Being part of Gray Group International has shifted my life in the most positive way.
One of the things I enjoy the most is being able to be constantly learning new strategies, usage of new platforms and staying up-to-date with the latest digital trends.
Another thing I REALLY like? Working remotely
Let’s start with the basics:
What is remote work?
It may come in different forms.
For some companies, “working remotely” means performing daily duties outside of the 4 walls of the building, every day.
For others, the option to work remotely is given a few days a week.
Because remote work is still rising as a working methodology, we can say that companies are still testing the different models that may work for them.
Remote work has been a known concept for a few years though.
According to Talent LMS, a 2015 study by Stanford University pointed out the benefits of employees working remotely - I will briefly mention these below.
Over the years, experts have given advice on how to be more productive at home, and on remote work trends.
According to their latest study, as of 2019, the number of companies with a remote workforce is getting bigger — 66% of companies allow remote work and 16% are fully remote in The United States.
Not only is remote work getting more and more frequent around the workspace, it is also granting more autonomy in the different fields.
4 benefits of having a remote team:
1. Less time spent commuting
Let’s face it, no one likes to be stuck in traffic on a daily basis. Many people consider this a waste of time. Though, for many positive people out there, I know you will tell me that this is a great time to meditate, spend time learning while listening to podcasts and have some “me” time; only a very few percentages actually may enjoy spending time commuting.
According to a transportation study performed by CNN, commuters waste an average of 54 hours a year stalled in traffic.
That's two and a half days!
That's an extra weekend. That's an entire TV show. Hardened commuters in big cities may find that number a bit low, but that's only the average time wasted.
Besides the time factor, let’s talk about the decrease in gas spend!
Remote work is not just time-friendly. It’s also pocket-friendly.
2. Decreased turnover
A survey found that 73 percent of remote workers report higher satisfaction with their jobs.
In addition, 53% of remote workers in the U.S. report that they are NOT considering leaving their jobs in the next year, whereas 54% of in-house employees are looking for a new place to work.
Check out these statistics that show employees are willing to stay with organizations that enable them to work remotely:
One recent study found that 53 percent of remote employees say they are willing to work overtime, compared to only 28 percent of on-site employees.
This same survey also found that:
Think about it. Hiring local talent can limit your options.
When you are open to employing remote workers, you create an immense opportunity to hire great talent all over the world, no matter where they are located.
Check out these additional statistics:
With these benefits mentioned above, it is not a question of whether remote work is a good option for companies all around the world.
The next question is, how do people make it functional?
I know what questions arise when considering remote work for your employees. Keep reading, I want to share with you a few tips we’ve applied at our agency that have helped us be successful at Remote Work.
6 Tips For Being A Successful Remote Team
1. Choose your people wisely
First things first, if you choose to embrace the Remote Work as part of your business model, you need to make sure that the people that join your team are ideal for the position.
According to this blog, the qualities you are looking for in remote workers are the following:
The ability to work with little to no supervision is a must for remote workers. No questions asked. A remote worker needs to keep moving forward without the need of having someone “looking over their shoulder”.
They need to have great time-management skills and be able to prioritize wisely.
Even though remote workers have the chance to perform their daily duties and activities from the comfort of their homes, they need to clearly define the difference between the time they’re working and when the time to un-clock arrives.
As a business owner, it is a fallacy to believe that your remote worker will be available for your business 24/7.
In order to make sure that remote workers get the most from their days of work, they need to to keep to a regular rhythm, document all deadlines, keep detailed tasks lists and a constantly updated calendar. When the need to collaborate with others comes about, they must be able to rely on an accurate calendar.
Not everyone works well without supervision. This is why self-discipline is a character trait all remote workers need to have.
Here are a few suggested questions to ask during an interview when considering a person for a remote position.
When an employee works remotely, the majority of their communication is going to be in the form of text platforms (we use Slack and we LOVE IT!) or email.
The right remote worker should excel in all forms of communication.
This blog explains it so well:
A remote worker cannot be someone who is constantly second-guessing themselves.
They need the ability to make a thought out and informed decisions about their work without having to run things by a committee.
They also need to be able to do this in a reasonable time period.
2. Train your people
"An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”―Benjamin Franklin
Employees, whether remote workers or in-house, seem to be requesting training now more than ever.
Training increases the following:
Research shows that a full 40% of employees who don’t receive the necessary job training to become effective will leave their positions within the first year
In a recent Dale Carnegie survey, companies with engaged employees outperform those without by up to 202%
Sixty-seven percent of remote workers say they need more work-related training, and it comes as no surprise that 85% receive it online.
3. Reinforce the good communication
I mentioned this briefly earlier, but good communication within the team is vital. Humans want to be with humans. That’s our human condition. Therefore, encouraging a strong communication with every team member is extremely important.
To be able to bring concepts into life, you need to communicate.
To be able to keep accountability amongst the team, you need to communicate.
To make sure everyone in the team feels heard, you need to communicate.
To accomplish deadlines, you need to communicate.
You need to communicate.
You need to communicate.
You need to communicate.
You get the point.
May I give you a few more suggestions? We use these platforms at Gray Group International to keep the communication “flowing”:
For cloud storage and sharing documents internally and externally with partners, we use Google Drive
4. Be clear about roles and accountabilities
Any employee will perform their duties correctly if they know exactly what is requested of them.
Being ambiguous about what is expected from a person’s role will only lead to confusion, and therefore, low employee retention rates.
This also applies to remote workers. Because this model has so much autonomy, it is crucial that everyone in the team knows exactly what is requested of them.
This is the only way in which they will know how to prioritize correctly and deliver projects and assets on time.
5. Use the help of project management tools
Project management tools will help you keep track of projects and tasks in an organized way.
Implementing a project management tool in our team was life changing.
According to this article, file sharing, time tracking, email integration, Gantt Charts, and budget management are the top five most used and requested features in project management software.
6. Encourage moments to connect as a team
Work friendships are critical for long-term happiness.
According to this article, 70 percent of employees say friends at work are the most crucial element to a happy working life, and 58 percent of men would refuse a higher-paying job if it meant not getting along with co-workers.
At Gray Group International, we have implemented the unmissable Weekly What’s-Ups and Weekly Wrap-Ups.
These are weekly meetings in which the entire team hop on a call and talk about their week, their challenges, the things we accomplished and things we think we could have done better.
This helps us all get in alignment and build friendships with each other, rather than just being co-workers who know nothing about the other person’s personal life.
We do our best to show our team that we care for each other.
Another thing we do (this may sound crazy) is, we start each day by posting Good Morning in our work chat, we accompany our message with either a Thumb up or Thumb down. This will depend on how we’re feeling that day.
If someone puts a thumb down (as I have, many times before), someone in the team will reach out - not because it’s an obligation, but because this person really cares about me and how I feel- and open up space for a quick chat about my personal life.
I absolutely love this! I am encouraged to share my true feelings with the team, and I am never judged because of it!
Having these moments to share with the team about my personal life really motivates me to work harder, smarter and better.
The benefits of having a remote team are several. The secret is to be able to choose the people who will be part of your team wisely, train them, reinforce strong communication, be clear about roles and responsibilities, use project management tools and encourage moments to connect as a team.
I am a solid advocate that remote teams can get to be the strongest teams in the world. It is not necessary for people to be in the same room to be connected.
To me, Gray Group International is not just a place where I work. It’s an extended family.
The tips I recently shared have been based on experience. We are definitely not perfect, but we have managed to have different people in the team, from different locations (from Las Vegas, Nevada to El Salvador in Central America) yet still feel like we’re all in the same place somehow.
Being a remote team can be the best option for your team, and to be honest, I think is the best option.
If you want to know how to become part of our team, visit our careers page today! We are always looking for top talent to join us, anyways!