It’s nice to see some good news at the start of a shiny new decade: The global remote workforce is on the rise yet again for 2020. This isn’t news to folks in the business world. The International Workplace Group reported in 2018 that 70% of professionals work remotely at least one day a week, while 53% work remotely for at least half of the week. Research across the board shows that the remote work will equal, if not surpass, fixed office locations by the year 2025, and already nearly two-thirds of American companies have growing remote teams. Here’s why yours should, too. 

What’s The Deal with WFH?

We in the biz call working remotely, “WFH”, or working from home. The cliché of working from home are many — slippers all day, an expansive loungewear wardrobe, a commute from bed to the couch, and so on. The realities are somewhat mixed with the myth here, but the bottom line is that cultivating a remote work team has heaps of benefits for your business, your employees, and the world at large

People who’ve never worked remotely are often skeptical about the WFH lifestyle, sometimes scoffing at the struggles remote teams face. These people are, in a word, simply jealous! When I got my first remote job as a social media manager, a family member (who shall remain nameless) very flippantly suggested that I was just “on Facebook all day”… If only they knew the complexities of managing a business page for a national company! 

Increase Productivity

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard these words uttered in offices I’ve worked at, “I’m WFH tomorrow so I can focus and get some work done without interruptions.”  For you and your employees or contractors, remote work can offer refuge from the constraints of the rat-race and boost productivity. The move toward open-plan offices seemed like a good idea for collaboration and teamwork, but it’s really been more of a means of distraction and cuts down productivity. Days working from home (or anywhere other than a traditional office) are frequently noted as the days’ workers report being the most productive. Studies show that this anecdotal observation rings true, with respondents reporting that remote workers clock in an average of 16.8 more days a year than in-office folks. That seriously adds up! 

Lower Costs

Your office overhead costs are killing you. With all the collaboration-friendly software available today, in-person meetings have become less of a necessity. I’m not saying actual facetime isn’t important, it certainly is in some cases, but the ever sought after “work-life balance” should be the real goal for every tech-based company. Not only will it save you a lot of money, but your staff will also benefit in so many areas of their lives, too, from saving money on commuting, wardrobe, lunches, to things like child and pet care. All that leads to yet another benefit of remote teams — happier workers, because your team will be able to spend less time commuting, more time working productively, and less money trying to make it all work for their families. 

Why Remote Work is Here to Stay

Here’s the “skip to the recipe” section for why you should have a remote team, and how to make it work for your business. 

What’s with this dramatic increase in remote work? There are a lot of great reasons. Saving money is the top reason for companies. Here are some statistics for you to dig into. 

  • Companies that give employees the option of working from home see a 50% decrease in employee turnover
  • The ability to hire from a more diverse global applicant pool, rather than a limited local pool. 
  • One study shows that by even allowing just one employee to telecommute, companies can save over $10,000 per year
  • Web-based tools get better all the time, too, and let teams have meetings and training sessions remotely, project-manage, and cut the enormous cost of travel. 
  • Everyone saves money — employers can save big time, with a reported $5 billion in savings to companies with remote workers, and $7000 per year savings to employees. 
  • It’s easier all the time to manage global teams with web-based collaboration tools. 
  • Remote work is far more productive than in-office work.
  • Fewer sick days for all, and no spreading your nasties around the office. 
  • It’s better for the environment in many ways. Cutting your company’s carbon footprint should be on everyone’s 2020 to-do list. 

Stay tuned to Crowned for our next installment all about remote work best practices and how to make it work for you and your team

Written by: Betty Bair

I get questions from clients regarding inbox management quite often. Below are a few examples of what I’ve come across.

“My inbox is overflowing, help!”

“How am I ever going to get through all of these emails?”

“What if I miss something important?”

Does this sound familiar? Are you struggling to keep up with the overflow of emails coming through 24/7? Are important emails going unanswered because you didn’t see them among all of the others? If so, I think I can provide some easy steps that will allow you to manage your inbox with ease. I’ve helped a lot of my clients get their emails organized while keeping their inboxes at a minimum level.

Now, I’m not going to tell you that this will happen overnight, and I’m not going to tell you that your inbox will be empty all the time either. But, what I will say is that you will feel confident to never miss another important email again, you will never have to spend time sorting through your inbox to find those missing emails, and you will always be aware what is coming in and what is being sent out. As long you follow these steps:

  • Prioritize: This is the first thing I ask my clients to do. I like to have at least 2 priority levels, highest (most urgent) and lowest. However, this is not static and can change depending on the number of emails you receive. I’ve had clients with priority levels 1, 2, 3 and 4. It’s all up to you!
  • Action items (optional): This is an optional step that I like to include for special circumstances. If you consistently receive a lot of calendar invitations or certain messages that are highly urgent. Having an action category with a bright colored labeled will be very beneficial. I like to leave these emails in the inbox so they won’t be missed.
  • Color code: I feel that this is such a simple, yet valuable way to organize not only emails but calendars as well. When your eye is drawn to a specific color, you’ll automatically see the importance. I like to have my clients create color-coded labels (or folders) to help identify the priority levels. For example: Green= lowest priority, orange= highest priority, red= action item.
  • Think- Read, Categorize, Respond, Archive or Delete: Try to get yourself into the habit of going through your inbox at the beginning of your work day. This entails sorting through your emails and categorizing each email with its priority level, then respond (if needed, depending on priority and time). Once finished, delete or archive. By doing this you will get rid of any junk emails that may be filtering through, and you will be able to respond to your most urgent messages in a timely manner.

Trust me, these steps may seem like a lot at first but once you get used to the process it’s extremely simple. In no time you will have successfully managed your inbox, you’ll find everything in its place, nice and organized.

Do you have anything you would like to add that may have helped you get organized?

collaboration-is-key-1

Why is collaboration so important? Collaboration is fundamental to creating a solid working relationship, it begins from the first point of contact with each of my clients.

When you choose to work with me, you’re bringing me on to streamline certain business obstacles. In order for me to successfully do that, I need to understand how I can best support you and your business. It is my job to create a plan of support that will fulfill your needs. While every client is different, it is important for me to have certain procedures set in place to maintain consistency and organization. And collaboration is the main component in each of them.

A brief outline of these procedures include:

  • Introductory call
  • Contracts/payments
  • A plan of support specifically catered to you
  • Project Management systems
  • Communication preferences
  • Determining weekly meetings
  • Weekly reports

This basic outline allows me to provide ongoing support for you and/or your team. I do not work on a task by task basis, instead, I partner with you, allowing you to focus on core operations. I want my clients to think long term. I want to be someone you can rely on in many aspects of your business without having to worry about maintaining tasks and checklists. That is why collaboration is the underlying reason my system works, it eliminates the need for that. We are in constant communication working together to achieve mutual objectives. your success is my success.