Remote working continues to grow in popularity in the UK. After the Flexible Working Policy was introduced back in June last year, lots more employees are taking advantage of the opportunity to work from outside the office.
A recent survey from Unify polled 15,000 Britons and found that 29 percent of respondents worked outside the office once a week or more. In addition, 39 percent said they were most productive working from home, and 51 per cent said that colleagues and interruptions got in the way of their work at the office.
Remote Working: Challenges and Solutions
As more people choose to work from home, this presents some challenges for employers. Some employers have already said that they do not want any remote working – Yahoo! banned it back in 2013. But rather than banning it, working out solutions to the challenges is the way forward.
One of the biggest challenges is simply staying on top of the team and managing them effectively. While in the office the boss can call meetings and speak to employees in person, this is not always possible when remote working. The answer to coordinating large teams is to use a project management tool like Asana or Basecamp. These make it easy to create a hub where everyone can submit work and stay on top of everything, making the process simpler.
Another challenge faced by employers is that of effective communication. Staying in touch with employees is easy in the office, but when some employees are working from different locations, staying in touch with them can become more difficult. But there are plenty of tools available that allow remote teams to get together and hold meetings from wherever they are. From free solutions to Skype and Google Hangouts, to professional solutions like GoToMeeting, there are many ways that remote workers can get together.
One challenge for organisations that is slightly harder to remedy is that of developing the company culture. When employees are all working alone from different places, it can be easy for them to focus on their individual tasks rather than the team. However, this can be remedied by making sure the whole team get together at least once a month either in the office or just for drinks. If this is not possible, getting together online is another option.
Remote Working Can Really Work
Despite the challenges, there are always solutions that can be found to make remote working a viable option in any business. There are many potential benefits of remote working that should be embraced. Productivity can be increased, and it can also show employees that they are trusted to get on with their work without having the boss checking on them all the time.
Perhaps the biggest benefit is that employees like it. As the figures show, remote working is popular, and keeping employees happy is always a good idea. Having a remote work policy could also help to attract the best employees.
Embrace Remote Working
Remote working is clearly becoming more popular, but it does bring its challenges. The solution is not to ban it but to embrace it by taking advantage of all of the tools available these days. So keep your employees happier and take advantage of all the benefits of remote working because this is one trend that is going to increase in popularity.