It took something shaking up the world for it to happen, but remote work is now becoming normalized. It had been coming for the past few years but with the recent COVID-19 pandemic hitting everyone both at work and personally, it became an absolute necessity.
What is remote work?
Let’s start with a pretty basic definition. Remote work is a working style that allows business professionals (and students) to work outside of the traditional office environment. The concept is based upon the idea that work does not need to be done in any specific place to be executed successfully. See also, “digital nomad.”
With so many people here in the US turning to remote work in the past week it opens up a ton of challenges and opportunities. The hardest part for many is keeping your staff together and moving forward as a team. For those of us with decades of remote work experience, it’s pretty easy. We’re used to it. Now we just have more people in our Zoom chats and Slack channels!
For the millions entering their first foray into remote work, it will have many challenges. Over the next few weeks we’re going to focus on those challenges to help professionals get their groove on and maximize this opportunity within their own organizations with the goal of helping business culture accept remote work, and build it deeper into their standard business practices.
Here at OMAIUSA we’ve been a remote work company almost from our inception. Our first few years of business included subleasing from IBM in Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in NYC, as well as maintaining a second IBM co-habitat office at their Jericho offices on Long Island.
With former IBM sales execs parachuting from their jobs into our organization many were done “going to work” which spawned our own pivot to a fully remote workforce and we never looked back. Considering that happened 25+ years ago and here we are posting about it today, it’s fair to say it worked out pretty well for us.
Remote Work Challenges
Over the next few articles we’re going to discuss a myriad of topics that will include:
- HR struggles to manage a remote work force
- How to stay productive working remotely
- Technology you will NEED to adopt to succeed
- Maintaining a routine to keep your business acumen high
- Identifying staff roles and responsibilities with resolve
- Building an internal company FAQ page
There is a lot to cover. Right now this massive remote work influx is feeling their way around. Setting up quick processes to get things going and stabilize as quickly as possible. Maybe setting up a daily zoom meeting to kickstart each day and know what is happening, increased e-mail and chat communication, and picking up the phone a lot more than before.
The water cooler moments are on pause right now. Instead they are spent with your family who are also home from school and their own jobs. That increased family time is something to EMBRACE while you are working from home. Have lunch with your spouse and kids every day. Soak those moments in during this difficult time and turn those simple moments into amazing memories.
Remote Work First Steps
Getting off to a fast start is #1. Letting technology hurdles cripple your business or job is not going to help anyone. Setup your home office on day one, and get working on day two. No exception. Once you think working virtual equals a vacation you are toast.
Get your main stack of apps ready. Communication, Intelligence, Analytics, Creation, and Delivery are all things to consider when working remotely. Make sure the entire team is on the same page and agree to using the same standardization of programs. This alone will save you a ton of headaches.
Have redundancies with the apps you choose. If you have for instance a “social media by committee” from previously with one person doing all the posting and setup, add a few people to the app. Use a teamwork-based app like SmarterQueue and tackle it as a team with weekly Zoom calls and use a colab tool like Milanote (or a project management app if you plan on adding one to the mix if you don’t utilize one already) to map out the plan of who will be doing what. You can slot in any similar tools for what you use with your business. It’s about building that structure virtually more than the actual programs you use.
“Measure twice, cut once.”
A common term used in woodworking, sewing, and anything else where measuring first matters. That’s no different with remote work. Measure your needs, measure them again with other people, make a decision. You will have your business structure online in no time ready to take on anything that comes your way.
Remote work can be fun and rewarding while keeping you engaged and challenged every day.
Stay safe friends and let’s start building our future.