Go remote to go global: Why it's time to embrace the remote workplace
The last three years have proven that organizations don't need workers in the same location or an office setup to get things done. While the pandemic accelerated the rise of remote work, it was an upcoming trend already growing in popularity.
Talent organizations that facilitate remote work by equipping organizations with the best technologists from around the world had already emerged, so when the pandemic hit, they played a significant role in enabling organizations to transition to the remote workplace quickly. A recent Gartner survey reported that 58% of organizations employ technologists in a fully remote borderless arrangement.
Working remotely has been found to have many benefits for employees, organizations, and the business environment.
The most impactful benefits include:
Better time management.
Reduced carbon emissions.
A healthier work-life balance.
Communication, work management, and knowledge management tools also evolved to accommodate the demands of the remote workplace. Below are focus areas where we can use remote work strategically.
Winning with distributed teams - Before remote work, distributed teams faced many communication challenges, communication tool limitations, and distractions in their work environment. Allowing everybody to join the conversation remotely improves collaboration since everyone contributes without limitations. We can retain the information discussed through recordings, and communication tools are now integrated to work management boards allowing one to create tasks based on action points there and then. This has increased project success significantly since work moves faster and more efficiently.
Scaling across borders at low costs - Organizations no longer need to establish offices worldwide, so as a technologist, you can get hired from almost any location and start your new role remotely. This gives organizations - and technologists - the potential to operate anytime, anywhere, in multiple time zones, allowing people to adjust their work hours to suit their lifestyle and to have an overlap where they collaborate and hand off tasks.
Effective Communication - Communication tools have evolved to accommodate remote communication needs. New features such as chat, breakout rooms, reactions, and recording have emerged, increasing productivity and offering workers the chance to advance their communication and personal management skills. Organizations can take advantage of these tools to ensure effective communication; people can record a meeting for future reference, chat after meetings to clarify anything that was not clear, and all the data is retained either in chats or recordings, and no information is lost, unlike in-person meetings or communications. Communication tools also integrate with various work management tools and help with planning, so you can create tasks and assign them from a meeting or a chat post.
Measuring productivity objectively - In an office setup, productivity is measured through perception, which includes how often one is seen and heard. This often leads to unfair rewards where the loudest, most social person is rewarded for doing only a little work, while top performers are not recognized and are therefore demotivated. With remote work, every individual will have the chance to show tangible results on a day-to-day basis and can embrace agile ways of working to help manage/track productivity and resolve issues as they occur.
Access to world-class talent and retention - Organizations can find and hire the best technologists from anywhere globally, as location is no longer a limitation. And as an employee, remote work is a measure of retention as well, aided by CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiatives that offer a sense of purpose, such as mentoring and career guidance.
High productivity - For an organization to empower its workers to be highly productive, it has to look at the things that will help employees to manage their workflow:
1. Time flexibility: As a technologist, you'll want to complete your most important work during the hours that you are most productive. For example, if you focus better at 3 a.m. or midnight, organizations should be comfortable allowing you to work at that time and offer you the chance to plan a set of hours during the normal workday when you can collaborate with your colleagues.
2. The freedom to decide where you want to work: This includes being able to them set up/organize your physical work environment in a way that sets you up for success. This means you can do the work that demands intense focus in your home office away from distractions. You can alternate between a home office and a coworking space for collaborative work.
Effective goals and expectations setting - Clear expectation setting is critical to success. Working remotely compels organizations to set clear goals focused on their mission and vision; otherwise, remote workers will not be motivated to sign in to work. In an office setup, goal and expectation setting often gets clouded by office politics. In a remote setup, you can avoid distractions such as biases and office politics and focus sharply on organizational goals. When hiring a team in a remote setup, organizations hire for a product purpose. They must ensure that their vision is crystal clear and can be broken down into practical business goals. When onboarding a remote worker, clear expectations of what is expected of them over a defined period need to be set. As a technologist, you should be able to guide your leaders or managers daily to define what is expected of you to plan your time effectively.
Good mental health is crucial to success - Poor mental health is not only a concern for working individuals. Organizations should be mindful of the impact of poor mental health on their employees and should focus on ensuring a healthy workplace for their workers. Below are some factors that often affect employees' mental health and how they can be resolved using remote work:
1. Obstacles to work execution due to biases and office politics: When we work remotely, we minimize team politics because responsibility for an activity will be assigned to an individual rather than an office. An individual can be held to account for their tasks.
2. Lack of work-life balance: Unfriendly work hours can result in stress due to a lack of time for self-development, family, and rest. When you work remotely, you avoid time being wasted on commuting and instead reinvest that extra time on your family or yourself.
3. Micromanagement - Micromanagement can stifle and upset employees, affecting company morale over time. It's not always easy to micromanage a remote team. Instead, a manager will be compelled to set clear expectations and measure progress suitable for the company.
4. Milestones on environmental preservation goals - For organizations with carbon emission reduction goals, remote work is one way to progress toward that goal. And as a technologist, there is great comfort in working for a company focused on the wellbeing of society and the planet as a whole.
As a technologist, remote work offers increasing benefits to quality of life, work-life balance, and productivity. It can also give you the option to work for a global organization, regardless of your location, opening the door to future opportunities. If you're a team leader thinking of scaling your business across borders, but are having difficulties due to finances you can still go for it by hiring remote workers in the desired geographical locations and starting operations. Besides saving costs, your business will gain in many other ways, such as high productivity, effective communication, and access to world-class talent.
While synchronous collaboration was the preferred method for many global organizations, remote work has increased the popularity of asynchronous communication. But which is more beneficial, both to employees, and to business?
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