Introduction to Remote-First Culture
A company that practices a remote-first culture does not only permit its staff to work remotely. Such a company enables and empowers its staff to efficiently complete their tasks from remote locations. The operational structures in a company hoping to adopt the remote-first culture must also be flexible enough to help remote workers complete their specific tasks from their individual locations as in an office location.
The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly established the fact that remote work has indeed come to stay. And more than most entrepreneurs and business owners would admit, remote working has become the order of the day in the cooperate world. Consequently, imbibing a remote-first culture has moved from an option to becoming a necessity for most companies. This is especially the case for industries centered around knowledge and intangible skills than physical and manual labor.
Nevertheless, remote working sure does face its own share of challenges. And achieving 100% efficiency with a remote team is never an automatic process. There are specific measures you need to put in place to get the best from your remote teams – even when they're scattered across several continents and time zones.
Furthermore, a remote-first culture will undoubtedly spare you costs like office rent, transportation, utility, and additional employee (receptionist, cook, security personnel, janitor) costs. But this cost can quickly reincarnate if the proper parameters for work and collaboration are not put in place. And in a remote setting, the appropriate parameters always translate to the use of tools, software, and digital solutions that meet the work-related needs of your remote staff.
Bitrix24 for Remote Work
A practical way to monitor costs and still scale up the efficiency of your remote-first culture is by employing a centralized, all-encompassing software for completing remote work. One such software is the Bitrix24 CRM
In addition to being an innovative tool for in-person business activities, Bitrix24 also makes for an ideal tool to solve problems that may confront the efficiency of your remote teams. So, if you still dread the remote-first culture for reasons best known to you, the following show how Bitrix24 solves the challenges you may face while adopting a remote-first culture.
Unlike what is obtainable in a physical office, communicating remotely may not be as effective and transparent as required. It is never an issue to understand gestures, body language, and non-verbal expressions in a physical office setting while interacting with a team member. The case can be pretty different for remote teams because messages and tones can easily get misinterpreted, leading to a communication gap.
To deal with communication issues in your remote team, you need dedicated communication tools. We can integrate your G-Suite webmail with Bitrix24 to help you make the most of Bitrix24 for communication. With this integration, your team can send and receive information and updates via personalized and detailed emails. You can also foster communication by harnessing our conference calling option to engage your remote staff via encrypted voice or video calls.
Round-the-clock communication channels, weekly one-to-one reviews, and open communication methods can also help close significant communication gaps among your remote team members. It is also crucial that you train your remote force on effective ways to communicate via emails or calls. Lengthy sentences and explanations may become practical as they foster understanding and ensure that messages are rightly transmitted.
You are at liberty to be concerned about your team's productivity if and when you decide to adopt a remote-first culture. After all, Productivity has always posed a significant challenge for remote teams across multiple sectors. Employers worry that remote workers may not be able to handle distractions present in their respective homes. They also worry about how work and personal life imbalance can affect remote work.
It is unusual to find employees loitering around or dealing with personal issues during work hours in an in-person office. But a manager has no way of ensuring that the remote-working nursing mother on their team will not spend work hours nursing her newborn.
But then, monitoring remote work productivity can also get pretty tricky. Managers and employers who get obsessed with imposing strict productivities on their employees can quickly transit into a state of virtual micromanagement, which is bad for business. When you constantly monitor your remote employees, they assume you do not trust their capacities. This feeling can diminish their morale, disempower them, and further plunge their productivities.
However, a good software like Bitrix24 can actively improve your remote team's productivity and progress transparency. With this productivity software, you can stay abreast of the tasks your team members are getting done at every point in time. You may never have to ring your IT guy at all before you notice he's decided to take a video game break middle of work. This software keeps track of employees' productivity and notifies admins and managers of each person's progress.
Setting up task templates for your remote staff will also ensure that they complete routine/recurring tasks and projects in time. These templates also eliminate the discouragement of beginning a task from scratch – especially when no supervisory eyes are gazing from the next room.
You can also improve productivity by having each remote team member submit customized reports daily, weekly or monthly basis. Setting up strict deadlines for these submissions will also ensure that team members actively put away distractions during their work hours.
Establishing Company Culture
Instilling your company's culture and ethics in your workforce is pretty much easier when you encounter them physically.
If punctuality happens to be one of your business's core values, it can be quite a hassle to get remote workers to resume work at your time. Also, suppose your company thrives on mutual respect and honesty. In that case, it can be pretty difficult to pass on these values to your remote teams.Bitrix24 solves culture problems by introducing functions that help you express these values to every team member. In order to instill a sense of mutual respect and honesty in your remote team members, the Bitrix24 chatroom gives you a platform to communicate with your team members more flexibly and less professionally. In this chatroom, you can replicate the day-to-day interactions and conversations you have with your in-house team to establish prevailing company cultures.
Conversely, if your company has a culture of punctuality, Bitrix24's time clock will help you instill that culture in your remote team members. This way, you get to know when each remote team member gets out of bed to resume work –though they can literally work from the comfort of their beds.
Meetings and Schedules
Scheduling meetings and cooperate tasks for onsite teams is no trouble at all. A simple memo and a reminder will get your entire team gathered in your conference room in a matter of minutes. And during each meeting, only a little effort will get each participant fully present and active.
For remote teams, meetings and cooperative activities can be quite a hassle to set up and achieve. First, you'll need to send multiple reminders to intended participants to have them remember the schedule. This is especially the case if your meetings are scheduled for times outside agreed working hours.
Another scheduling challenge your remote team will likely face is time zone differences. If you work with a remote global team, overcoming time zones can quickly become a significant challenge. Consequently, fixing a 10am meeting from New York could translate to a 12am meeting for a member in Tokyo.
However, to establish a remote-first culture, you must schedule meetings that can be conveniently attended by every team member. Bitrix24 helps you achieve properly scheduled meetings by providing a means to integrate the software with Google Calendar. You also have firsthand access to each employee and contractor's information, so you can schedule meetings and reviews at times that would be most convenient for each person.
You can also assign each team member tasks that are to be reviewed during scheduled meetings. This assignment will keep remote workers on their toes. The consciousness that they have to make presentations during meetings will make them remember, attend and be active.
Morale and Trust
While you're busy wondering if your remote employees are getting it right from their respective locations. Don't be surprised to hear that they are also worried about not getting their paycheck – and on time too. This worry can quickly accelerate to a lack of trust in your company or a cascading effect on their morale.
Whatever the case may be, Bitrix24 is one tool that helps you keep your employees satisfied and motivated. With built-in tools like the Bitrix24 time clock, you can easily monitor each team member's contribution. Consequently, you can calculate and pay their wages, taxes, and salaries promptly.
The transparency that comes with Bitrix24's employee management features also allows you to put recognition and reward systems in place. When you reward your remote team members, you motivate them to do better even with less supervision.
Resolving Technical Issues
Employees need not worry about technical or hardware issues with their work gadgets in a typical office setting. When these issues arise, it is often commonplace for the organization to resolve them. As a result, an employee working from the office is sure of having their computer changed or fixed in a matter of minutes if it develops a technical fault of any kind.
However, a study on over 4,000 remote workers shows that 36% of remote employees experience slower connectivity than in the office. Other technical issues like faulty devices and storage problems could also hamper the smooth workflow from remote locations.
Birtix24 obviously doesn't have any feature that fixes technical issues for teams. Still, it sure does foster your reach to the providers of those services. The communication options (email, chats, and voice calls) on Bitrix24 do not only ensure that you stay up to date with your team members. It also keeps you on good terms with your vendors, clients, and services providers, as you only need a few clicks to get in touch with them.
So, in the event of the technical failure of the devices of one of your remote team members, you'll not have to leave Bitrix24 to get help across to them. Your remote worker can also navigate the issue by following the video or verbal guide from a technical team member or the technical service provider.
Sales and Marketing
Do you worry that your sales and marketing strategies may dwindle when you empower your teams to move to remote locations? Maybe – if you fail to invest in the right tools and digital solutions. But when you include solutions like bitrix24 in your arsenal of remote work tools, even your sales will not suffer when you go remote.
Bitrix24 offers you the option of automating your marketing efforts with more than 30 marketing tools and eCommerce platforms. You can accept orders on this CRM, store and process them. You can also approve your contracts, generate deals, run your campaigns, and get feedback from your customers from the comfort of your home.
It is easy to request that an employee from your finance department works hand-in-hand with an employee from another department in a physical workspace. Paperwork and files can easily be moved from one office to another. Team members can easily collaborate on a project or task to achieve results.
With remote teams, it is usually an entirely different ballgame. It is never a cheap task to get remote team members to unify their efforts towards achieving a common goal. This collaboration is even more difficult if team members work from different time zones and have existing communication gaps.
But with Bitrix24, remote collaboration has never been made easier. On this CRM, you can create workgroups where team members can simultaneously work on and complete specific tasks in real-time. They can also create and store documents with ease on this platform, edit them in real-time, and share them without printing or scanning paperwork. You can also protect each file and only allow permitted individuals access to them.
Clearly, establishing a remote-first culture in your company may not be as easy as it sounds. There are several snags you are bound to face. If not tackled, these challenges can quickly scale down your remote team's efficiency.
However, Bitrix24, as collaborative software, ensures that you can safely cross these hurdles and get the best from your remote teams. It is also crucial to state that we can help you run the integrations that help you make the most of your remote teams via Bitrix24.
Simply contact us, and we'll be right on time to propel your remote squad forward. Bitrix24 integrator like EMCsoft to enjoy this benefit.