A Starter Guide to Running a Remote Business

July 21, 2022 Business

Even before a certain pandemic turned the world upside down, remote work was on an upward curve. Yet the necessity for businesses to change how they worked meant more people were exposed to the benefits gained from allowing employees to work remotely. 

According to research conducted by Merchant Savvy, 77% of remote workers experience a boost in their health and general well-being. 80% also express happiness with their job, which is a big jump from only 55% of on-site-based employees. 

The positives are not just for employees, either. Going remote can pay massive dividends for businesses that adopt this approach to work. It helps to increase agility, reduce fixed overheads, and improve productivity. The result: by 2030, it is said that remote work will result in $4.5 trillion in annual savings in the US alone. 

That’s it. You’re ready to jump onto the remote work bandwagon. There’s just one issue: setting up a remote business isn’t a simple task. That’s where this guide will help. Below are a number of important points to remember when making the transition to remote work. 

Set out guidelines and policies for remote working

To run a successful remote business, you first need to have a strong foundation in place. One step to achieving this by putting together a clear list of guidelines and policies for your employees to follow. These policies are there for workers to turn to if they ever end up in doubt. 

You have to pay careful attention when creating these policies. You want them to be easy to follow, consistent, and, above all else, make complete sense to those reading them. Make sure they are also tailored to your business and how it functions. 

Provide the right tech solutions 

With your employees working remotely, it is essential they are supplied with the right tech solutions. This isn’t just for them to complete their tasks successfully. It’s also necessary to monitor their progress and to keep your entire business secure. The latter point is particularly important, as it only takes one unsecured device to open the door for cybercriminals to access your data. 

Picking the right tech solutions begins with a solid base. One example is to utilize Azure Virtual Desktop. An industry leader in cloud desktop delivery, this Microsoft product supplies your remote IT infrastructure with protection out-of-the-box. Along with keeping your data and apps secure, this cloud technology also ensures employees can gain access to files and work without any delays. 

Of course, a cloud platform like Azure is only the start. Here are some other software apps that are a must for remote work: 

  • Work chat: Communication channels are key for a remote business. With a work chat solution – such as Facebook Workplace or Slack – it’s possible to easily fire over a quick message. Perfect for checking in and sending one-liners. 
  • Video conferencing: Work chat and emails are suitable communication solutions for the most part. However, face-to-face interactions have to be part of the plan. With a video conferencing tool like Zoom or Google Hangouts, you can chat one-to-one or in groups without issue. 
  • HR software: Working in a remote environment means you have fewer daily interactions with your employees compared to a traditional work environment. As a result, it can be more difficult to understand their mental well-being. With HR software, it’s possible to conduct regular reviews, analyze the results, and make sure they are in the right headspace. 
  • Task management: Tracking progress on tasks and projects might seem a little more difficult with remote work, but there are management tools that make it simple. With something like Asana installed, you can easily manage the work of employees and ensure they’re pushing towards their goals. 

Schedule regular meetings

As mentioned in the previous section, communication is an essential component when running a remote business. Communication keeps everyone in the loop about what needs to be done, it allows you to check in on progress, and it gives employees the ability to reach out for assistance when necessary. 

One of the most effective communication channels is to schedule regular video meetings. The frequency and goals of these meetings is dependent on your business. However, a quick daily meeting in the morning, before work officially commences, is helpful for ensuring everyone knows what they are working on for the day. A longer weekly meeting can then be utilized to discuss progress reports, projects, and other important topics in more detail. 

Educate employees on the right approach

Working from home is an entirely different situation compared to working on-site in an office. As a result, it’s essential your employees take the right approach toward their remote work lifestyle. Failure to do so could lead to issues with work-life balance, productivity, and mental health. 

Firstly, they need to create a suitable workspace. Lying in bed with a laptop might seem like a dream scenario, but it’s not a path to productivity. Let employees know the importance of putting together a dedicated workspace that has everything they require to complete their tasks. 

Creating a workspace isn’t the only ‘right approach’ element. Everything from getting dressed to respecting work hours is also necessary for your employees. 

Organize team outings

Remote work can be an isolating experience for employees – and this can have a negative impact on their mental well-being. One way to avoid this is by organizing frequent team outings. These don’t have to be too extravagant or regular. Yet a weekly or monthly get-together for you and your employees can work wonders. As well as being beneficial for mental well-being, it helps to further forge healthy relationships between your workers.

As for what constitutes a team outing, the only limit is your creativity. A visit to a local bar, a paintballing session, a cooking class, attending a comedy show – the possibilities are endless. Just make sure that you choose something that gets everyone involved, engaged, and having a blast. This ensures everyone gets something out of it and you have happy employees.