Humanize IT Podcast Blog: Distributed Workforce
Updated: Jul 30, 2020
These days, a “distributed workforce” means so much more than simply working from home — in reality, it’s a variety of offices in multiple locations serving your employees so they can better serve your clients. Through this, your business will be exposed to new avenues, opportunities and cultures. Recently, distributed work has become more of a necessity than a perk, so here’s how you can make the best of it or even transform it into your permanent office situation.
Take it from us — it’s possible. The Virtual C and Humanize IT team lives in different states and countries and we’ve never been in the same location together, yet we’ve managed to build a successful business together with the help of technology.
The Basic Benefits of a Distributed Workforce
With remote work, distance problems become a thing of the past, which benefits both you and your employees. For you, your hiring pool is now the whole world. You can connect people from anywhere and focus on hiring based on skill set and talent rather than location. Plus, you’ll save thousands not having to provide air conditioning and light to a large building 24/7.
Your employees love it because now, they don’t have to worry about a commute. They can get the car they really want. They can get a home outside of the city without having to worry about an office that’s two hours away. Plus, it’s more convenient, flexible and comfortable for all parties involved, and just as effective if done correctly.
How to Do It Right
First thing’s first — you need a full home office setup with software packaging, secure support, and more than just a laptop. Give stipends or provide your employees with the office equipment they would normally use at the office. Once they have the basics, employees should make their home office somewhere they want to be, with mood lighting, good headphones, family photos, their favorite playlist, etc. This will make it easier for them to maintain a real routine as well as a professional office that’s customized to their style.
In addition to a legitimate home office, you must keep communication high, between you, your employees and your clients. For clients, don’t wait for them to reach out to you. Be deliberate in your follow-ups and make sure each one of them feels connected and cared about.
For internal communications, consider IM channels like Slack or Discord, where you can hold fun, informal and instant conversations that feel a little more “real” than emailing back and forth.
You can also set up video meetings, create a picture board… anything that makes you feel closer to your coworkers. Staff communication is just as important as client communication.
No Longer Just A Perk
Economy and stress turn “perks” into necessities. When the COVID panic first ensued, employers everywhere were concerned about how this transition would occur, and even more concerned there would be a decline in productivity. After we were forced into this shift, business owners everywhere took a sigh of relief and said, “maybe this isn’t so bad!”
The reality is, people want to work hard and succeed — especially if you’ve chosen your team members wisely. You can still easily measure performance from afar. Believe in your employees, because the last thing they want to do is let you down when you’ve been gracious enough to let them work in their sweatpants. Plus, you’ll save money, help the environment and be ultra-prepared for any other disasters that may strike down the road.
Be sure to listen to the whole podcast to hear more tips and our most hilarious Fail of the Week yet, where Skip confuses his computer for a home intruder!