Four things stopping your company from growing remotely
In the second of a series of three articles, Elliot Mark Senior Copywriter at Ecommerce Platforms takes us through four key things that are stopping our businesses growing remotely.
With COVID restrictions over the last year, more businesses than ever have switched to working remotely, and many are looking at making this a permanent change. Without being limited by the size of your office, and the ability to hire team members from virtually anywhere, remote work offers a lot of flexibility and potential for growth.
However, remote working comes with its own set of challenges, and you need to consider these in order to successfully grow your company.
Lack of communication
When your team isn’t together in one place you need to make more of an effort to communicate regularly and clearly. It’s easy for this to get misunderstood or ignored, and remote teams can feel disconnected or isolated from the company.
Create a structure for your company communications and internal meetings, for example:
- A weekly company-wide email with updates, news, and announcements
- Daily meetings for each team to catch up project progress
- Weekly meetings for managers and team leaders to discuss the overall progress
- Monthly or quarterly company-wide meetings with the opportunity for people to ask questions.
By putting in place a strategy for internal communications you can ensure that everyone is on board and invested in your company’s goals and successes, which will help you to grow.
Unsuitable home office set up
To work effectively, your remote team needs to be set up with all the necessary equipment to help them do their job. While it might seem easier to ask them to use their own personal computer and other office equipment, this won’t necessarily be good enough.
Your employees might not have all the things that they need so they’re not able to work as efficiently, or they end up buying their own equipment. And using their own computer means that you can’t set it up with all the appropriate software and security measures in the same way.
You should treat your remote employees’ home office set up in the same way you would if they were coming into the office every day. Talk to them about what they need including a suitable desk and chair, as well as a laptop, accessories and any specific equipment for their role.
Consider all the extra bits and pieces that make them more comfortable and help them to work faster. For example, a remote mouse and keyboard, headphones to block out any distractions, and a second screen. It’s also important to provide all the wires and connections that they might need as well such as an hdmi splitter — StarTech provides some options for comparison. You may also need to upgrade their broadband if it’s important to their work that they have a reliable, fast internet connection — Broadband Genie offers some advice on choosing the best broadband for working from home.
In the long-run, providing everything they need will help them to focus on the work and boost productivity, which can help your company to grow while working remotely.
Ineffective project management
Another thing that can cause problems when growing your company remotely is your project management capabilities. When your team is in various locations, and not necessarily working together at the same time you need to be really clear on exactly who is doing what and when.
Project management is one of the most important parts of successfully growing a company. It helps you to manage your team’s workload, gives you a clear overview of progress, and ensure that things go to plan so you don’t miss any deadlines.
You need to provide clear goals and expectations for your team. This means outlining exactly what your company is working towards overall, and the role that each team member plays in that.
When you’re working on a project then you need to clearly communicate the objectives, goals, and timeline for that piece of work. You can break this down into smaller goals or individual tasks that are assigned to different team members.
Use project management software to coordinate workloads when you’re working on multiple projects at the same time. This way you can clearly assign work and have a clear view of who’s doing what and when. ProofHub provides a comparison of the best project management software options.
It’s also important to share feedback on work and progress on a regular basis. This helps to keep everyone on the same page and ensures that any mistakes can be corrected as soon as possible and aren’t repeated.
Failing to invest in software and tools
Remote companies need to ensure that everyone on their team is working productively at all times, and they need to know how to streamline their operations when people are working in different locations and at different times.
Alongside suitable project management and communication software, there is a whole range of other tools that can help your company improve processes and grow:
- Time tracking software: To monitor how long different tasks take, look for ways to improve efficiency and improve project planning in the future.
- Cloud storage system: So that everyone can access and collaborate on documents and files from anywhere.
- HR software: To easily keep track of sickness and absences, and streamline the holiday approval process.
- Marketing tools: You can schedule social media posts for months at a time, effectively monitor all social channels, automate your email marketing and service emails.
- Remote development and design tools: There is a range of cloud-based tools that are designed to make collaborating on software development or design projects easier for remote teams.
These are four common issues that stop companies from growing remotely, and with a return to normal unlikely any time soon it’s important to take steps to reimagine your organisation now. But by investing in the right tools and software, and spending some time improving your processes you’ll be able to boost productivity and scale your company effectively outside of the office.
Elliot Mark Senior Copywriter, Ecommerce Platforms