The work-at-home population, specifically those who aren’t self-employed, has grown by 103% since 2005. This isn’t surprising, with the substantial improvement in and availability of remote technology, which makes it easier, less expensive and more productive for employees to work from locations other than the company office.
The majority of Hartman advisors work outside of the main office, spending time at their client’s sites and other locations. This model works well for the team as they can meet their clients where they are, and spend less time commuting to and from our headquarters between meetings. We asked the team to provide their best tips for other remote workers, based on what keeps them collaborative, productive and comfortable while working outside the office.
The best way to maximize your productivity is by planning and reviewing your schedule daily, especially if that schedule involves travel.
Adam Arker, Executive IT Advisor
Work together with your virtual team on a plan that will keep you working efficiently together. Be diligent and make it happen. If you’re up against a problem, don’t hesitate to speak up and suggest improvements.
Stephanie Sharpe, Senior IT Advisor
Minimize your use of paper and digitize as much as possible. If it’s stored in the cloud, you can always get to it, regardless of your location.
Scott Brooke, Executive IT Advisor
Collaborate with peers who work remotely and set your team norms together. If one team member is far ahead of the curve when it comes to technology usage, he or she could be frustrated by peers that aren’t, and vice versa. Start small and build the team’s level of sophistication together through shared successes.
George Breeden, Nonprofit & Association Practice Lead
If you’re going to work from home, it’s key to set up your office in the way that works best for you. Consider your various hardware and furniture needs, which could potentially include a large enough computer screen, keyboard, mouse, printer, comfortable chair and a docking station.
Adam Kuhn, Senior IT Advisor
Stay focused on your goals and ensure you meet your deadlines. Just as important is maintaining open communication with coworkers and clients and making sure your responses are timely.
Bryony SySantos, Team Development Assistant
Find a way to be with your customers and/or your co-workers at least once a week – twice is even better. Real trust and relationships are built face-to-face, and there simply is no substitute for being there.
José Roig, Executive IT Advisor
Remote workers must have and maintain an accessible remote presence. Using collaboration and chat tools makes you virtually present and accessible. Rather than resorting to email, have a chat, video or phone call to be as real-time as possible. Lastly, set up recurring team stand-up calls to keep you synced with your team.
Kevin Sandbek, Executive IT Advisor
To be successful, remote workers need to…
- Be self-motivated, and internally driven. They must manage their own business processes as well as their clients, without significant oversight.
- Maintain a distinction between work and personal time, which can become blurred by those who work from home. Of course, not all work can happen during “normal” 9:00-5:00 business hours, but remote workers should make attempts to respect their own personal time in order to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Have the right tools, which must evolve as needs change. As a business leader, make it a point to regularly speak to your team about their current needs and challenges and follow up with them on any developments that could help their productivity. If they don’t have the right tools, they may develop workarounds that could compromise both security and productivity.
Do you have a remote or partially remote workforce? Or are you considering taking steps in this direction? Contact Hartman today to discuss your unique needs and business goals. Our advisors can help you strategize on how to successfully transition from an on-site to remote team in a way that protects your information security, satisfies the needs of your team, and sets you up to operate at peak efficiency from day one.
You may also want to read about the three major cybersecurity threats to consider with a mobile workforce – and simple tips to prevent a breach.