STARTUP

How to Transition to Remote Working

Francesco D'Alessio

Remote work is one of hottest new trends in the workplace, or should we say outside. But what is remote work?

Simply being able to work from home or a co-working space in your town, village or city allows you to telecommute on a daily basis, being connected to your team members through an internet connection and occasional phone calls.

Many aspire to work remotely from home or their city, from hearing first hand how this transformative working style has benefited those undertaking it.

 2014 research, reported 82% lower stress levels

According to 2014 research, 82% of telecommuters reported lower stress levels suggesting that there are a lot of advantages to working remotely. 86% of remote working individuals have been surveyed to feel more productive on their own than within an office situation.

Many myths are surrounding remote working that deter people from choosing it as their form of work. Working remotely is not for everyone, you might not feel comfortable working in this routine. Before starting remote work, you should weigh up the pros and cons. 

What are some of the benefits of remote work?

Myths aside, working remotely has many advantages and has drawn a lot of people with companies such as Apple, Google, Microsoft and much more now employing on a remote working agreement to help reduce costs and pay more attention to the health of their employees.

Benefits of working remotely may include;

  • No commute times

  • No formal working attire

  • Improved time flexibility

  • Work from the home, cafe or space

  • Improved time with family

Naturally, with all things we can explore the negatives, some include; loneliness, not being able to switch off from work, distractions, and temptations and much more. All of these can be tamed to provide a productive work/life balance. 

Remote work isn't for everyone, a lot of people don't consider working remotely, as they are confident that their style of work provides them with enough fulfillment, their interactions and physical presence play a huge role in their success professionally and the success of the company. 

So how do I get started?! How can I create a company that runs remotely? Or even, how can I transition to a remote working agreement?

Transfer from an existing office job

Does all of that sound dreamy!? As a professional, achieving this might seem impossible, but with a few handy steps, it might not have to be. Spending time developing a plan and creating your path to securing a remote working agreement can be a long one, but provide you with a lot of experience and valuable learnings when it comes to beginning remote work. 

Create your research

First things first, understand whether remote work is for you. Building a picture of whether remote work suits your social pattern, life stage, work-type and other things will help you to determine if you’d be an effective remote worker.

Companies only tend to swap your role to remote if they see a considerable indication that you’d be more effective out of the office and in a different environment, spend time analyzing your habits and map them to the ones of an effective remote worker.

Alongside this spend some time gathering statistics from other companies e.g.,. They saw an XX% increase in their productivity since their team went remote etc. Bringing these insights together will help to pursue your case to your manager.

Communicating insights

Once you know that remote work is for you. Begin the assault.

Patience is one of the key factors when it comes to agreeing on a remote working agreement. You won’t score a deal after 5-minutes with your boss unless you are super charismatic. But spending the time to research and bring together a proposal will help ensure you are fully prepared for this discussion.

Start by putting together a full proposal in document form along with a pre-created speech, ready for the meeting with your boss. This will be a collection of reasons why you’d like to remote work and statistics about the benefits for the company of you working remotely.

Sharing with your boss (if you have one?)

Before heading into the meeting with your boss, try not to share this with other employees, the last thing your boss will want is you to be spreading such an idea with all the team without speaking with him or her first.

Always have a Plan A and a Plan B. If you go in with a Plan A of attack to get a full 1 year remote working agreement, that might not work for you, try a more realistic tactic like Plan A: Secure a 1 month trial of remote work to review in person at the end of the month.

Plan B could be, if the answers are no across the board, to ask for a follow-up meeting in 1 month to discuss going remote two days a week out of the 5 in the office. This is a smaller more manageable agreement that he/she can’t refuse as a primary experiment.

Best advice is not to annoy your boss, but to discuss, don’t get annoyed or angry, be patient and professional in your consideration.

Start fresh with a remote-company

There is the potential of starting out fresh with a remote working company.

Remote companies are all the trend now. With startups building out their first 50 employees as remote workers around the world, the concept of an HQ can go out of the windows for these modern start-ups.

Building your company remote first can be tricky. Elements of not being able to meet in person can affect the choice of your remote team.

You can cherry pick the best tactics that founders and remote companies are using to make sure their team works productively and efficiently from home.

Build trust in your team

Best thing is to start things off with people you know and feel comfortable with.

Start your team with a few people you know that are working remotely nearby or around the world, you’ll begin to build a healthy structure and network to help grow things out.

The first 10-15 employees might come from referral based work, but this will give you a strong constant basis. Judging people to work with you from a remote situation can be very tricky. Getting to know a person typically comes from face-to-face interactions and a record of credibility that you know of.

The best bet is to build off strong foundations with your team and make reliability and consistency a prime variable in the hiring process.

Finding future remote work

Finding remote work jobs is a little harder than finding an office based job. There are specific sites that help you with remote friendly or remote first companies that will post specifically there. There are plenty of sites for finding regular office work. But when it comes to remote work, that gets a little harder.

We’ve put together a small list for you to explore;

 

These are some active sites to get you started!

Remote work takes time but can be incredibly rewarding, so spend time on communicating, building and working towards a strong role.

Related stories