Although it might seem daunting at first, going remote may be one of the best decisions any employee or company can make. If there’s no reason why you should be working at an exact location (like doctors do), you can easily do it anywhere else.
The understanding of what a workplace really means is changing. We’ve written about it before and we’re here again to debunk some myths and ease some worries you may have.
Can I make myself clear? Is there a language barrier? What if I need to know something right away and they’re offline?
These are the questions companies and employees both ask before taking a chance on working remotely. And although they might all be really valid questions, the answer is to just do things a bit differently than you’re used to.
Remote teams rely heavily on digital (and often written) communication. What often doesn’t get enough attention is the quality of this communication. It needs to be very open and honest, and most of all fast and clutter free. People need to state their realistic expectations so that employees could live up to them. And all occurring problems need to be addressed on-the-go and resolved constructively, without blame games.
Will the people work when they’re not under my eye? Does my boss expect me to set up a webcam so they could just watch me? Will they spy on my computer? What happens, if I need a sick they? Will they assume I’m lying?
This, as it turns out, is just paranoia. If you hire people who are self-motivated and independent, they will work their asses off. And although they might not sit in one place during those 8 hours you expect them to work, they will deliver results. The fact that there’s no one to even try to micromanage increases trust and if you make sure that working independently wouldn’t mean working alone you’ll have a tight-knit team who’s more than able to motivate each other.
How will everyone get along? Will it get lonely, when I have to spend my days all alone at my apartment? Will people accept me?
Toggl and Teamweek spend 40k each year to fly all the remote workers into our HQ in Tallinn. We’ll work together, go out, eat, party and invest ourselves in team building. It’s really important that no one feels left out – because happy people are the most productive workers.
4. Culture Clashes
What if they’re too temperamental? Or too reserved? Do they like foreigners? What do we have to talk about?
All you need is empathy! There are no cultural differences that cannot be overcome by simple honest communication. If you can find common ground (and if you work there. you already have it), are able to take and initiative and responsibility, there are no reasons cultural differences should become a deal breaker.