Is Remote Work Challenging Us to Build Successful Teams?
Welcome to our five-part series, The Biggest Challenges of Remote Working. First up is understanding why distributed teams are the future of work. Later, we'll tackle all the reasons many people find remote work challenging.
Part 1: Why Distributed Teams Are the Future of Work
Really, I should change the title of this blog post to "Why Having Distributed or Remote Teams is the Most Freaking Awesome Way to Build an Epic Business!"
I don't know how many times I've had a conversation with investors who raise a red flag when you say your team is distributed. I've even had most say they want to be within a two-hour driving distance from the start-ups they work with.
Are You Missing Out on Genuinely Good Ideas?
Within reason, that is great and all, but what about missing out on some amazing companies that have the leverage to grow, especially because they are built upon a globally distributed team? I never understood this, as it limits the opportunities for building an awesome portfolio.
A lot of us are still getting used to globalization, transitions, and new structures in how we work today. That is totally understandable. Change can be scary for some, and of course, there are a couple of outlier challenges when a team works remotely, but with the rapid innovation in technology and features like real-time, online communication, secure video meetings, and productivity tools at our disposal, there is no reason to feel like remote work is challenging. In their last survey, Simform found that 82% of the employers are proposing an indefinite/permanent work-from-home option.
As Richard Branson said:
"One day, offices will be a thing of the past."
Success Isn't Defined by Location
Some of the biggest and most successful companies are distributed across the globe. Just take a look at Microsoft and its teams. The best part of this is also the fact that start-ups in a global market are much more agile.
Working from home, when managed right, is much more engaging, and team members are dedicated to what they do. They even end up logging more hours, at the end of the day, not because they have to, but because they want to and are simply driven by the company's vision. It no longer becomes work as a series of mundane tasks.
Some of the best talents probably do not live within your 100-mile radius, so why limit your talent pool to your geographic location? The best people to work with and to add to your team are more likely on the other end of the world. You broaden your reach and options for hiring the right people. This is why the distributed team culture is awesome.
Of course, when you're working from home, there may be some challenges every day. But that doesn't mean it is a bad strategy! As a matter of fact, it has way more benefits than setbacks. One of the greatest benefits is that you get to work remotely with incredibly skilled and talented people from all over the world.
In part two of this series, we'll teach you how to deal with the most common remote work challenging situations and how to overcome them successfully. Also, you'll get to hear more about distributed teams and hiring the right remote workers.
Do you want to know more about the remote teams work phenomenon? Read "GREAT PLACE TO WORK: At Automattic Employees All Work From Home And Travel To Exotic Locations"
What do you think about remote working and distributed teams? Do you think remote teams don't work, or are you an advocate of telecommuting?
Share your thoughts in the comments below and don't forget to share this post if you like it! Stay tuned for part two in this series as we dive deeper into the why and how of working with or running a distributed team.
What is considered working remotely?
The term stands for a working style that allows employees to work outside of a traditional office environment, such as at a coffee shop. Remote employees can complete their tasks from any location they please. Remote work doesn't necessarily mean working from home.
What are the challenges of working remotely?
The most common remote work challenges are:- Remote workers tend to work longer hours.- Prioritizing work is not easy when you're at home.- Another problem with remote work at home is more interruptions.- People who live alone can start feeling lonely and isolated.- Differences in time zones might make cooperation more difficult.
How do you deal with working remotely?
Working remotely can sometimes be quite challenging. Mixing their personal and work life can make remote workers less productive and less motivated, sometimes, when working from home. These tips will help you make the most of working remotely:- It's important to protect your workspace and come up with some ground rules with your family or roommates so they won't disturb you.- Specify your "in office" hours and use them for work only, not other activities.- Make sure to take breaks, as these can help you refresh and increase your productivity.- Promptly return emails, calls, and voicemails, and don't forget to keep up your casual communication habits.- Ask your team members for regular feedback on your remote situation and work performance.- Pay attention to ergonomics and use a comfortable chair with proper back support.
Is working remotely a good idea?
Long story short, yes it is. Even though working remotely comes with some challenges, it is still a good idea that has plenty of benefits. Companies that support remote work often report higher levels of employee retention and engagement, higher employee satisfaction, reduced turnover, increased productivity, and autonomy, among many other benefits.
How do I make my remote work successful?
Here are some tips that will help you make remote work successful:- Surround yourself with the right people; even though they won't be there physically it is important to communicate regularly with your team members.- Set clear expectations, define goals, and make sure to meet deadlines.- Make the most of technology and use it to make your work easier.- Use calendars and planners to improve time management and never miss out on anything.- Eliminate all distractions, whether they are coming from your TV or family members.- Set regular meetings with your team members so you can track your progress.