We all hated group projects in college. One of the worst parts about them was dividing up the work and coming together in the library only to find out one of your partners botched their entire part. Unfortunately, things don’t change very much in the work place. Yes, we don’t call them “group projects” and we’re all professionals, but mistakes happen. But even though it’s harder to stay on the same page, there’s no denying its effects if you do it right. And evaluating both sides will be helpful to determine whether to implement a remote work environment:
The most practical use of content management software is as the name suggests: to organize and manage content so everyone is assigned, complete, and their tasks fluidly. Cohesive task distribution and easily accessible chat clients are vast collaborative improvements over the traditional workplace. Add on a chat client like Adium, Pidgin, or Microsoft Lync, and all employees can communicate via the same method, eliminating correspondence-related issues that arise due to software incompatibility.
Improved hiring practices
The willingness of a company to accept remote work often results in improved hiring pra ctices. When companies offer the ability to work remotely, it allows a wider net to be cast, amassing more diverse and honed-in talent. There are many talented individuals who are not able to abide by conventional office hours, most often due to family or personal obligations. The availability of remote work makes these issues obsolete, encouraging hiri ng managers to zero in on a potential employee’s talent and potential, not their precise availability.
Improved client interaction
Since remote work and distributed teams can improve hiring practices, making employee schedules more flexible, that also allows the opportunity for more extended customer support. If your business operates on a traditional 9-to-5 schedule, then customers seeking support or input beyond that timeframe will be out of luck. But with remote work and distributed teams, there exists a great possibility that one or a number of staff will be online at all times, paving the way for more availability, and happier clients.
Office culture may suffer, or become non-existent
Many businesses, especially startups, benefit from a creative culture that permeates throughout their office. Sometimes ideas are best exchanged face-to-face, in a conference room through a traditional presentation – as dull and uninspiring as they could potentially be. Publications like Business Insider call office culture very important, and remote work could take away from that.
More potential distractions
Some people work better at home. Others need an office setting that forces them to focus. While those in the latter category should probably not bother applying to remote work jobs, for their own good, there’s no mistaking that remote work offers the most daily distractions. There is no supervisor peeking over your shoulder, nor a set lunch time that you work toward. It’s just your own schedule, plain and simple. For some people that’s a pro. For many others, it’s a con that may deter them from applying to jobs that only offer a remote work environment.
Flawed upper management is more prevalent
Upper management can more easily construct a façade in a conventional workplace, where their demeanor and role alone can invoke the chain of command. In a remote work environment, it’s not so easy for supervisors to flex their muscles. If an employee is slacking off, a sternly worded e-mail is not nearly as effective as a stern sit-down in person. Damage control may also be more difficult, as an employee’s error may be more difficult to remedy if various sections of the project are spread throughout various tasks and staff members.