4 Tools You Need To Work Remotely

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Working from home comes with its own numerous challenges. What this means is that you will need a set of unique tools specially designed to tackle the challenges of working from home. As more and more people are being ‘forced’ to work from home as a result of the current state of affairs, remote working seems to be the new norm. So, in this article, we take a look at some of the essential tools you will need to make working from home less stressful. 

1. Reliable internet service

Working from home is hardly possible without any source of reliable internet service. If you are already used to working from home, then the chances are that you already have a workstation at home with a stable internet connection. But if you work with a team, then everyone else on the team should have, for good measure, a secure internet connection. There are several kinds of portable internet devices that you can easily use to connect to the internet on-the-go. There are also other types of devices that require a cable connection. Depending on the kind of work you are into, any of the tools is okay to have. However, it is best to have multiple options available, just in case one option is not available.

2. Cloud-based learning management system (LMS)

Working from home should not mean that you cannot train your team or take up training courses from your employer to help build capacity. This is where cloud-based or online learning management systems come in. With several types of online management systems available to choose from, these business must-haves are helping to make online training as easy as they can be. These platforms make it possible to plan, create, and schedule training courses and materials and make them available to all target workers. It matters little whether you are tech-savvy or not; these platforms come with user-friendly interfaces that are easy to navigate. Cloud-based LMS have racked up loads of positive reviews, and you can check out Mindflash LMS Reviews, for example. 

3. Project management software

You can still take on those work projects that come with a vast number of tasks from the comfort of your home. With various types of project management software to choose from, you can handle even the duties that come with complex time management requirements. When picking out the right project management software, it is important to opt for software that is easy to navigate and helps to accomplish work projects as efficiently as possible. It should also be able to help you monitor the costs of projects as well as their progress.

4. Video conferencing software

Distance does not mean you cannot have those important business or staff meetings. Video call apps and software have made it possible to have that important facetime with your colleagues or clients. Popular apps such as Zoom and Skype come with other features that offer clarity and allow you to perform different functions while having the video call. Plus, most video conferencing apps are mobile-compatible and can be used even while on-the-go.

How To Manage A Remote Workforce

managing-virtual-workforce

Most people would love the option of working remote, but what about managing a remote workforce?

It’s hard enough to manage people in the same location, but doing it remotely will test your creativity and leadership ability.

The book Remote gave me a deeper understanding of why remote work can be beneficial, but currently I have the challenge of managing a team spread out across the country. Here is what has worked over the past 3 months:

Trust – If there’s one scenario where micromanaging will destroy you it’s managing a remote team. Telecommuting lives and dies on trust. Give it to receive it. Be clear about the objectives, but offer autonomy for how to get there. Most companies make the mistake of hiring based on experience and skill set whereas attitude and motivation determines which workers are elite. Working remotely is the perfect hybrid between corporate and entrepreneurship. To take it a step further, if all managers were trained to lead as if their team wasn’t on location (even if they are), performance would skyrocket.

Connection – Avoiding commuting and parking is beneficial, but feeling isolated is downright scary. The most overlooked aspect of working from home is the lack of social interaction. It’s near impossible to replicate a virtual water cooler, but you have to try. Communication platforms such as Slack are step in the right direction. The key here is building community. That normally happens outside of work, so encourage employees to develop relationships informally, even set up the connections for them. As their manager, you’re the bridge to the company. Tying remote teams to something bigger than them is essential. Think outside the box and get suggestions from your team to form stronger bonds.

Feedback – It’s not abnormal to not talk to your boss daily, but managers of remote teams need to over-communicate or risk strayed performers. Without clearly defined markers, there’s no absolute way to measure progress. If you think managing people is difficult, it’s much more daunting when they live thousands of miles away. Leading a remote team is high-maintenance, but if done right the global talent you can amass is far greater than the limits of a morning commute. Make a note to email almost daily (depending how many are on your team) and meet via video weekly. Providing direction goes a long ways towards overall success.

So far the short journey has been extremely enjoyable. If you love developing people, the nuances will reveals themselves over time. Keep an open ear, communicate frequently and create a sense of belonging. Scaling leadership isn’t easy, but it’s the wave of the future.