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The Benefits of Remote Work

By | May 5, 2023

Whether it’s for work or play, remote work is taking hold. It is the preferred work style for a large segment of the workforce including employees, contractors and freelancers.

For a successful remote work experience, good communication is key. Check out tools like virtual whiteboards like Miro to collaborate with your team.

1. Flexibility

For employees, flexibility is all about work-life balance. Working from home allows employees to spend more time with family and friends, pursue hobbies, or even start a side hustle. It also eliminates the stress of commuting and allows them to focus on their job. As such, it’s an effective way to boost employee satisfaction and retention.

For businesses, flexible arrangements can reduce costs and increase productivity. Employees save on gas and commuting fees, and companies save on office space, equipment, stationary, and technology. They also cut down on energy expenditures and the cost of printing, heating, cooling, and lighting workspaces.

Studies by Gallup Research, The University of Melbourne, and Harvard Business School have all found that remote workers are more productive. This could be due to a number of factors: being able to set their own schedules, reducing distractions by staying at home, and avoiding interruptions from coworkers.

However, it is important for managers to monitor remote employees to ensure that their work quality is up to par and that they are not wasting their time or falling behind on critical tasks. Additionally, it’s a good idea to provide clear guidelines and training for new remote workers, so they feel comfortable in the role.

A wide variety of communication tools for remote teams make it possible to form strong bonds despite being physically far apart. It’s also easy to connect with coworkers from other parts of the world and explore new cultures, and you can learn from colleagues’ unique perspectives and experiences. In addition, removing the need to live within a certain commuting distance from the office enables employers to hire more diverse and inclusive teams.

2. Independence

It’s important to understand the different ways remote work can be defined. While “work from home” or “telework” are often used to refer to a full-time job, the term can also encompass other types of telework such as part-time and flexible arrangements.

Regardless of the definition, the ability to work remotely is becoming increasingly popular among employers and employees alike. It’s not only a great option for those who need flexibility with their schedule but also offers many benefits that aren’t available in an office setting.

While some jobs require a physical presence (think surgeons and gardeners), most knowledge worker positions are suited for remote work. A good internet connection and collaboration apps make it possible to communicate effectively, no matter the location or time zone.

However, some people find it difficult to work without a physical office, and for those who are more introverted or need regular human contact, working at home can be challenging. It’s also important to set healthy boundaries, which may include limiting interactions with kids or the overly talkative UPS driver, and scheduling time for workouts, meal prep, and snoozes.

There is also a trend toward borderless remote work, which offers companies the opportunity to hire talent from around the world. This can help boost diversity, equity, and inclusion while allowing teams to work with talented individuals from various locations. It can be tricky to manage, but with the right policies and support systems in place, this type of remote work can lead to more productive outcomes.

3. Accountability

The most important aspect of accountability when working from home is setting clear goals and expectations for remote employees. Managers should provide their teams with a clear work-from-home policy that sets out specific guidelines for how to communicate and what tasks are expected from each employee.

The policies set out by managers should also include the performance standards for which each worker should be held accountable and a time frame for how long it should take to complete projects. This ensures that remote workers know how long they have to complete a task, and allows managers to monitor their progress and provide them with assistance when necessary.

In addition, it is vital that remote workers be aware of the importance of tracking their own productivity. This includes ensuring they are meeting deadlines and that they are working efficiently to produce the best results for the company. Managers should be sure to provide their team with the tools they need to do this effectively, such as remote work software programs that allow employees to track time spent on projects and other important details.

Another way to promote accountability among remote employees is by encouraging regular meetings and communication between members of the team. When everyone is able to meet face-to-face, they can share ideas and collaborate effectively in a way that would be difficult with remote work.

The COVID-19 pandemic led to many organizations implementing remote work policies for their workforces. However, the transition to a remote work model can be complicated for some companies and requires new skills, technology, and processes to be successful. Managers who wish to successfully implement a remote work policy should focus on hiring self-disciplined candidates with strong communication and time management skills, and create a clear plan for how to support them in a virtual environment.

4. Collaboration

In a remote work environment, it’s important for teams to communicate and collaborate effectively regardless of where they are located. Modern-day remote software tools allow teams to do just that, bringing dispersed employees together to achieve company goals. And in the post-pandemic world, these tools are more than just a nice-to-have; they’re essential for business success and continuity.

Effective remote collaboration requires more than just a good internet connection and a set of reliable communication tools. It also requires a strong culture that prioritizes communication and collaboration, and clear guidelines for team members to follow. This is especially critical in the early stages of remote work, when there can be a lot of learning and adjustment.

The most common challenges to effective remote collaboration are related to the physical distance, the affinity distance, and the operational distance between team members. The physical distance is the geographic difference in team locations, ranging from a coffee shop in New York to a beach in Thailand. The affinity distance refers to the emotional and interpersonal connections between team members, such as trust and unity. The operational distance is the amount of time it takes for a team to reach consensus and complete projects.

The first step in overcoming these challenges is to create an online workspace that connects teammates across geographical boundaries. For example, a digital collaboration platform like Paperform allows team members to communicate with one another via simple online forms. You can create employee satisfaction surveys, feedback forms, self-assessments, and more. Paperform also has a suite of automation tools that can handle everything from onboarding to project management, so you can focus on the tasks at hand.

5. Flexibility

Some remote jobs offer greater flexibility than others. For example, if you’re an independent contractor who chooses when your work day starts and ends, you have a flexible job. But even with a flexible schedule, your remote job requires strong communication and collaboration tools. For instance, you’ll need a reliable Internet connection to support the video calls and files needed for collaboration. You also need the right home environment to be productive and comfortable, such as a quiet place free of distractions.

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As employees demand increased flexibility in their work, leaders need to make sure they’re using flexible arrangements effectively. They should avoid treating flex work like an ad-hoc work-life accommodation that workers can request whenever they want. Instead, they should establish clear guidelines for the kind of flexible work that will be expected and encourage employees to embrace these arrangements.

Flexible work is a growing trend, especially for people with aging parents or young children to care for. Women who have childcare responsibilities are particularly well-positioned to take advantage of this flexibility and can retain their jobs with the added benefits of being able to balance work and family responsibilities.

In addition, remote work can be a great option for people with special circumstances, such as the elderly or chronic health conditions. These arrangements can be used to accommodate their needs while allowing them to continue to contribute to the organization’s success.

However, as many people return to the office, there’s an opportunity for companies to establish flexible work as the norm rather than an exception. This will require a commitment from leaders to provide the right kind of support for people who work remotely, and a willingness to experiment with new models.