If you ask a tech pro to describe a work environment that makes them happy, a cubicle is not likely the answer they are going to provide. Often, traditional workplaces are plagued by interruptions and distractions, making it hard to focus on detail-oriented tasks. If you add in issues like frequent, and often spontaneous, meetings, it is no surprise that many IT workers would prefer to work remotely.
Plus, remote work makes goals like work-life balance and flexibility easier to manage. Since many tech professionals have the technical skills necessary to connect remotely and handle their tasks, they are also well-suited to the demands associated with telecommuting, which can make it more enticing.
If you are wondering why tech pros are happier with remote work, here are some key insights.
As unemployment among tech professionals remain low and more IT workers become interested in working remotely, many companies have begun to embrace the new paradigm to help them secure top talent. But managing telecommuters is often incredibly different when compared to employees in the office, and not every business has it all figured out yet. With that in mind, here are a few things that you might not be aware of that remote workers want from their employers.
To Feel Like Part of the Team
One of the biggest issues remote workers face is feeling isolated, or even ignored, by their team and manager. Often, telecommuters aren’t privy to a variety of casual conversations that occur in the workplace, even when they result in information that could be useful to them. This can leave them seemingly disconnected and out of the loop, which can hurt their professional efforts as well as morale.
More Efficient Conflict Resolution
Additionally, since communication between remote workers and others can be more complex to manage, they may struggle when it comes to resolving conflicts in the workplace. Typically, since instantaneous back and forth is harder to coordinate, issues can drag on for days or weeks before reaching a resolution, and telecommuters rarely have alternative options to find a solution more quickly, as they can’t simply walk up to the person and begin a discussion.
Another drawback of less frequent direct interactions is remote workers don’t often receive the feedback that employees in the office may get to help them proceed in the right direction. Since the level of interaction is typically less with telecommuters, it’s critical that they are provided with clear expectations regarding their duties, hours, or any other point that may feel ambiguous. Otherwise, they may feel lost as to how they need to proceed and, unless someone is able to answer a message or phone immediately, they can be left seemingly drifting until they get a response.
The Key to Remote Worker Management
At the core of all of the above issues is communication. Since remote workers aren’t in the office, it is imperative that well-structured and highly accessible forms of communication be made available, and that members of management and their team reach out regularly. Additionally, having options like video conferencing can go a long way to help a telecommuter feel more connected to the group, as being able to see the person’s face while they are talking helps forge a stronger bond.
Ideally, you want to schedule regular meetings or conference calls with every remote worker, especially if they have recently started in the position. This ensures that everyone takes the time to communicate effectively with one another and that nothing is left hanging unnecessarily.
If you would like to learn more or are interested in finding a new remote worker to join your team, the professionals at The Armada Group can help. Contact us today to see how our services can work for you.
It's common these days for IT teams to have team members in multiple locations around the world, whether to take advantage of specialized talent or cost factors. Technology helps these scattered teams communicate, but there are still challenges that come when co-workers aren't co-located. Here are four tips for managers to help their remote teams work effectively.
Projects always work more efficiently when there's a plan, and planning is even more critical with remote staff. There are fewer opportunities for casual interactions and questions to clarify assignments, and if confusion crosses time zones, delays can extend for days. Make sure you have a plan, so everyone knows what they're expected to do and when it needs to be done.
Schedule time to communicate
Because team members don't see you in person on a regular basis, they don't often get a lot of feedback. Don't rely on email; it's not dynamic enough, and meaning doesn't always come through. Plan a regular virtual meeting, perhaps once a month, to meet with your remote staff and give development guidance and other feedback. When possible, use videoconferencing, not just audio, so facial expressions and other non-verbal feedback are part of the communication process.
Build processes and systems to support the team
When people are in the same place, you may not need formal processes to address issues that arise; casual communication and spur-of-the-moment working sessions help sort things out. When people are around the world, a formally defined process ensures that everyone knows how to raise concerns, and that everyone is able to contribute input to solutions.
Build team spirit
Remote teams still want to feel like part of the team. Make sure remote staff are included in team celebrations. If possible, have managers visit the remote site periodically, and bring senior members of the remote staff for working visits to the home office. Besides providing an opportunity to build a shared work culture, these out-of-office experiences allow you to get to know remote staff as individuals and treat them as the unique people they are.