With the technology available in today’s workplace, employees can work from anywhere. Emails are being sent from sun loungers, spreadsheets are being filled from the other side of the world and deals are being closed from trains.
So why not work away from the office more often?
Remote working is a perk not everyone gets to enjoy: For the service industry in particular. This is rarely a realistic option.
But for those jobs where it is possible it can be a really effective method of working. For anyone who has meetings outside of the office it can be helpful to use a laptop and catch up in a cafe between meetings, rather than heading back into the office several times a day.
Remote workers also often find themselves to be more productive. Office spaces can be distracting, whether from conversations with co-workers or managers handing out extra tasks. Working remotely means staff can work in their own time without the stress of the office.
This freedom can be greatly appreciated by employees who will want to work hard to maintain the trust. It will also create an engaged employee happy to work hard for you out of mutual respect.
On the other side it can be frustrating for managers not being able to keep track of staff. While some employees find they are more productive outside of the working environment, some find it easier to procrastinate and avoid responsibilities.
Managing remote staff can also take up a lot of time. In the office everyone can easily communicate and it only takes a few moments to say something across the room. With remote working you have to rely more on phone calls and waiting for replies from emails or instant messages.
Being out of the office also takes away a sense of community or team, as people don’t get to spend the time with their colleagues. Remote workers often begin to feel like lone workers.
When considering remote working, think about whether or not the role can realistically be done from elsewhere. Also, create a balance between working in the office and working elsewhere. Give employees the option of remote working, but set clear goals so they know what they have to get done while they are out. Make sure they come back into the office for busy periods and for catch-ups with the rest of the team on a regular basis.