With the demand for talent at an all-time high, and a continuing trend of companies looking to offer more flexible working environments, it is estimated that by 2020, 50% of all employees will be working remotely.
As well as assisting some of the world’s largest corporations employ and payroll remote workers, at Capital GES we also have remote staff within Sales and Operations around Europe and the US. With offices in Brazil, Ireland and Switzerland we rely on effective communication and collaboration for our global remote teams to work.
In this two-part series we speak to our remote employees and their managers to get their view on remote working. In this particular article we focused on our remote employees.
What do you think is most important when working remotely?
US based Remote employee ‘the key to a successful remote working arrangement is having your own designated workspace and establishing a set daily routine. Having a designated workspace that is free from all homelife distractions is necessary, and it is important to use this space for work only. This enables you to keep your work in your office and not have the feeling that your work is invading your private life. This designated space for work helps segment work and home life, so that once the working day is done you can relax’
How do you feel about your work productivity?
Austria based remote employee ‘I would say I can be even more productive working remotely. There can be many distractions in an office environment. Colleagues who come over for impromptu chats, multiple coffee trips to the kitchen or even long meetings that can eat up into your working day. Working remotely eliminates all these distractions so you can focus more clearly and get more work done in a shorter amount of time. I am at the HQ once a month, and this is where I really notice that I can take more time to do my daily tasks’
How do you communicate with other remote employees and head office staff?
US based remote employee ‘Luckily, we are a company that use Skype for all business calls. So video and instant messaging is used to communicate with colleagues on a daily basis. We use an instant messenger for when we want a quick response and emails for external communication. We have daily catch-up calls and weekly team meetings, which keep everyone up to date with what is happening in other offices. These daily catch-up calls also include a small portion of family and life talk, unrelated to business, so that we feel that we are part of the team and know what is going on. Just like the type of conversation, you would have at the coffee machine’
‘It is also important to have one-to-one daily or weekly meetings with the manager. Weekly team meetings provide an opportunity for everyone to talk about what they have been working on and for any company news updates – The meetings we hold at Capital are set at the same time each week, focused and well structured’
How important is collaboration when working remotely?
UK based remote worker ‘Collaboration is an absolute necessity for us remote workers. It is important to schedule catch up calls when working on projects and web meetings when possible. Daily catch-ups help keep everyone in the loop and projects can move forward without delay’
‘It’s also important to meet up, whether it’s monthly or annual events it helps build relationships with other departments. This avoids you feeling alone in your role and allows you to know the full picture of the company. Furthermore, if you have relationships with all departments, it easier to request or ask for small favours (scanning a document that is at the HQ, etc.)’
What are the benefits about working remotely?
Austrian based remote employee ‘As well as being more productive, there are many benefits to working remotely’
You can focus better with fewer distractions. You are also in your own environment, so you can be more comfortable (on days when it is too cold or too cold) so you focus better on the tasks.
When working remotely you are very rarely sick. Illnesses like colds and flus can spread from person to person in an office environment. Even on days when you don’t feel great, tasks such as emails, etc. can still be completed when working remotely.
Increased happiness levels
Happiness levels can increase and stress can be reduced when working remotely. There is no commuting stress or time spent driving to the office, which allows more time to spend with family and friends. Since working remote, my work life balance is much better. I used to have a long commute every day which meant that my week was basically work, eat and sleep.
What are the negatives about working remotely?
US based remote employee ‘When working remotely you miss the visibility of colleagues and resources that are available - this means you must be even more organised and communicative. Furthermore, as we are a global company with our HQ in Switzerland, it is important for us remote workers in the US to book meetings in advance and schedule calls to communicate with colleagues globally.
It can be very easy to feel left out of the group and you can miss out in general conversations. The daily calls with your team enable you to stay in the loop, and helps to know what they are up to but there are often situations where I hear them say, oh sorry we forgot to tell you it was mentioned yesterday at lunch. There can also be miscommunication through email, video or phone so information can get lost or it takes longer to find the answer’
It’s clear that from speaking with our own remote employees (as well as the interactions we have with the external employees we payroll) that the benefits can certainly outweigh the negatives when it comes to working remotely. While there are of course some slight negatives, these can be softened by the presence of good technology, regular contact with colleagues and attending monthly or annually events. These events allow remote workers to interact and build relationships with other departments, as they might not necessarily work alongside them in their role.
About Capital GES
Capital GES facilitates the employment of remote workers in countries where companies might not have an entity. If you are considering expanding your business and hiring staff in 2018, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone +41 32 732 9700 and a member of our team will be in touch.
More on our Remote Working Series
Click on the link our infographic on Remote Working