When Remote Work Goes Wrong

The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and a key focus is Career Discussions. Allowing your staff to work remotely is double-edged sword. It can boost productivity and it cause a decrease in productivity as well. It’s something that has to be properly managed. The following contributed post is entitled, When Remote Work Goes Wrong.

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Not so long ago, remote options seemed like the holy grail of the working world. For the average workforce, there could be nothing better than the security of set salaries and the freedom to work when it suited. And yet, as recently as the last two years, remote work has become just another way that we do business.

Now, 70% of workers spend some time operating remotely. In large part, this is because employers noticed how beneficial it can be. Employees get to manage their life/work balance at last, while employers get to enjoy the benefit of increased employee satisfaction and productivity Not to mention that remote work can help to reduce the prices which come with a commercial space and even the need to waste time finding the perfect business premises in the first place.

But, for all the articles boasting about the benefits of this way of working, there’s little mention about what can go wrong. And, sadly, remote work can go very wrong if you aren’t careful, especially during the transition stage. That doesn’t mean it can’t still work for you, but it does mean you might want to consider the following before you implement it.

The question of health and safety

As a manager, you have a responsibility to keep your team safe. That applies whether they work in the office at home. As such, you should seek home working-specific health and safety training courses like those offered by EssentialSkillz straight away, and make sure to apply that new knowledge to your changing arrangements. Make sure, too, that you ask employees to assess their work environments, and let you know about any risks so that you can take the correct action.

The small matter of rules

You should also consider rules as you make this switch. If you still expect your team to work office hours, for example, you must make it clear to them. Equally, be transparent about things like uniform. If you have conference calls, the last thing that you want is a remote worker going live in a hoodie and sweatpants. To avoid that, be clear from day one that you still expect your team to present a professional image, even when they’re at home.

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Can’t forget about contact

Contact is also vital. When your team isn’t next door whenever you need them, it can cause issues and delays which look terrible to customers. This is especially the case if you can’t get hold of remote team members for extended periods. Avoid that by implementing contact plans ahead of time. It’s always a good idea to conduct a morning meeting with remote staff using programs like Skype to start communications in the right way each day. You should then also ask every team member to stay logged onto a program like Google Hangouts, which will allow you to get hold of them at a moment’s notice whenever you need. And, that can go a considerable way towards smoothing the remote journey for all.

Author: anwaryusef

Anwar Y. Dunbar is a Regulatory Scientist. Being a naturally curious person, he is also a student of all things. He earned his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Michigan and his Bachelor’s Degree in General Biology from Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU). Prior to starting the Big Words Blog Site, Anwar published and contributed to numerous research articles in competitive scientific journals reporting on his research from graduate school and postdoctoral years. After falling in love with writing, he contributed to the now defunct Examiner.com, and the Edvocate where he regularly wrote about: Education-related stories/topics, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), Financial Literacy; as well as conducted interviews with notable individuals such as actor and author Hill Harper. Having many influences, one of his most notable heroes is author, intellectual and speaker, Malcolm Gladwell, author of books including Outliers and David and Goliath. Anwar has his hands in many, many activities. In addition to writing, Anwar actively mentors youth, works to spread awareness of STEM careers, serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium, serves as Treasurer for the JCSU Washington, DC Alumni Chapter, and is active in the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace Ministry at the Alfred Street Baptist Church. He also tutors in the subjects of biology, chemistry and physics. Along with his multi-talented older brother Amahl Dunbar (designer of the Big Words logos, inventor and a plethora of other things), Anwar is a “Fanboy” and really enjoys Science-Fiction and Superhero movies including but not restricted to Captain America Civil War, Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, and Prometheus. He is a proud native of Buffalo, NY.

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