Bad Girl, Good Business

How to Make “The Remote Thing” Work in 5 (Sometimes Not-So-Easy) Steps

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Employees are voting with their feet (and their vans).

Many of them simply don’t want to return to an office.

Frankly, as long as the Delta Variant is lurking around and some states are still below 50% vaxxed, who can really blame them?

Some major brands have moved permanently to remote work and hybrid models. This year, a quarter of employees will work remotely. 

So, what are these 5 tips for making remote work really work?

As a leader, you must:

    1. Analyze your own fears and biases. If you’re opposed to remote work or a hybrid model, what’s really behind it? Are you concerned about losing control? Are you just struggling with the massive changes a new system might involve? Obviously, some workplaces require lots of face-to-face, but many industries really don’t. 
    2. Hire a talent team that doesn’t need a lot of “babysitting.” When you interview candidates, screen for independent thinking (and acting) and ask for practical examples of self-management. And perhaps now is a good time to consider employing older workers, many of whom have worked in situations with little supervision or direction. 
    3. Establish clear expectations and deliverables. Use a cloud-based system to keep track of goals, due dates, and results. We’re partial to and Google Docs. We also use lots of other collaborative tools like Canva. When people are working from the same platform, teamwork ensues. Encourage people to use the phone too. Sometimes that’s the most efficient way to solve a problem or get a fast decision. Slack is great, but it lacks nuance and tone.
    4. Hold quick daily stand-ups, giving people an opportunity to voice questions and concerns (and see each other’s faces). Today, one of our team members was on a porch in Vail. Another was in her car. It didn’t matter. We got stuff done! But ZOOM fatigue is real and more common among women, so set a timer (or appoint a timekeeper) and don’t overdo it. And be understanding on those days when team members want to keep their cameras off. Develop new fun ZOOM rituals and find ways to celebrate successes virtually. Consider team bonding experiences like a remote business book club. But be sure to get your teams’ input on what they’d consider fun. Otherwise, you’ll just come across as one of those weird out-of-touch leaders.
    5. Create opportunities for face-to-face connections. Conferences are back and many organizers are offering group pricing to encourage remote teams to learn together. Look at the schedule for fourth quarter events and “get the band back together.” Even one in-person team interaction can help build more solid long-term bonds. Of course, we’re biased, but we think Greenbuild, FEI, and TMRE will be among the fall’s best events. (They’re all our clients’ conferences and they’ve put in terrific health and safety protocols without stripping away the learning, exclusive content, fun, and connection).

Let’s face it! Remote work is here to stay.  But how you deal with it can make all the difference in recruiting, retaining, and motivating the best talent — wherever they happen to be.

And because no post is complete without random facts and stats…

BGGB.OkeyDokey-fred Remote workers may be MORE productive than office workers
BGGB_ShakingHands How to give remote teams social support
BGGB_Thumbs-Down-fred Don’t do these things if you work remotely
BGGB_Pointer The best cities for remote workers


How to work out of a van



One Comment

  1. The minute I heard people were working from home in the face of the initial Covid lockdown, I turned to my husby and said, “This is going to change the face of the modern workplace forever!”
    And it has! Employers have found that, with the right personnel, they can accomplish the work and not have to pay exorbitant rentals for entire floors or entire buildings.
    And the employees win by not having that commute. Some even have been able to eliminate childcare!
    An unexpected plus, brought to us by Covid!


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