One of the most significant changes in the workplace over the past ten years has been the rise of remote working. With the increasing dependence on the internet for corporate workflows, combined with cheap travel connections and the recent COVID pandemic, working remotely has become the norm, rather than the exception.
As a result, businesses around the world have been forced to adapt – changing their internal work processes to accommodate this new way of working. However, while remote working functions perfectly well in theory, numerous challenges threaten to overshadow the obvious benefits.
For instance, while there is no reason why you can’t communicate with a remote team member through video conferencing and email, in practice, it is difficult to keep track of their productivity. Moreover, anyone who has had to take part in an online video call will understand how difficult it is to be creative, talk coherently, and truly connect with the other team members.
Often, when you have to come up with plans or solutions to tricky problems, talking over each other and putting up with buffering visuals or broken audio destroys any chance of effective collaboration. This is why you need to learn how to integrate remote workers into your business properly:
Make sure the network is secure
One of the most vital yet underrated issues you need to sort out if you are going to integrate remote workers into your company is network security. Due to the strides in cybersecurity protection over recent years, many business owners can become complacent and forget to make sure that their network is properly secure.
While it is relatively easy to make sure your corporate network is safe when all your employees are within a single controlled environment, your job is infinitely more difficult when everyone is spread out across the country (or even the world).
For example, if you are sending sensitive information to a device linked to a public network, there is a huge risk that a malicious third party compromises the network. This is why you need to invest in specialist cybersecurity protection that safeguards your network, regardless of the separate networks it attaches to. Click here to find out more.
Hold regular meetings
Another issue that is often flagged with remote workers is lack of communication. When you are not in the same room as your colleagues, it is easy for your dialogue to break down and for you all to end up working in separate directions.
To combat this, hold regular meetings over video conferences and include this in your weekly routine. Not only does this improve your communication and creativity, but it keeps your remote staff accountable to the same goals as your internal team.
Make sure time zones differences aren’t a problem
If your remote workers are living overseas, you may have issues with time zone differences.
This is particularly stark if you work at different ends of the earth – because when they go to bed, you wake up. If they are in a customer-facing position, this could be an issue, and you may have to rehire an internal employee.
However, if their working hours are less of a problem, make sure they are hitting their targets regularly and set goals well in advance. This will allow enough room for the time difference and ensure you are both on the same page.