The landscape of business has shifted dramatically since the beginning of this decade. Today, approximately 16% of all businesses operate within a fully remote model, without any physical office. Others are still interested in making the transition. Maybe that’s your business. If so, you might have questions about how to make a remote business model work for you. What will it change for your business, and can you weather those changes with your team?
Looking for inspiration to switch to a remote business model? Look no further than some of these examples of inspiring models of remote businesses. You might just find one that works for your business.
Not all businesses are suited to going fully remote. Some tasks may have to be done within the office, but that doesn’t mean you can’t embrace the remote business trend. One way to do this is through “flex days.” You might have the entire team work in the office on most days, but offer a “work-from-home Friday” or a few days in which employees can choose whether to work at home or in the office — thus the “flex.”
This can be a great way to boost morale and attract employees who like the idea of remote work even if it’s not a model that suits your business for the most part. Let remote work days become your new “casual dress” days. Your employees will appreciate the freedom, and it might allow them to return to the office that much more refreshed.
Maybe there are some jobs that are better done in the office while others can be done just as well from any location. Or you might need people in the office for part of the week, but not the entire week. So what’s the solution? Many businesses prefer to go hybrid in these cases, having certain mandatory office days — usually 2-3 times per week — and leaving an opportunity to work from home for the rest of the week. Sometimes, the employees may even choose which days they work remotely.
This offers a sort of extension of the “flex days.” In this model, those remote business days are part of the routine, but you’re still able to have that office culture. It also offers employees who prefer the office work to stay in the office, while those who might prefer remote work have the option to utilize it.
One way that the rise in remote work is changing the traditional work day is a move away from traditional office hours. Some remote work occurs from 9-5, so the team can communicate in real time. However, there are other remote models that focus on the output: getting quality work done within the deadlines, rather than working within a certain time frame.
This can be a great option for employees who work better in non-traditional hours — such as in the evening or on the weekends. It can also open your team up to new employees from around the globe, not just within your timezone.
We’ve talked about hybrid models that focus on time in the office, and hybrid models that attempt to split the difference evenly between time in the office and time working remotely. But other businesses actually prefer to prioritize remote work, with just a dash on office work when necessary. In these business models, teams might primarily work from home but meet in the office for special events or meetings. This makes those office days almost something to look forward to, a chance to meet up with each other, rather than something to endure.
One of the fears that people often have when it comes to remote work is a lapse in communication. If everyone is working from home and connected by only the internet, will your team’s culture fall apart? But it doesn’t have to. There are virtual conferencing tools you can use to keep your meetings going strong, as well as chat platforms that allow you to communicate with each other as you work. There are also remote work platforms that allow you to communicate fully within the same platform where you work.
You need these channels of communication in order to keep everyone on your team on the same page, but you can also use it to replace the water cooler talk of the workplace culture. Consider having a “general” chat in your Slack channel where you can chat more casually, or a “memes” channel where the team can share memes and GIFs to make light of the workday. This can help to boost morale and create a sense of community even remotely.