According to a recent study conducted by Gallup, more employees are working remotely now than ever before. Out of 15,000 adults surveyed, over 40% said they spent time working from home. We also published a blog post last month that details the various changes occurring in our current work force. The traditional work-week schedule is adapting to better suit employees’ lifestyles. To help usher in this new style of employment, we have gathered nine tips that we believe can aid in adapting to working remotely.
Find the right job
First, and maybe most importantly, you should be at a company that understands and supports employees who work remotely. If you are already in a position and you’d like to transition into working out of the office, strike up a conversation with your superiors as soon as possible. If they won’t budge, then perhaps it's a sign you should begin looking elsewhere.
Establish and maintain a private work area
Having your own space to work is extremely helpful when it comes to productivity and focus. You should have an area that is solely dedicated to work, with an actual desk and no distractions. If possible, a home office is ideal when it comes to working remotely.
Connect with your team
Physical distance should not inhibit your relationship with coworkers, or your managers. It is vital to maintain constant communication from all sides to ensure you are staying on track, and that your fellow employees are all up to speed with your projects.
Work around your energy, not the clock
One of the major benefits of working remotely is that you don’t have to follow the typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. timeline. While you shouldn’t use this as an excuse to sleep the morning away, it can be incredibly useful for when you’re feeling particularly motivated. Our most creative moments don’t necessarily come within that 8-hour window, so take advantage of the flexibility.
Dress for success
You wouldn’t wear pajamas into the office, so don’t do it when working remotely either. It is certainly tempting, however maintaining a well kept appearance even when working from home will make you feel more successful and productive. Suit and tie not required, but stay away from the sweatpants at least. Because our employees are located both in Louisville, KY and Costa Rica, many of them work on Number8 projects remotely. We support this method of work, because we know our employees are able to produce the highest quality products no matter where they are. If you're interested in learning more about us and what we do, visit our information page here. And if you're looking for IT services, or software development assistance, give us a call today at (502) 890-7665!
Outsourcing often has a negative connotation. The general public thinks of an impersonal, rigid work environment where employees do not necessarily feel invested in the work they do. In actuality, offshore outsourcing is an extremely amicable practice. Especially today where technology allows for fluid communication across borders, offshore employees feel as much a part of a company as those onshore. To ensure this stays a reality, employees have a responsibility to dedicate time and effort into strengthening relationships among coworkers and clients. Below we have gathered a few of the best practices in offshore software development.
Full-Time Onshore Leader
Important to have a leader who is fully dedicated to the success of the company. Some people think that they can supervise an offshore team in addition to all their other responsibilities. But really there should be one team member whose main position is to work with the offshore developers so that they get the attention they deserve.
Corresponding Offshore Team Leader
To complement the onshore team leader, there should be an equal counterpart within the offshore site. This employee should be responsible for checking in with the onshore leader on a frequent basis. This will allow for constant updates regarding current projects and assignments to ensure that all teams are fulfilling their duties.
Schedule Video Chat Meetings
Even if you can’t always be face-to-face with offshore employees, technology today allows for personal communication in other ways. Take advantage of platforms such as Skype, Google Chat, or Slack for regular meetings.
Onshore and offshore teams should communicate as often as possible to create a cohesive work environment. If the company lacks unity, it will show in the quality of work and level of engagement.
Curate Small, Skilled Teams
Hiring the most skilled and motivated software developers is obviously a priority for any company. However it is especially imperative when it comes to offshore relationships. The added miles and potential time difference presents a more demanding environment and requires committed employees. At Number8 we always work to use the best practices in offshore software development between our teams in Louisville, KY and Costa Rica. If you're interested in learning about outsourcing and offshore software development, read more here.
In recent years, the formula for an office job has been pushed to evolve. In our current digitally-driven climate, the 9-5 structure has become almost obsolete. Employees are more inclined to work “remotely” or “telecommute” throughout the work-week. Rather than sitting at a desk for eight hours, remote workers conduct projects, meetings, etc. either from home, or from an alternative workspace.In 2013, The Forrester Research’s US Telecommuting Forecast revealed that 34 million Americans worked from home, with predictions that the number would only continue to grow. A Wired article from the same time noted:
“From a talent acquisition perspective, remote working opens up a “treasure trove” of candidates from across the world. Companies and organizations that encourage such practices enjoy enhanced employee productivity for reduced infrastructure costs. Flexible working arrangements also boost employee job satisfaction levels and quite often, retention.”
GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com reported that at-home employees has grown by 103 percent since 2005. Additionally, about 50 percent of the jobs held in the US can be maintained remotely. Another study, from Leadership IQ, found that out of 3,478 participants, remote employees were 87 percent more likely to say they “loved” their job.
How to Stay Engaged
With all of the positive statistics, it may seem as though there are no difficulties when it comes to telecommuting. And while there are huge benefits with being able to hire employees from any where in the world, there are also steps one should take to ensure constant engagement and connectivity on all levels. Whether you're working with employees an ocean away, or just a few miles, here are a few bits of advice to keep in mind:
Give it a Shot
The many myths and misconceptions about remote workers often dissuades companies from allowing employees to telecommute. Before you write it off, try it out. If you want to convince your boss of the benefits, provide a solid pitch and ask for a trial period. Or if you're working to restructure your business, give employees the opportunity to work remotely a couple days a week. Keep track of the progress made in and out of the office. Have open discussions about what works and what doesn't and use that feedback moving forward.
Take Recruitment Seriously
Hiring new employees is a difficult process to begin with. Add in an extra level: they don't live in the same country. Telecommuting opens so many doors, but it also widens the pool of potential employees. Don't let the intimidation factor prevent you from exploring all the opportunities. Develop a thorough vetting process to ensure you're finding the best employees you can. The time and effort involved in recruiting will pay off in the long run.
Once you've hired remote employees, you need to trust in their abilities. Don't waste your own time constantly checking on them. You've hired them for a reason; let them prove they're capable.
Use Time Zones to Your Advantage
Obviously it would be most beneficial if your remote workers live within the same time zone, but don't be discouraged if they don't. Just be sure to establish clear rules surrounding communication.
Focus on Long-Term
Don't worry too much about the day-to-day goals and instead focus on the big ideas. Everyone works in different ways, and it can be more beneficial to allow employees to set their own goals in relation to completing the final product. Keep communication flowing to ensure employees are on the right track, but don't stress if they're moving at their own pace. Number8 operates both from our headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky and also from San Jose, Costa Rica. Our employees from both locations work together tirelessly to deliver the highest quality software in the business. If you're looking to learn more about remote workers, and offshore employment visit our About Us page here, or give us a call at (502) 890-7665!
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number8’s onshore office is located in Louisville, Kentucky where our Account and Relationship Managers work hard to provide all of our clients with exceptional customer service. We also have consultant offices located in Escazú, Costa Rica and San Pedro Sula, Honduras that give us a strong local presence allowing for top-level recruitment, technical training and low employee turnover.