If you run a business, you will know that managing a company remotely is quite a challenge. During the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses around the world packed up their offices and moved their work, and their employees, to remote locations. Working remotely has its perks for the individual – in fact, studies show that wellbeing and productivity are improved greatly by home working – but businesses can struggle when their team is spread out and exists only online.
As a business owner or manager, your job during this time is to keep the ship sailing through this difficult period, and that means nurturing your business remotely. This can be a challenge, particularly if it was an unexpected change. In this article, you will find tips on how to nurture your business and help it to thrive, even without an official office hub in place.
1. Keep the interactions going.
Even if your business is remote now, which means no more team meetings complete with coffee and snacks, you should continue to keep your employees interacting as much as possible. People make business, and without the sparring of ideas, the camaraderie and the face to face chat, you could lose some of the spark that keeps your business unique and thriving. That’s why, even though email chains are faster and sometimes simpler, it is important to keep regular video chat meetings for you and your team to collaborate. Even if these are just short meetings, they can help boost morale, let people air their concerns and keep the human side of your company booming.
2. Cloud computing is your friend.
If you are struggling to keep your business’ files, conversations and data intact without an internal server, use cloud computing. Cloud computing companies like Hosting.co.uk use online servers to store your company data, which are accessible only to employees with login details. These are safe, secure databases which make sure your company files are never lost or misplaced, and can be accessed from any device with login details. This means that your employees can work from anywhere in the world, never misplace or be confused by lost data, and allows you to be ready for remote working on any scale. Even large scale companies like Netflix use cloud computing, proving just how viable this option is for businesses running remotely.
3. Set clear boundaries.
One of the tough things about home working is that it can sometimes blur the lines between life and work. To make sure that you are maintaining work-life balance, it is important to set boundaries – not just for yourself but for your employees – and designate clear working hours which are strictly adhered to. If you find that your employees are working late to try and keep their deadlines under control, make sure to let them know that boundaries are important. While hard work is commendable and going the extra mile sometimes is important, setting clear boundaries for everyone that instil a work-life balance is better in the long run, both for your business’ future and for the wellbeing of your employees.
4. Incorporate fun
It’s not always easy when you are stressed out and running a business, to remember to lighten the mood every once in a while. Your employees are probably feeling the burden of this too. Nobody asked to be working from home for an indefinite period; it is tough for everyone, whether you are the boss or the intern. For that reason, it is crucial to incorporate lightness and fun into your working day. This could be a meeting in which everyone shows off their pets on video chat, or perhaps treating your employees to new office chairs for their home working setup. These don’t have to be expensive incorporations, but they go an awfully long way for employees who might feel alone in this even if they aren’t.
5. Regular COVID-19 updates
If your business is remote due to necessity rather than choice, like so many companies are in 2020, it’s time to turn your communications up to 100%. Depending on the location of your business, there will be restrictions in your area which mean that the office has to be closed – for now. Make sure you supply your employees with regular updates on the COVID-19 situation in your area, ensuring they are never left in the dark when it comes to returning to the office after this is over. Keeping everybody up to date will make them feel less stressed and enable them to plan for life things like childcare, pet care and transportation when the office does reopen.
6. Keep things positive
Although this time is highly stressful for most business owners, now is not the time to force your stress onto your employees. After all, they are probably feeling their own personal tensions as lockdowns seem to be inevitable right now – and not everyone’s cut out for working at home. For that reason, it is important to keep things positive. There are definite upsides to remote working – perhaps you are saving money on office rental and supplies, and streamlining your services online – and these are the things to focus on when interacting with your team. Of course, not everything is sunny and roses and your team should know if the business is suffering, but it is also important not to weigh everybody down with worry and stress at this time.
7. Lay out your goals and continue to go for gold
Just because things are remote, it doesn’t mean the business will automatically suffer. In fact, many businesses surpass the expectations of their success when they go remote, finding that home working suits the team better. Make sure that despite the unforeseen circumstances of this year, you continue to go for gold and lay out your goals clearly. After all, the driving force of your business is goals, so although adjustments might have to be made, you can still do your best to achieve what you want.