When designing our recruitment agency, we made an assumption that almost everything can be done remotely, but there are things that should be done “traditionally”, such as training, mentoring sessions, designing and discussing complex solutions in a group, or creating long-term strategies. Therefore, utilizing almost ten years of experience in the full remote work of the company’s founders, we decided to implement a hybrid model, which combines the best of the two Worlds.
In business, as in life, there is no single right way to do things. Each solution has its advantages and disadvantages, and additionally, if poorly implemented, it can potentially harm your organization.
Here is a list of 5 mistakes to avoid when designing a remote job in your company.
1. Rash employment of people from distant parts of the world.
The great thing about remote positions is that our talent pool is expanding considerably, as in theory, we don’t have to limit ourselves to local candidates. Sounds good, but before deciding on recruiting a candidate outside of your company’s city or country, ask yourself – how often does the team meet offline? What is the team’s culture like and what are its customs today? The logistics and the cost of corporate meetings, when everyone lives elsewhere, can be a real headache. They also significantly impede integration and spontaneous meetings after work.
2. Lack of consciously designed remote team culture.
You may have an amazing organizational culture that works offline, but be advised, that you won’t be able to simply translate every aspect of it into an online cooperation world. We suggest that you stand in front of the flipchart and reflect on the digital transformation of your company’s culture – new team rituals, emblems that will build a sense of community and belonging. Choosing the right tools for online communication and collaboration is very important. Without it, you can face decreased employee retention, despite offering the convenience of working from the couch.
3. Assuming that everyone has good conditions for working from home.
The fantasy of working in a garden or a cafe often appears in the movies. The truth is that in a cafe, an electric coffee grinder will effectively drown out your important Skype conversation. On the other hand, in the garden your wi-fi signal might be too weak, besides, you cannot see anything on the laptop screen in direct sunlight anyway ;-). Unfortunately, it’s not always much better inside – your employees will often only have a low coffee table or an uncomfortable dining chair at their disposal. I won’t even mention the scourge of mobile internet that took over Poland, tempting with high speeds and low prices. At Team Up, we solved these problems by offering each employee a membership in the international network of coworking offices, present in all large cities in Poland and abroad. In Warsaw alone, they offer 18 locations, so the employee can choose the one closest to his home.
4. Lack of trust in employees.
Some managers, fearing the loss of the feeling of being in control, began to over-supervise their employees, flooding their calendar with various “alignments”. As a result, the daily time for actual work is shrinking, and the efficiency of these people may deteriorate, which can lead to the phenomenon of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Setting goals, frameworks, and responsibilities is important, as is monitoring progress towards achieving those goals. This being said, don’t let your employees feel that under the false motive of caring for projects, you’re only checking if they are actually working and not spending time binge-watching the latest Netflix show.
5. The assumption that working from home guarantees work-life balance.
We sometimes meet with the belief that the lack of commuting in a remote working model automatically guarantees that all employees have more time for themselves and their families. On the other hand, we see remote workers often struggling to separate work from home. It is easier for them to blur the border between work time and leisure and arrange business calls outside office hours.
For many people, just leaving the office building is a kind of ritual that ends the working day and starts their free time.
When working from home, timeframes may become foggy, which can lead to prolonged stress and fatigue. This is something we’re currently discussing at Team Up – how do we replace leaving the office with an online ritual? Among the recommended solutions, we met with a joint summary of the day, or an individual arrangement of a plan for the next day, to be able to mentally close the current one and cut off thoughts from the task queue. We also do something as simple as saying “bye guys!” on our company chat. 👋🏻
The list itself, of course, does not exhaust the range of challenges and difficulties that a manager will encounter when designing an online work model. We encourage you to consciously observe proven solutions and to involve entire teams in creating these completely new and unique processes for your organization. At Team Up, we are here to help if you want to take advantage of our experience! ✈️