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How to Make Remote Work Actually Work

May 23, 2016
Aaron Polmeer

By cwainwright@hubspot.com (Corey Wainwright)

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One of my favorite things about working remotely — which I do a few times a month — is the freedom to get comfortable. When I work from home, I’m usually find myself in one of three positions: sitting up at the table, laying down with my laptop, or buried in a pillow avalanche on my couch. (Sound familiar to anyone?)

While most offices have a few full-time remote workers — and probably a few that operate like I do — the idea of more remote employees may be one companies need to get used to.

Why is remote work becoming such a big deal? Well, from where I’m sitting (currently “sitting up at the table”), it’s simple: Because good candidates are asking for it, and technology’s making it an easier thing to demand — no matter what the position entails.

For employees, this is great news. They can live where they want, spend less time and money commuting, and wear their bathrobe to meetings. But what do companies get out of it?

According to research by online freelance marketplace Upwork, sourcing and onboarding in-office employees takes an average of 43 days, compared with three days for remote employees. Not to mention, being open to remote team members widens the talent pool.

So to help you sort through the operations and expectations that employers need to consider to make remote work effective, let’s walk through some practices that make it easier for me to communicate and collaborate with my remote teammates.

How to Make Remote Work Work

On Setup & Technology

I have very little in the way of tech savvy, but I do know that a good operational and technical foundation helps remote workforces stay productive. This is where two key teams come into play: Finance & Accounting and IT.

It starts with a commitment — if you’re interested in making it — to investing in your remote team as actual employees that will grow with the company. Not contractors. Not freelancers. That investment means working with Finance & Accounting to understand the administrative costs of paying employees in different states or countries. Are there visa costs you’ll need to consider? Will employees need to travel to the office on a regular basis — and if so, is the company financing it? Do they have the technology they need at home to communicate with you effectively? Again, are you financing it if they don’t?

These questions extend to IT and the infrastructure they’ll need to set up, too. They’ll want to build in security measures for employee devices, and will need to equip your office with the technology your in-office team needs to communicate with remote team members. This includes chat software, remote meeting software, telepresence devices, and potentially some high-tech conference rooms to make coordinating all of that seamless. One of my teammates who works remotely half the week and works with our global offices quite a …read more

Source:: HubSpot Blog

      

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