Author: Tatiana Rivers- Tati Rivs Social Media Marketing
Technology Is Changing The Way We Work
20 years ago, working remotely was not common as it was exceptionally complicated. Today, the way we communicate has changed drastically due to smartphones, video conferencing and cloud technology to name a few advances. With these advances in communication technology and internet access, remote work has become a fairly accepted practice in many offices, both in North America and globally. Whatsmore, it is highly desirable for employees. The freelance industry (which is rapidly increasing) primarily runs on remote work relationships.
Whether you are just entering the freelance economy, hiring a freelancer or considering allowing your employees to work remotely, these tips and good practices will help facilitate a smooth work relationship that is effective and efficient.
Working Remotely- Best Practices
Have An Initial Video Conference That Lays Out The Rules And Expectations
One of the biggest challenges with working remotely is that without that face to face relationship, communication may not be as clear. Communication through text form such as via email or Slack can be easily misunderstood. The body language and voice emphasis that is normally present in a face to face conversation will not be there most of the time. Having that first meeting as a virtual one, will therefore help set the right tone and get all the expectations and rules layed out. Going forward will be building on a foundation that was clear and concise from the get go.
Touch Base Through Phone or Video Conference At Least Once Month
Having a standing time slot for a virtual meeting is a great way to establish a professional remote working relationship that will be strong. If verbal communication goes without for longer than a month, don’t be surprised to see a sliding scale from both parties. By having a monthly meeting where you ensure you are reaching your deadlines will keep everyone accountable.
Have Measurable Milestones
In order to ensure that progress in being made, you need to include a way to measure that progress. You won’t see your remote team members plugging away in front of you, so you will need to include some other milestones that can show that steps are being completed in a timely manner. Having these milestones will establish a lot of trust between remote worker and employer. They can be in the form of a weekly report or a checklist for example, what ever you choose, make sure you establish that requirement in the beginning.
Pick The Right Tools
There are lots of ways to communicate today and to organize your projects. There can be too many choices in fact. When it comes to working remotely pick a few that work best for you and stick to only those. Whether it’s through Slack, Asana or Goolge, having one space will ensure that all communication has been read in a timely manner and all files and documents have been received.
Be Aware Of Working Hours
With remote work comes the ability to work from different time zones. This can come with some challenges. For example, just because it is 4 pm for you and you want something turned around in an hour, asking someone in a different timezone to do that for you at 11pm at night their time is not good business practice. Don’t expect to have the best working relationship if you do not respect their work hours. Keep note of when communication is possible and always remember to make that clear when communicating, for example, do not write "lets schedule a meeting for 4pm", you should write "let's schedule a meeting for 4pm EST" if your remote worker is in CMT.
Keep Everyone In The Loop
A daily email blast or recap is a great way to keep the lines of communication open and clear. You want to feel that everyone is part of a team working together towards the same goal. A daily recap or check-in is a great way to do this.
Make Time For Feedback
Feedback is important in any work relationship but arguably it can be more important for remote workers as there is less opportunity to communicate. Setting aside a specific block of time if needed to ensure that feedback is coming your way will ensure a good long term work relationship.
We hope you liked these tips! For more helpful tips check out the following posts: