How to Successfully Manage Your Business’ Transition to Remote Working

Remote working became the go-to solution for companies during the pandemic and provided many benefits for both workers and the balance sheet alike. Following the end of the pandemic, many companies kept the remote working structure or at least morphed it into a hybrid pattern where not everybody was required to be in the office all the time.

Other businesses went straight back to having everyone under one roof and returned to “business as usual”. In the face of rising bills, rent, and costs from suppliers, they’re now looking to save money and revisit the idea of remote working. Unlike during the pandemic, however, when it had to be done almost overnight, you now have the opportunity to go about it in the right way, using all the services that now exist for this type of transition.


1. Identify the Roles Which Can Be Made Remote

The first place to look is to identify which jobs can be done remotely and which need to stay in the office. Many jobs like sales and marketing can be done from just about anywhere (and a salesman might be on the road most of the time anyway), so they can be moved off-site, their desks repurposed for others, and have that office space used for something else altogether.

The same thoughts might apply to roles like writers or those that do data analysis, but depending on what type of business you run, you could go further. By looking at each job role and seeing how they connect with the rest of the business, you can make a decision about whether they have to be there or you just prefer them to be around. Being honest with yourself can mean that you free up so much space you might be able to relocate to a smaller, cheaper office.


2. Ensure You Have the Right Software in Place

Once you move to a distributed workforce, you’ll need to ensure that they have the tools they need to do their jobs. This might involve equipping them with laptops and checking that they have a space at home where they can work uninterrupted. You’ll also need to look at communications software like Microsoft Teams, so your workforce can communicate with each other when they’re not all sat in the same space. 

If you haven’t done so already, you’ll need to migrate much of what you do to one of the Microsoft clouds, most likely Microsoft 365. You also need to make sure that you have the right cloud solution provider so you’re not paying more than you should for what you use. You might not know how to do this, so turning to a company like bytes.co.uk could be a sensible move. They have specialists who can cover any gaps in your knowledge and get you discounts that you might not be able to access on your own. 


3. Upgrade Your HR Setup to Provide Support

In addition to technical support, there’ll be other resources required to support your team now they’re not coming into the office every day. The most important of these will be in HR, who’ll need to look at a whole new range of issues. While remote working can take the daily commute out of the equation for most workers and provide a better work-life balance for some, others will start to feel detached and isolated and need help.

Many of these staff won’t feel like they can reach out, so regular check-ins from HR or you will allow the few months after the transition to go smoothly and not result in a drop in productivity.


4. Address Training Process Issues

As a follow-up to this, you need to realize that once people don’t have the same amount of face-to-face interaction, they’re less likely to ask for help if they get stuck. To help with this, you need to ensure all your processes are documented and available to everyone who needs them so everyone knows what they’re doing. This way, those working remotely can consult the process rather than contact a colleague who may be away from their desk at the time.


5. Online Meeting Structure

Once you’re all working remotely, you also need to change the way you put together your meetings. You’ll need to ensure you schedule carefully so everyone will be available, and possibly send out an agenda so people can know what you’ll be discussing. Another good move is to have a short meeting at the start of the day, so everyone is in the loop about what needs to be achieved that day. This way, they can feedback to the team in general about any problems they have, and you can find a solution at 9.10 a.m. instead of 4.50 p.m.

Likewise, you could have an end-of-day meeting. This isn’t necessarily just so you can check on progress, but it lets everyone know it’s the end of the day and time to close the lid on their laptop. Some people, when working remotely, tend to carry on working well past when they would at the office, and while this behavior might seem beneficial to the business, it can lead to problems in the long term with employee burnout.


To Wrap Everything Up

Moving to remote working has plenty of benefits, especially for any business owner or manager who’s looking to save money in the long term. There are, however, some activities that need to be carried out to ensure it all goes smoothly. The first of these is identifying the right roles to make remote, ensuring you don’t leave yourself short. You also need to ensure that you’re licensing the best software to support them in their job roles and not paying too much for it. HR support is needed, too, with having the right processes in place and regular meetings to help your workforce have everything they need to carry out their tasks efficiently and healthily.

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