The remote workforce trend shows no signs of slowing down, it has gone from mainstream to rushing river. Thanks to the internet, the very structure of work is changing, and companies are scrambling to keep up. Although there are challenges that come with hiring and organizing a remote workforce, it allows everyone more flexibility, which can help your team maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Working remotely has become increasingly common these days. There are a lot of articles, research, etc. which show statistics of remote working, however, to pinpoint the exact number is difficult since it has not been extensively studied yet. Having said that, making this change happen in India is still very challenging due to various local and statutory requirements.
What is evident today is remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world.
As per the 2020 state of remote work survey, “There’s one statistic that remains unequivocal each year: remote workers almost unanimously want to continue to work remotely (at least for some of the time) for the rest of their careers. This year, 98 percent of respondents agreed with this statement. Also, it seems that once someone gets a taste of working remotely, they tend to recommend it: 97 percent told us they would recommend remote work to others.”Working remotely is a skill. Are your majority of employees self-motivated? One needs to have a very strong work ethic to be able to become a successful remote worker. Click To Tweet
We kicked off this idea in January 2020 with all of our employees and announced that the entire Saltside office in Bangalore and the Product Development team in Colombo, Sri Lanka is going all remote.
Before an organisation decides to go fully remote, in my perspective below are the three most important points to consider:
1. Communication – Communicate as much as possible. Whether you decide to select slack as a communication channel, emails, hangouts, zoom, etc. whatever that mode may be, ensure that you have clear cut guidelines and processes around it.
2. Documentation – This is another important aspect while going remote. As you are not sitting next to each other, you can’t walk up to the person and clarify your doubts. Hence, document each and everything, even the smallest of stories. It sets up an easy reference and less disturbance amidst your focus mode.
3. Discipline – Working remotely is not everybody’s cup of tea. It is a skill. Are your majority of employees self-motivated? One needs to have a very strong work ethic to be able to become a successful remote worker. Not only the individual but as an organisation, it is important to turn self-discipline into an organisational habit and a part of company culture.
No matter how prepared you are for this change, there are always some surprises. Remote working comes with its own challenges along with the good side of it.
The good part for employees are:
- They have better flexibility in their work.
- They can choose the place they want to work from and avoid commute.
- They are able to focus higher with fewer distractions and so on.
- Employees can spend more quality time with their loved ones and take care of their personal needs when they need to be taken care of. This creates a better work-life balance.
- A highly motivated and driven workforce which will attract self-propelled talent.
- A massive talent pool to look into without losing or rejecting great people who are not based out of “X” location.
- This also has an impact on the environment via less commute means smaller environmental footprint which contributes less to the city congestion.
Now that we have mentioned the good part about being remote, let’s look into the darker aspects as well:
- There is no one to remind you to get your work done on time. You are your own motivator.
- If you are at home working alone for a longer time, it may lead to loneliness.
- I am sure there are some distractions while working in the office. However, at home, there are different sets of distractions to deal with. For example, there may be a constant bothering noise from outside, guests at home, kids – who may not understand your working hours. You may want to take a nap or watch a Netflix series, etc.
- The dependence on technology is very high. Even in office, it is the same, however, in an office, a technology fail is everyone’s problem at the same time. Here you will have to deal with it independently for that time and troubleshoot for the best possible solution.
The above are just a few examples of good and bad about remote working, there are many more factors to look into when we go deeper to study this.
It has been a month that Saltside has started the pilot phase of remote working and as per the recent survey done internally, we have almost 92% of our employees who believe that they are more productive and 86% rate their satisfaction level to be in between 8-10 on a scale of 1-10.
At the onset, this change looks promising to me. The employees are happy, positive, satisfied and are able to utilize their time more efficiently. We hope to sustain the results in the coming future. In fact, not only sustain but to work towards the betterment of employees – organisation friendly processes, policies, etc. thereby building an engaging self-driven culture.