  📢 communications platforms to choose from. According to m.io’s 2019 Workplace Messaging Report, the average surveyed professional used 3.3 workplace chat apps. Moreover, 91% of businesses used a minimum of two messaging apps.

Using more than one messaging app allows teams to fine-tune their communications. Employees can stop important information from getting lost in lengthy email threads, and each platform may serve a unique purpose. However, if teams don’t strategize the communications platforms, managing multiple apps can overwhelm and cause burnout.

Naturally, remote work requires team members to communicate via digital means. To maximize efficiency, teams must ensure that they set clear expectations about which platforms to use for specific forms of communication.

3. Trust your employees

In physical workplaces, trust is one of the most critical factors for companies to keep their employees engaged. Micromanaging and oppressive oversight can have huge implications; 68% of employees in the Workforce Institute’s “Trust in the Modern Workplace” report said that trust directly impacts their daily performance on the job.

Furthermore, performance isn’t the only reason trust is essential. Almost a quarter of employees in the same research said they left a company because they didn’t feel trusted, and departing employees means losing high-quality talent and spending time and money on hiring replacements.

When working remotely, creating a trust-based environment is even more critical. Businesses can achieve this by maintaining transparency on all processes and encouraging open and direct feedback.

Companies will empower employees to produce better work by creating a trusting environment. Team members will also be more likely to share any problems they’re having, which helps solve issues before they become significant.

4. Motivate through recognition

Employees have always wanted more from their jobs than a steady paycheck, and one of the most critical components in employee engagement is recognition.

Recognizing employees’ achievements doesn’t always mean a promotion (though if they’ve consistently produced exceptional work, businesses should consider this). Often, acknowledging and celebrating accomplishments is enough on its own.

When working remotely, it’s good to bring team members together once a week and get everybody to share their greatest wins. Even the little victories are important, and recognizing employees’ commitment and good work will motivate them to go above and beyond.

5. Focus on work and wellness balance

Remote working—and the lack of commuting that comes with it—has freed up many employees to enjoy more leisure time. And as this has happened, the importance of balancing work with personal wellness has become more evident.

While rest is important outside of work time, it’s equally important during the day. Humans aren’t wired to focus intensely for eight hours, and regular breaks are necessary for ensuring that employees can give their all on each task.

Perhaps the most overlooked workday necessity is taking a lunch break.

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According to research by Forbes, employees who took a lunch break were happier and more satisfied than those who didn’t.

Managers need to ensure that team members take several breaks when working remotely. They should also check in to see that employees get adequate rest and schedule some time to switch off and recuperate. Encouraging rest can result in greater productivity and higher levels of happiness.

6. Get the right software systems in place

Businesses today are blessed by the volume of technology available to simplify workflows and increase efficiency. And for companies spread across several locations, reducing as much manual work as possible is vital if they want to make remote working a long-term success.

Areas where companies should consider using software to automate or simplify work processes:

It’s also worth using software to help team members track paid time off and manage sales and marketing analytics. By using technology to streamline workflows and automate processes, remote teams will have more time to focus on more critical tasks. For example, overtime calculator can be a huge help, allowing you to plan your budget and precisely calculate your employees' overtime hours.

7. Fine-tune your remote work strategy to achieve long-term success

Remote work is here to stay, and several companies worldwide have now implemented either wholly or partly remote working agreements. Both businesses and employees can benefit significantly from these structures as long as they prepare accordingly.

Conclusion

If teams want to succeed with remote work, building trust, encouraging communication, and setting clear expectations are essential. Putting suitable systems in place is also necessary, and so is reminding employees of the importance of rest and their well-being. By meeting all of these needs, businesses will continue to succeed—no matter where they are.

Empuls omnichannel solutions give your employees a way to virtually connect with peers, recognize good work, align with company goals, speak up, be heard, and help shape their company culture. A platform to truly engage your remote and hybrid workforce through connection, motivation, and feedback.

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Dean Mathews

Dean Mathews LinkedIn

Dean Mathews is the founder and CEO of OnTheClock, an employee time tracking app. He enjoys expanding his faith, spending time with family, friends, and finding ways to make the world a little better.