In business, a proper definition of a job and its specific responsibilities is key. Likewise, is the importance of communicating such expectations to employees. So if you’re not hearing from remote team members, consider it an accomplishment worth celebrating.
AccelaWork’s own Robby Slaughter is a big proponent of having a team that feels free to work remotely. Why? Well besides the obvious cost-effectiveness that accompanies it (which in all honesty isn’t necessarily the driving component here) working remotely creates a well-balanced environment that opens the door to increased productivity, greater innovation and happier employees. Consider this short list of benefits:
- Working remotely eliminates office distractions and interruptions, which in turn increases productivity.
- Working remotely creates a balanced level of responsibility and accountability where the employee can take ownership over his/her work without question.
- Working remotely adheres to specific employee needs that may otherwise be left unattended or flat out refused.
- Working remotely improves employee recruitment and retention.
Recently, Slaughter shared his views on telecommuting: Why I Love Not Hearing From My Remote Team Often. I have to say, this was awesome to read for two main reasons. First, the title alone perks up curious ears. After all, when was the last time you heard a company principal announce he loves not hearing from his team? It’s certainly unusual to say the very least, but that’s why I think it’s so great. Slaughter never fails to surprise in his unique point of view and always teaches us such new and exciting perspectives.
Second, as a member of AccelaWork’s remote team, reading this article was a reaffirmation to me that the work I’m doing is successful and the results I’m providing are fulfilling expectations. Slaughter’s perspective is so genuine and speaks directly from real-life experience, that it’s hard not to pat ourselves on the back for accomplishing what he hopes to achieve here at AccelaWork. I suppose at this very moment, the old saying “no news is good news” may suitably revolve in my brain and keep me moving forward in my own triumph as a telecommuter.
In Slaughter’s perspective, traditional work environments foster communication that can stall productivity:
Much of the communication we do in traditional work environments is out of convenience. It’s easier to yell over a cubicle wall than it is to look something up yourself. We can quickly pull people together for an impromptu meeting by grabbing them at their desks. Conversations or email threads can go on for days, covering the same topics repeatedly, because there’s no urge to be precise when you can just as easily get clarification.
And while there is easy access and convenience for communication in these types of traditional working environments, there is also a lot of opportunity for interruption, miscommunication, disruption, misinterpretation, etc. Slaughter points out that for the remote team at AccelaWork, such problems are nonexistent:
In our firm, remote workers get things done because they have exceptionally clear instructions. They know what’s expected of them, and they know what the company needs to move forward. That means I don’t hear from them unless there is a problem. Since we’ve been working together a long time, there is almost never a problem! Work gets completed, and the emails are few and far between.
Some reading this may say that working remotely, as I do, can be lonely. But, speaking from experience, it’s truly not. I’m a mother of four and have found that, if not for the freedom I have with working from home, I’d never be able to balance work with the chaos that comes with a large family. My priorities are easily manageable because I can stay at home and accomplish all that I need to while still keeping my career. Slaughter puts it perfectly:
Since we don’t spend much of our social capital at work, they have more energy in their personal lives to be sociable with their friends and families. And that’s really how it should be, since these people selected us because they like the work and were selected by us because they are good at it. We didn’t choose them to be our friends, and while it’s fine if that happens, it’s fine if it doesn’t, too.
If you’re looking for more specifics on working remotely, check out the Age of the Telecommuter Infographic we provided on The Methodology Blog previously. It’s chock full of beneficial information that may help.