Remote Work Tools To Help Optimize Your Business’s Performance
Working remotely affects individual employees in a multitude of ways. While many remote employees do their best work remotely, others face obstacles in maintaining productivity, focus, organization, and leadership. If you’re an entrepreneur or aspire to become one in the near future, mastering digital tools and optimizing your workspace can help you stay ahead of the business curve.
Remote work has become a huge advantage for many businesses and their remote employees. Many prefer the time saved from not having a daily commute, and remote work makes many jobs more accessible to individuals with disabilities. Digital Communications are becoming commonplace, and much of today’s workforce is comfortable with the virtual culture. But when businesses begin to expand, the market changes, or previously in-person positions transition to remote work, it’s important to know the tools you need to succeed.
Start With A Good Self-Assessment
Aside from a collective transition to an almost completely virtual economic world in recent years, businesses across all industries have one thing in common. Every business has its own goals for brand growth, and the place to begin in those endeavors is with a self-assessment. Start by identifying your business needs, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. From there, you can determine how those elements are affected by a virtual workforce, the physical space you and your employees occupy, and the digital tools you currently use.
If you’re having difficulty identifying your strengths and weaknesses, it can help to keep a central database of past client-business interactions, company events, and contract acquisitions. Many AI and software companies have recently become better developed to manage and streamline this type of data into usable, pertinent knowledge, for even small and medium-sized businesses. In the meantime, it might help to:
- Identify common customer pain points
- Survey employees and contractors to understand their pain points
- Consider which of your current physical and digital tools are not serving you well, if any
- Identify your immediate and future business goals, and what might prevent you from reaching them
- Consider your own productivity levels: are you as productive as your business needs you to be? Are remote business operations preventing you from growing or maintaining business in any way?
Business Management Tools
Once you’ve identified potential pain points, you can make decisions about changing, retaining, or implementing new business and project management tools to keep you going. These include team cohesion software and online meeting platforms that help connect your virtual workforce for better communication and collaboration. They might also include project management platforms, where everyone can check in on their portions of group work, and see what others on the team are developing.
Since nearly 40 percent of businesses employ remote workers, and more than 75 percent of those surveyed say they work better remotely, it’s a safe bet that this trend is here to stay. That’s why cloud-based and software as a service process can be highly beneficial for tracking employee productivity, and project completion for your remote teams. It can also track human resources information, like onboarding regulation and work hour tracking. Research your options for the team management software that can fit the needs of your business, to get you started in the right direction.
Team Building and Employee Engagement
Since most employees use three or more devices to perform their work functions remotely throughout the day, it can also be beneficial to use a communications platform that your remote team can use as a mobile application. Mobile communication apps are also great for building remote team relationships, checking in with your staff, and creating the schedule and accountability that many remote workers need to be productive. In general, remote business management and remote team cohesion should occur using one task-managing application or platform, and one communications app or platform, in order to avoid information overload and missed details or team communications.
Employee efficiency and engagement can often depend on team cohesion, which can be difficult to achieve in a virtual space and culture. Video conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Hangouts are great video conferencing tools to keep your entire virtual team connected to the tasks at hand, and to one another. Virtual office parties are great for building community and togetherness, and some team building exercises can be conducted virtually using video conferencing as well as the aforementioned communications apps. If you still feel like your team struggles to communicate, get on the same page for projects and assignments, or employee productivity is declining, many local companies are now offering private and collaborative workspaces for in-person meetings. These include conference rooms, meeting spaces, and even private offices for small-group meetings in a professional setting.
Optimizing Your Workflow With the Right Workspace
For many remote workers and virtual entrepreneurs, productivity is directly related to the ergonomics and design of their workspaces. In addition to productivity, employee efficiency, creativity, and fulfillment in their role is directly related to the physical space in which they work, and so is their work-life balance. Building a business or transitioning a full-time, formerly in-person role to a fully remote one requires the right space and the right tools for successful business continuity.
Consider your current workspace and your day-to-day workflow. If you’re not performing as efficiently or with as much focus as you did in an office setting, you might want to consider the following:
- Do I have the physical supplies I need, like pen and paper, printer access, etc when I need them? Are they accessible and organized?
- Can I depend on my technology to get me through the workday? Do I have a reliable internet connection, power, and a phone connection every time I need it?
- How do I feel sitting in my workspace? Am I comfortable sitting or standing in my space during online meetings? Am I irritable, squinting to see in low light, or bending my wrists over my keyboard to type?
- How are the boundaries, and physical barriers, between my workspace and my living space? Am I frequently interrupted or distracted by other things happening in the room? Do I have a good work-life balance?
For most, navigating these obstacles in mindful and productive remote work have been a challenge. A workspace that has the supplies, furniture, tech, and environment you need encourages you to do your best creative thinking and problem solving without interruption. Those remote entrepreneurs and employees whose workspace is also their living space can make small changes to help promote employee efficiency, productivity, focus and business continuity. These include upgrading technology, replacing furniture that is uncomfortable, playing soft music or ambient sound, finding the most consistent and natural lighting to work in, and establishing routines and boundaries in work-from-home life.
Change Your Scenery, Change Your Mindset
When drawing boundaries between your personal life and work life isn’t an option, or you miss the office environment or corporate culture, it might be time to find a new virtual work setting. Both startup entrepreneurs and other professionals often enjoy the corporate culture of a physical office space, where business-minded professionals can expand their formal and informal networks and work in an environment that encourages innovation. For these people, renting a collaborative or coworking space can replace the office experience and guarantee a reliable internet and phone connection.
Coworking spaces are becoming more and more common as the world of virtual business expands. Even remote employees who prefer virtual work culture most of the time can benefit from the refreshing, professional environment of a coworking space. If you love the idea of a clean office space with high-speed internet and perfect lighting, but don’t love the idea of coworking, a private office could be what you need. There are private office spaces of all sizes, and many rent month-to-month, so you can adapt as your business grows.
Finally, if your growing business is doing just fine from your home office and you want to keep your business virtual for the foreseeable future, just make sure you’re fully equipped with the physical and digital tools mentioned above. If you’ve not yet outgrown your physical workspace, but need a dedicated business mailing address and mail service to take your legitimacy to the next level and offer you more privacy, try renting a virtual office. Virtual office rentals can also be on a short-term or month-to-month basis, and give you access to in-person meeting rooms for potential future clients. In addition to phone answering services and a new business address, you can enjoy 24/7 building access and many other amenities.
Most great accomplishments in the business world begin with an idea. We use our best ideas to set a goal and make a plan for our businesses. From there we continuously assess, adapt, and grow.
Whether you’re just beginning your online business or nurturing a long and successful career, how you adapt to the changing world will determine whether or not you succeed in it. Start with a list, consider your business goals, and a timeline for those goals. Assess your current and projected performance, and whether you have the physical and digital tools you need to succeed.
If the answer is yes, continue on your trajectory, continue assessing your performance and your employee’s pain points, and stay abreast of new and exciting tech developing for entrepreneurs.
If the answer isn’t yes, consider how your physical space is helping or inhibiting your business. Invest in the changes needed to make your workspace inspiring. Or, let Office Evolution in Clark, NJ do that for you. We offer all the amenities and inspiration you need to get going, and to stay on the path to success.
Office Evolution Clark is a flexible co-working space located in Clark, NJ. If you’d like to explore a safe and local office setting where you can connect in-person with other working professionals, schedule a free tour today.our blog post content here…