Remote working is here to stay, so how do we embrace it?
It opens up so many lifestyle and work opportunities. I personally moved 11 hrs north from Sydney in 2014 and still ran two interstate businesses. It took a little adjusting in the beginning, but really the impact on the business was negligible. I spent a bit of time in the air, but with children at one end and a team at the other, to be honest, it gave me some great time to myself to work on strategy!
“Don’t Sweat the Tech”
The technology is there now to set up a remote recruitment agency or team in a heartbeat. There is no operational requirement that can’t be handled online from your accounting software to your CRM, marketing, etc.
We gave up having our own server and put our businesses in the hands of the cloud years ago and they both ran efficiently with people in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, New Zealand, and me on the Sunshine Coast.
So, the question isn’t can you do it technically; that’s easy.
The two main considerations when setting people up remotely
1. How important are face-to-face meetings? (Real face to face, not Zoom or Skype!)
If you’re in a market that requires significant face-to-face in a different location to where a consultant is living, then travel and potentially accommodation costs will be something you need to consider.
Whilst nothing really trumps a face-to-face meeting, I don’t think having consultants work remotely is a show-stopper either. The issue comes when they are working in a different time zone and if they are in a client-facing role then results are likely to drop.
2. Work ethic and feeling part of the team.
Often building remote teams means people working from home or in serviced offices. I think the most important factor when considering remote teams is to consider how you will maintain a cohesive team and keep people feeling involved and motivated. You will find research that says results improve if people work from home and the opposite. My view is it is mostly down to the individual. No amount of support or structure is going to get a person with a tendency to slack off to work well from home. And the reverse is true; if you have a consultant that is a go-getter and driven to succeed they will do just as well remotely, as long as they can access the tools to do their job.
So, in a nutshell, if you are looking to build a remote team, don’t sweat the tech but think about the impact it may have both on remote clients and your employee’s overall contribution.
Thanks for reading!