The switch to remote work is a forced but unavoidable measure in the face of a global pandemic. Many conscious managers understand that one infected employee coming to their office can endanger the entire company. Even those who have always been refusing to hire and manage remote employees have to face that distributed teams are a fact of life these days. Quarantine entails working from home for millions of people all over the globe, and that brings questions:
- How to efficiently organize remote work?
- Does it matter if a person works from home or in an office?
- What is better, to work with someone in the same town who lacks self-management skills, or hiring an offshore team with a remote DNA and years of online performance management?
We have been managing distributed teams since the day we were founded and would like to share our experiences and best practices in this article.
How do you manage a remote employee?
There are three basic options:
Employees use their own computers. This option is acceptable if your employees do not need specific software, or if the software required is in the Cloud. For example, it is enough to provide your sales manager with CRM access and an email;
Your employees bring their workstations home. This is a good option if they need specific software or licences to perform work, or if your employees do not own a powerful enough computer that would allow enough processing power. It is easiest to start your employees working on own laptops, but if the quarantine is extended it might be prudent to deliver their workstations to their homes from the office;
You organize remote access to RDP via VPN. An excellent interim option: Does a designer need access to corporate file storage and a powerful computer? Install a remote desktop app on their workstation and let them use it.
Read also: How COVID Affects the IT Industry
Note that if you provide employees with remote access to work servers or stations, you need to take care of corporate data security. This is especially true if you are working with personal data that is protected by law. Secure connection channels, filters for IP and MAC addresses, two-level authorization – by taking care of information security at the start of the “remote”, you secure yourself from many problems in the future.
Also, pay attention to the fact that the employee at home had high-quality broadband and with useful speed Internet. If you don’t have enough Internet at home to do your tasks, you might suggest that your employees connect a second ISP at a reasonable speed for the duration of their work, at the expense of the organization, of course.
Staff turnover is the main problem in the IT industry, but remote work practically solves it. Professionals appreciate employers who practice distributed teams, and they must be trusted and valued for their skills.
If professionals have about five years of experience, they are predictably moving to remote work because they need time for family, they want more responsibility and immersion, not bureaucracy and endless meetings.
Moreover, the specialists of successful companies do not want to return to the office; they are willing to make this sacrifice for the sake of incredible and unique offers, so providing remote work opportunities can be a powerful differentiator for employers who want to be more competitive on the labour market and attract the best talents from anywhere in the world.
Besides, we have received indirect confirmation of the thesis that remote employees are more loyal. The majority of employees (87%) have been with companies for over two years. At 8allocate, we have many employees from home for their comfort and convenience, and for us, as employers, it is essential to provide comfortable working conditions and payment.
Thus, remote work not only gives access to qualified professionals from around the world but also allows us to hire more passionate, loyal and happy employees.
Time is very challenging now but we at 8allocate believe that where there is change, there is an opportunity.
Also, we want to share some advice on how to work remotely:
- Regular communication support: sprints, meetings, interviews with weekly targets (zoom, skype, hangouts);
- Give quick feedback so that colleagues feel that it is even faster than it was in the office;
- Maintain operating rhythm, discipline, control key indicators;
- If necessary, add micro-management, especially in those issues where there is a risk of not performing;
- Remote work is a separate corporate subculture. Photo contests, various flash mobs, virtual visits, video congratulations to colleagues, showing pets – even in the mode of work from home ideas for corporate leisure is a lot and, most interestingly, in the office will not always be able to repeat this. The purpose of each item is one – to support the involvement of staff and, therefore, productivity.
Taking into account all the changes in the market, and the fact that the world of employment will likely never be the same, have you thought about growing your team with remote developers? Reach out, and we will be happy to advise!