By Jenn Tate
The Rise of Remote Workers
When the internet was born in the 1980s, employers began allowing employees to work from their own home offices. As technology continues to grow, so does the remote workforce. In the past five years alone, the amount of US individuals working outside of a physical office location has grown by about 800K people to encompass 3.4% of the population.
Earlier this year, the world was struck by COVID-19. To lessen the spread of this global pandemic, employers everywhere started requiring employees to do their work from home, when possible. Virtual working has now become a ‘new normal,’ and understanding the nuances of remote work can mean the difference between skating by and thriving in this new environment.
Top 5 Tips for Higher Education and Nonprofits Employers Switching to Remote
Cloud for Good has been operating as a virtual company since it was founded in 2010. In order to help our clients, prospects, partners, and friends who are experiencing a virtual work environment for the first time, we recently hosted a webinar where Cloud for Good’s CEO and Founder Tal Frankfurt gave some of his best practice tips and lessons learned from over a decade of running a virtual company. Below we’ll dive into the top 5 of those tips to help you succeed.
Tip 1: Be Extra Intentional in Everything You Do
Tal opened his informative webinar talking about intention. “I find that when working in a virtual environment we need to be even more intentional about what we do and what we don’t do,” he said. This starts with the hiring process and making sure your employees are being proactive, engaging, and contributing to your overall company culture. Part of my onboarding process included a virtual, on-camera chat with our Employee Experience Lead, even before I officially started my position. It really set the tone for my understanding of the company culture and helped me feel more comfortable in my new, home office setting.
Even though you’re working remotely, your business still needs to continue. Your constituents need you now more than ever and your mission is still important, no matter where your office resides. The way you run your programs and classes, conduct your fundraising, or how you set your constituents up for success might have changed since moving to remote work but the intention behind your actions shouldn’t.
Find out more at 3:56 – 6:14 in the above video
Tip 2: Be Explicit With Your Success Metrics
Every organization has goals, whether they track those goals by the number of cases closed, percent of students enrolled to graduate, or hitting a specific fundraising goal. It’s critical to understand the metrics your business is looking to maximize. Determine who is driving your goal setting and what success ultimately looks like. Once those metrics are understood, follow through by tracking the progress of these goals and communicating with your stakeholders. Tal notes, “We strongly believe that if it’s measured, it has stakes.”
Find out more at 6:14 – 6:57 in the above video
Tip 3: Be Trusting
The idea of trust goes far beyond doing what you say you will or being accountable. It’s about creating a space where people aren’t afraid to make, learn, and grow from their mistakes. Trust is the ability to ask questions, share answers, and have each other’s back.
Find out more at 7:00 – 8:15 in the above video
Tip 4: Be Engaged With Your Company
With modern technology, you don’t need to feel isolated when working from home. Engage with your employees and colleagues on a video call, or chat about your interests in office IM groups. At Cloud for Good, we use Zoom for both video meetings and breakout chat groups. I belong to a pet parents’ group, a foodie group, as well as a number of industry-specific groups. It’s great to get a mix of work, fun and, ‘water cooler’ chat while working within a virtual environment. I actually feel more connected working virtually at Cloud for Good than I did previously when I went into an actual physical office.
Find out more at 8:16 – 12:15 in the above video
Tip 5: Be Empowered by the Right Technology
I’ve mentioned quite a bit about how far technology has come, but making sure you have the RIGHT technology in place can make all the difference. As a marketer, I’m consistently editing graphics, researching and writing, and comparing our latest marketing stats (most often all at the same time). I couldn’t live without a set of two HUGE monitors. Having them in a dedicated space helps me be more productive. What technology do your employees need to do their job well?
Here are some of our Goodies’ favorite technology recommendations that they can’t live without:
- $ iPad and Duet Display
- $$ AOC Portable
- $$ ASUS ZenScreen Portable Monitor
- $$$ Dell UltraSharp Curved
Find out more at 18:35 – 22:46 in the above video
With enhanced technology, you don’t need to feel like you’re on your own private island while working remotely. It is up to you and your employees to make the most of your situation. You may even be surprised by what you’re able to accomplish outside of an office. Whether your organization has featured remote working for years or you’re just now adjusting to the switch – we’re all in this together.
Let us know your favorite remote working tips in the comments below or watch Cloud for Good’s Navigating the Nuances of Remote Work webinar on-demand for more tips!