How to effectively work from home as a company
In recent years, many companies have started to work with remote teams. In remote teams, all members of a specific teamwork away from the office. Research shows that these teams perform even better than teams that work together at the office.
People that work from home, whether they do it a day per week or all of the time, experience many advantages that you don’t get in the office.
The advantages of working from home
Working in your PJs, with your laptop on the couch. Sounds great, of course, but there are many more important advantages that your teams gets from working at home.
- No commute
As you know, employees have to commute to work every day. Some may even have to travel up to 3 hours every day. This time can be used way better than sitting in the car or the train.
When you allow your team members to work from home, you will eliminate traveling, which leaves them with more free time. This will make them happier and improve their dedication to the work they are doing.
- Higher productivity
People who work from home are more productive. A lot of times, employers are afraid that there are too many distractions (mostly Netflix) at home, but employees actually tend to focus easier and experience fewer distractions out of the office. Think of all the huge office spaces crammed with people, where people need headphones in order to focus properly. You don’t have that problem at home, right?
- Lower expenses
When your team works from home, they will have fewer costs, such as travel expenses. This means you don’t have to pay for these expenses. Also, this means you can rent smaller office spaces since you don’t need as many desks as before.
- Increase loyalty
Working from home makes for a better balance between work life and private life, leaving people happier about their job. This happiness will increase your team’s loyalty and the chance of them staying at your company longer. Finding the right employees can be difficult and costly enough, so once you have them, you should do everything you can to keep them.
How can your team members work from home effectively?
When all of your team members work from a different location it is important to collaborate and communicate efficiently. This is only possible with the right software. In this blog, I’ll explain how we do this at Trengo.
Create a strong company culture
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to remote work is keeping everybody on the same page. If you are not well prepared, it could be that your team may not be working towards the same goals.
This is why a strong company culture is key for all remote teams. This culture will ensure that everybody has a strong foundation from which they can work. This foundation consists of clear values and goals. Even if communication is lacking at times, your team members will still be able to hold down the fort.
When everybody is working remotely, it will be more difficult to build relationships. The social aspect of work should never be underestimated, your team members’ happiness depends on it hugely. This is why you should make sure that there are regular meet up opportunities in real life. This keeps everybody on the same page and establishes a connection that carries on when everybody goes back to their remote working space.
Manage your team efficiently
Project management doesn’t necessarily have to happen in person. Simply make sure that you plan ahead and that your team can access these plans online. Always be available for a quick chat or call so that your team can ask questions in the meantime.
When everything is planned out and your team is instructed, trust your employees to get the job done. Keeping a healthy distance is important for yourself, but also helps your team members being more involved and dedicated. This is why working remotely is a great way to stimulate ownership. Trust is key here.
At Trengo we make project management easy by managing all of our customer communication via one shared inbox. This way, we all know from each other who is doing what, who is picking up which email and which customer is waiting for a reply. If we have questions, we can chat internally within that same inbox.
Use the right customer communication software
Communicating with your customers and other companies is the biggest burden for a lot of remote teams. Using the right ticketing software can help you staying productive and collaborating on all your communication channels within one shared inbox.
Collaborating via email
A lot of teams around the world still work in Gmail or Outlook. Almost impossible to collaborate in there, right? How many times have you been typing a reply to an email that just already got replied to by a colleague? Imagine how many times that actually happens when you work remotely. That’s why you should consider software that enables collaboration within one inbox.
This team inbox allows you to easily assign incoming emails to the right colleague or department. When a colleague has a question about a specific email, he or she doesn’t have to call you or, even worse, email you. They can simply send a chat message right underneath the email, without the customer being able to see it.
All channels within one shared inbox
Email isn’t the only channel that offers this possibility. With the right team inbox, you can also add channels such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, phone, live chat and more.
Prevent inbox chaos with teams and labels
Do you get a lot of incoming messages every single day? Make sure to invest time in organizing your inbox. You can do this by creating teams and labeling incoming messages.
Make sure that every team has access to the right inbox and receives all the messages it should receive. This way, teams will not have to skim through a lot of email that is not relevant to their work.
By adding labels to conversations, you can prevent any inbox chaos even more. Add labels such as ‘complaint’ or ‘application’ to find important conversations quickly.
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Enable effective internal communication
Now that we have tackled customer communication, it’s time to tackle internal communication. Sending internal emails to colleagues is very inefficient, especially when the conversation continues for a long time. Internal communication can cost a lot of valuable time this way.
At Trengo, we prevent this by using team chats. Within these team chats, we can easily communicate with teams, departments, or the entire company.
Make sure that you have organized the team chats well so that nobody misses out on important messages. Avoid chats with too many members, because this will create chaos.
Digital 1-on-1 meetings
A lot of companies that still hold on to traditional methods, with the same 9 ’til 5 schedules where everybody needs to be at the office at all times, should consider new ways of thinking. A lot of their employees are already communicating online, even when they are sitting right next to each other. Nine out of ten meetings can also be handled with an email or a team chat, while the real important meetings can be done via a Google hangout.
Digital 1-on-1 meetings are a super-effective solution for when you really need to speak to one of your colleagues. Because sometimes, an email or a chat simply doesn’t get the job done.
A lot of business leaders really value these types of meetings. 94% of business leaders have one on one meetings regularly, and call them the most valuable meetings they have. These meetings enable you to build strong connections with your team. There is much more room for in-depth discussions in these situations.
Does any of this change if these meetings are done digitally? Of course not. Especially with all modern possibilities such as Hangouts and Facetime, there are no real hurdles. In the end, it’s all about the conversation, not the distance.
At Trengo, working from home is never an obstacle. Would you also like to try out our shared team inbox? Try it out for free!