Remote work is here to stay for all the advantages it brings to both employers and employees. Tagged as ‘Future of work’, it helps to cut down on costs for the company and provides better work-life balance to the employees with enhanced productivity. India’s largest IT employer Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) aims to have 75 percent of its employees working remotely by 2025. The companies that traditionally believed Remote work isn’t possible for their business model are now thinking about it.
That being said, setting up a remote infrastructure and scaling isn’t always easy. From top management, team managers to the remote employees each one is plagued with some difficulties that affect their output. It is important to know them and avoid the mistakes at each level. For some people, communication is the hurdle and for others, it might be feeling valued or recognized within the company. We have been helping various companies across the globe hire remote talent with a growing developer community and experimenting with distributed teams. We have a fair idea as to what needs your attention while going fully remote. Here are some of the remote work mistakes that you have to avoid in each category to make a successful venture.
1. Bad Hiring Practice
Mistakes in hiring for your remote work can prove very costly in more than one aspect. The US Department of Labor estimates that it costs 30 percent of the employee’s first-year earnings in case of a bad hire. Not just that, a survey conducted by Career Builder, 74 percent of the companies lost at least $14900 per poor hire. Again the costs attached are proportional to hierarchy in positions within the company. If it was not just for financial loss, a Robert Half International study stated 34 percent of the CFO’s said bad hires cost them on productivity.
Therefore, companies should embrace better hiring practices to avoid this mistake. Want to know a thing or two about hiring remote talent the right way, read this article.
2. Not using better tools
Honestly, there’s no remote work possible without the right set of tools in place. Remote work is enhanced by the type of tools you use across the organization. For example, Communication forms a big part of remote work. In order to communicate effectively with the employees, you have to find a tool that serves your purpose based on the number of employees in the company and the features you would like to have in a communicating tool. Likewise, there are great tools for productivity, work management, and timekeeping. The more you use the tools suiting your requirements, the better the output.
3. Ignoring Soft-skills over Technical expertise
For a tech-enabled or tech-driven company, hiring for tech positions is a primary task. However, soft-skills play an essential role when it comes to working remotely. A candidate who performs excellently in your technical assessments and is not up to the mark with communication skills, is clearly a not good hire for your company especially in remote work.
To put it the right way, both technical expertise and soft skills are necessary in a candidate in order to work efficiently in the remote work environment.
4. No Onboarding process in place
Onboarding new recruits goes a long way in creating a positive first impression to an employee about your organization. Without an onboarding process in place, new employees feel uncomfortable in the company.
By introducing new recruits to their team members via video conferencing, sending the welcome kit with a letter makes candidates feel good about their decision to join your company. Therefore, have an onboarding process for new recruits to provide a great start to their new opportunity with your company.
Individuals who choose to work remotely throughout the year need to avoid some mistakes as well to feel right about their decision. If you are somebody who’s joining a company as a fresher in the remote setup, it can be very challenging.
But if you keep in mind to avoid these mistakes, you should be sailing through this
1. Not having a dedicated work setup at house
Working from home is a perk that remote workers enjoy. But, the privilege may soon turn out into unproductive work hours if not taken seriously.
By serious I mean getting started with basic things like setting up a proper working space within the house. Arranging a table, a comfortable chair, a reliable internet source, and setting them up away from the disturbance zone at home surely helps. You got to consider it like a mini-office at home and get started with your work every day. This keeps you motivated to work and you are less likely to get distracted from what’s happening outside.
2. Working in Pajamas or random dresses
It might sound funny yet it is an important point to consider when working remotely. Dressing every day in a proper casual attire for work makes a big difference. It is not just to look professional on call with your team every now and then, but also has a psychological perspective to it.
Working in your pajamas or track pants makes you comfy with things around you and brings in laziness to sit on the couch with your laptop etc.
Rather dressing properly keeps you away from all such habits during the work hours
3. Not planning the day well
Working remotely from home is very enticing but filled with distractions all around you. There’s always a temptation to get carried away with things that are less important than work.
Hence, planning your work and nonwork hours each day will make a big difference in how much you accomplish on a daily basis. Scheduling regular short breaks for a cup of coffee or relaxing with some good music in between the work hours boosts your productivity greatly.
4. Not communicating with the Team
If there’s one thing that’s more stressed upon in remote work, it is Communication. Working alone to avoid distractions is a good thing but too much of hanging out on your own hampers your productivity.
A report from Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM), stated that 88 percent of remote workers struggled with miscommunication.
Be active on the slack groups or on-call with your team members communicating about the project details, discussing priorities and ways to tackle problems you encounter while working. This not only helps you avoid mistakes by staying focussed but also enhances productivity.
1. Employee Burnouts
Remote work sometimes demands more from the employee side and in the process employees clock in hours beyond their regular time. It is important that managers are aware of and keep track of the workload of people under them. Too much or too little work can have its own effect on an employee.
Therefore, always communicate with the team members, encourage them to give their best without causing burnouts.
2. Not setting standards
In remote work, as a manager you have to walk the talk. Respecting each other’s time and work-life balance will play a big role in managing your remote team. You can’t expect your team to show up at an exact time for a conference call when you arrive ten minutes late. Similarly, never push tasks to your team during the weekends when you talk highly of encouraging work-life balance at your organization. It is not going to help either way and your employees start to have mixed opinions.
Therefore setting standards along with your team brings everybody on the same page. Clearly define and convey what’s acceptable and what’s not within the company
3. Not connecting with the team on a personal level
For managers, it is very important to explore the human side of their team. It’s not always about work expectations and meeting the project deadlines. Empathy is a good thing to have with the team.
Make them feel like their opinions are heard and respected beyond work. Understanding teams on a personal level builds a good foundation to manage people better. They feel confident to approach you seeking a solution to any problem and open up to a larger extent than before.
Moreover, they stop hesitating to share their views, feedback with you for the fear of feeling judged or talked about.
4. Only work with No scope for growth & career advancement
Most employees often join your company with a vision to contribute and grow within your company. Big companies have grown rapidly over the past few decades because they invested in their employees’ growth in order to prosper.
Generally, the growth of employees isn’t given a bigger thought and it might just slip off the mind in the case of remote employees.
Therefore, managers should regularly take time to have one on one discussion with each employee about their career goals and future growth in the company. And also motivate your remote employees to upskill and assure them of a promotion as their career progresses at your company.
This brings more transparency in the way you operate with employees and boosts their morale in their work
It is a human tendency to make mistakes but only those who correct them succeed in their field. Every organization is constantly on a learning curve on all its fronts- be it managing employees, expenditures, choosing clients, and new projects, or hiring new people.
Avoid these pitfalls to make remote work more successful, efficient, and productive at your organization!
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