Let’s Keep the Relationship Long Distance
Did you know the term “telecommuting” was coined in 1972 by a guy working remotely on a NASA communication system? 1 Of course, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the concept became mainstream in the working world, but now the idea is commonplace—everyone fully expects telecommuting to be an option in the workplace.
So, why was telecommuting such a catastrophic disruptor this year when COVID-19 shuttered offices and sent employees home to work remote full-time? Granted, there are some jobs that just can’t be done offsite, but for much of the world’s corporations, the systems and tools of connectivity have long been at our disposal. All any of us had to do was erect the processes to make them fully functional for our individual pursuits.
That’s what we did at Full Circle Business Solutions. We started remote, and we find that long- distance relationships are the best way to keep our partners close.
Why Operate as a Fully Remote Business?
From bottom lines to operational consistency, there is a laundry list of reasons to consider a fully remote business model. Here’s how it has benefit our team at Full Circle as well as our clients.
- We can hire the best talent. When your business is bound to bricks and mortar, your talent field is limited, too. But when you’re structured for remote operations, the opportunities to recruit the brightest and best grows exponentially.
- Bottom lines are better for everyone. No physical offices means drastically reduced overhead, which comes with a broad range of benefits. Specifically, it means we can better pay our top-notch talent and keep services costs competitive for our clients.
- There are no drops in service. With a robust team distributed across a broad area, we are less likely to be stopped in our tracks by internet outages, natural disasters or even a global pandemic. There are no drops in service and no lapses communication.
How Do You Get from There to Here?
If you’re still trying to navigate a potential future in which everyone stays remote, don’t fret. You can make it work. Not only that, you can make remote work highly successfully for yourself and your team. All you need is the right approach and a few choice tools (yes, we’re talking about video conferencing capabilities).
- Develop, audit and update operations processes. Whether or not you’re in the ASC business, this means monitoring key performance indicators (KPIs) and keeping communication open. Tracking KPI shifts and trends will usually provide the first indicator if something is askew, and effective communication will be key to identifying what needs to be changed. Consider a project management platform to track your team’s workload, and establish flexible quotas that can help keep everyone on a productive track.
- Speaking of communication, equip your employees with the right tools. This is where Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting or Slack (or any other video conferencing software) will come in handy. Face-to-face conversations are always the most productive, and they provide the best opportunity for engaged coaching, actionable feedback and quality working sessions.
- Set expectations for partners/clients and employees. As far as partners or clients are concerned, there is no reason why they should expect anything different or less from you or your team. As for employees, set expectations around frequency of communication, execution processes for individual projects, how to flag projects or situations requiring others’ attention, and the process for altering others to potential lack of availability (if employees expects to be unreachable during standard work hours).
When in Doubt, Consult Others
Full Circle employs team members in ten states and four different time zones, and our clients would never guess it so. Because we have processes, standards and individual leeway. So, it has come as no surprise that industry colleagues have reached out to us in the COVID era for suggestions on making remote work…work. This is precisely what it takes to succeed! Research, ask around, consult those who have telecommuted by choice and not purely of necessity. Finding out what has worked for others is usually a solid means of discovering what will work for you.
Need some insight into how you can better manage remote business office staff and processes? Contact our team at Full Circle for a strategic consult. We chose the remote life, and we’re ready to help you take full advantage of all it can offer.