Pros and Cons of Working from Home

Managing remote teams

Over the past year, our team at Notiv has upheld our ‘remote-first’ motto and these are some of the lessons we learned, including the working from home pros and cons for employers. A remote team, sometimes called a virtual team, can be lauded as the future of the workplace. One of the lessons we learnt from the Deloitte Millennial Survey is that as technology advances with 4.0 technology, artificial intelligence and increasing globalization, the workforce and how we work will inevitably change to adapt. In this sense, the first step to managing remote teams is adopting and embracing flexibility.

However, the terms ‘remote’ and ‘virtual’ can be used interchangeably but they differ in a few ways.  A Virtual Team comprises of members possessing a varied set of skills who work on a specific set of issues. They may work for different managers and are not usually geographically co-located. This factor though may vary from company to company. Their work is characterized by the ‘dotted line’ reporting and once their work is done or the issue is resolved, they “disperse”. Whereas Remote teams work for a manager directly but they are not co-located, nor are they bounded by skill. An example of a remote team is a field-based sales team, whereas an example of a virtual team is a remote-first start-up like Notiv!

Notiv has always been a ‘remote-first’ team, we first launched in 2018 with a four-person team based out of the United States and Australia. Today, our team is based across the United States, Australia, South-East Asia and India! But it’s not just us. The remote-first culture is rapidly gaining traction in the workplace, with many new businesses opting for remote teams. However, remote team management is a crucial consideration. So, let’s dig in!

Working from home pros and cons for employers?

For one, you will need to balance a fine line between flexibility and adhering to ground rules. Managing remote teams includes taking the following into account:

• Dealing with Multiculturalism:

A remote team does not have a specific workplace or work time. This means there may not be any borders to your work-space. In dealing with workers from multiple cultures or countries employers, you will need to be aware of culture-specific practices, holidays and other sensitivities. Maintaining international holidays will help maintain your workflow. Encouraging team members to respect diversity and embrace multiculturalism will help bond remote teams effectively. Once you have defined the culture of your company, then you will need to protect it.

• Communication:

It is important to communicate with your team effectively given they won’t have the facility to ask for suggestions in the same place. Forbes conducted a survey where 97% of people believed that a lack of proper communication hampers the workforce. Therefore, building strong communication between your team is important. To improve the productivity of your conversations, some simple tips include, setting and agenda ahead of time, using the parking lot method and leveraging the right tools to maximize the value from your time spent in a meeting.

• Boosting Employee Morale:

While the best way to improve employee retention is to consider your hiring process, boosting employee morale will also drive the productivity of the workforce. Giving positive feedback, training and keeping communication open were core tenants in the Deloitte Millennial Survey that proved to boost employee’s morale, retention and the overall success of the company.

Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Pros and cons of a fully remote team

According to the Global Leadership Summit, by 2020, it is expected that at least 34% of a company’s full-time workforce will be working remotely.

Pros and Cons of Working From Home

Pros:

• Access to a large talent base:

Remote teams comprise of talent from across the world. This leads to getting the best talents and skills, along with diversity and the freshest of ideas and creativity.

• A motivated workforce:

A survey found that 53% of people preferred to work from home than in a traditional office space. Not only is it a more comfortable space, employees are better able to manage their tasks and time. Particularly for employees that require flexible work arrangements due to caregiver or health issues, this can be a highly motivating factor, leading to happier employees and higher productivity.

• Reduced expenses:

Rent, office supplies and other welfare costs are not applicable to remote teams that can save business significant amounts each year. Apart from money, remote employees also save time and energy that is otherwise spent on travel or commute.

Cons:

• Distractions:

One of the most common working remotely challenges that employees may face is the dreaded trap of procrastination. While working from home may be comfortable, it comes with its fair share of distractions. Having distractions or employees who are unable to self-manage taks can adversely affect work productivity. While working from home may not be for everyone, employers and potential remote workers can make better informed choices by understandings the pros and cons of working from home before the hiring stage. Here’s our guide to finding your next superstar hire.

• Lack of Communication:

Communication issues can occur even when you’re in the same room. Therefore, given that remote teams don’t work in the same space, department or timezone, communication issues must be well managed for. However, with video conferencing tool, online chat tools and other meetings tools, like Notiv, the idea of an augmented brain across a remote team is very possible. The important point to remember here is that any team needs a way to discuss and share information easily, and a culture that supports collaboration.

Over this year, we found that implementing proper management systems across the entire team helped us improve our communications, documentation and improved our project outcomes. Effective remote team working is as simple or complicated as balancing the various pros and cons effectively and specifically for your team.

With the future moving towards technology-based solutions, this concept can be a massive success if enough technological advancements are involved in the daily operations of the various processes.

If you found our tips interesting, useful or if you have any additional tips to turn any remote-first company working on this concept into a truly global entity, let us know! Tweet us your tips!

How to Excel at Work: Tools and Tips to Becoming Irreplaceable

Joining any workplace is a scary and alien experience. Will my boss like me? Will I hate my job? Can I handle the pressure? There can be so many things to worry about. Knowing this, it’s no wonder people jump from job to job. In fact, it is said people change jobs at least 12 times in their career. Interestingly, a millennial survey by Deloitte states millennials are the most likely to switch jobs frequently. But, this doesn’t come voluntarily. Several studies show people are forced to look for new jobs due to issues such as poor performance or misalignment between values. With this in mind it got us wondering, how do you become irreplaceable and excel at work?

What do bosses think?

“People who are genuinely enjoying their job and who are inspired to continue to be better every day. These are the people who actively help others grow, they share their learnings (including their mistakes), and they are incredibly dependable. These people, while they use the word “we” rather than “I”, they themselves still stand out as individuals.” – Becci Reid, Founder at Notiv

Putting it into practice

1. Be a half-full kinda person


Every office has one. That one employee who is constantly happy and positive (even if they’re crying on the inside). Love ’em or hate ’em, you can’t deny that their positivity is contagious. That’s what every company needs. Entrepreneurship is difficult because of its up and down nature. In times of stress, that positive attitude can help motivate and inspire teams to persevere. Leaders also tend to trust these types of people with tasks because they appear confident in their abilities. These are the individuals that truly excel at work.

But how do you do this? It’s not as easy as flipping a switch. Luckily, there are some practices that you can adopt to ‘fake it till you make it’. These include avoiding the blame game, providing support to others, taking an interest in your colleagues and being grateful for and respecting your team. After all, you’re all there for a reason.

2. Commit yourself


Deadlines can be tough, especially when it comes to choosing between quitting time and overtime. However, the willingness to go above and beyond shows your boss that you’re passionate about what you’re doing. Do the due diligence so that you too can rest easy, knowing that you’ve done your best. Dedicate yourself to high standards, but don’t compare yourself to others. This also involves knowing what you can and cannot do. It can be easy to say “yes” to everything, but over committing yourself is the best way to fall short.

3. “There’s always gonna be another mountain, you’re always gonna wanna make it move”


While the process is important, in the end, we all want results. Chase those results by bringing new ideas to the table. Everyone experiences road blocks, even if it’s just writer’s block. But before you admit defeat or run to your boss, look at what you can do to unblock yourself. Come up with potential solutions and then see if your boss can help you achieve them.

4. Diversify


While you don’t want to over commit yourself or overstep boundaries, it’s always a good idea to try to be involved in a variety of things at work. Instead, try offering your colleagues help or expertise. It will not only help you build strong relationships outside of your immediate team, but it’ll give you exposure. These opportunities to network are especially crucial if you work in a large organization. Most of us are skilled, but it’s only the ones who showcase their skills who get noticed. Just don’t volunteer for something that you can’t do, and if you suddenly realize that you can’t handle your tasks, bow out early.

5. Sharing is caring, but also learning


As the workforce changes, employers also look for different things in their employees. Lifelong learning is important for your career and mental health. The good thing is that everyone has something to learn and something to impart. That’s the true mark of teamwork. Take the time to talk to your colleagues, bosses and even trainees. You never know what experiences and knowledge someone might have until you start to share.

6. Aim to make other lives easier


Let’s go back to the basics. Why would your employer keep you around? Probably because you make their lives better, or easier. Surveys have shown that top performers understand their leadership’s shifting priorities and adapt to help drive the end goals. Of course, this means that employers will need to communicate these end goals, but building trust and credibility is a good place for an employee to start. While you should always stand up for your rights, it’s important to nix bad habits like, shifting blame, becoming overly emotional, being apathetic or embracing the solitary lone-wolf life.

No matter what your role is, everyone can strive to excel at work and become irreplaceable to their company, colleagues and their clients. Be invaluable to anyone who spends time with you, because you’re giving up just as much of your time. An invaluable boss can make a world of difference in an employee’s work life and considering that we spend most of our time at work, you could even change lives.‍

Need extra resources to help you excel at work? Check out these hacks to be more productive at work!

If you need some tools to help you be more effective, check out Notiv!

Notiv helps you capture every insight and communicate outcomes clearly. With one click, recordrevisit and share your meetings. By recording your meetings and transcribing them to highlight important moments, you can stay engaged in your meeting conversations and drive better outcomes for your clients.

To learn more about our product, download the app now for free on iOS or Android.

Employee Retention for Startups: Ultimate Guide to Retaining an Amazing Team

Employee Rentention for Startups

Workers in the United States have a strong tendency to move around quickly, and at a large cost to employers. In 2016, 47% of workers admitted to replacing more than 20% of their employees throughout one calendar year and reports determined millennial turnover cost companies $30.5 billion collectively each year. Low employee retention rates in the United States are not only costly to businesses but also heavily influence the way a company operates and it is perceived by the public long term.

Source: Stats and Remedies For Employee Turnover In The Middle East

Why Does Employee Retention Matter?

Cost efficiency

Employee retention is notably important to employers conceivably due to its ability to cut costs. The numbers speak for themselves and essentially it will cost an employer twice the amount of one employee’s salary to hire and train a replacement. In addition, the cost of hiring isn’t limited to the salary, but it also drains human resources to headhunt, interview, onboard, and finally train an employee for a new position.

Consistency

As it is more expensive to hire, onboard and train a new employee, it causes consistency within a company to falter. New hires usually entail months of training within their new roles, getting accustomed to company culture and becoming comfortable in their new positions. These employees could also eventually end up training newer hires which will further impact how the company operates. While it takes time to learn the culture of a new company, it is another thing entirely to promote the culture accurately. Like a game of telephone, as the process of passing something on gets longer, the more it changes. So, retaining employees for as long as possible is the safest way to ensure a company’s brand is intact and being represented properly.

Source: How to Prepare Yourself for the Cost of Employees

How do You Create Employee Retention?

Hiring

The easiest way to prevent employees from wanting to leave a company is to improve the process at the source: who companies hire and how. Focusing on applicants who are excited about the prospective job and seem genuinely interested in being a part of the company is an important objective when conducting interviews because those applicants are the ones who are more likely to want to stay with the business long-term.

But how they are hired is also essential. A Gallup study found only 12% of employees found their company onboarding process good. The lack of a good onboarding process has been reported to result in feelings of disengagement within 3 months, which prevents the formation of an emotional bond between the employee and the company — this connection can make or break retention. A positive hiring environment is beneficial to all parties involved; the employer knows they will have a committed employee and the employee will be enthusiastic about their work environment.

Company Culture

New hires want to know they will be happy in their workplace and to know the organization stands for the same ideals they do. Studies have shown millennials are 25 times more likely to stay long-term at a workplace they believe in, which in turn minimizes company turnover costs. For example, 71% of millennials who strongly believe they know what their organization stands for and what makes it different from its competitors say they plan to be with their company for at least one year. This suggests a positive company culture in which employees find valuable aids employee retention for at least the first year. Check out what we do at Notiv to create a great working environment and team culture.

Training and Advancement

In any industry, people want the opportunity for advancement within their career. The intelligent manager will invest time in supporting their employees to realize their short-term and long-term goals. For example, creating the opportunity to attend workshops, up-skilling courses or relevant industry events. Failure could be perceived as a lack of care for their employees, which can dampen morale.

Communication

A communicative and collaborative process, structured to inform, empower and recognize employees and their work contributions are crucial. Communication that is top-down, bottom-up and also lateral engages the community and provides management with a shared insight into the ‘health’ of the business.

In combination, these elements can provide businesses with a retention strategy built from a genuine commitment to serving your customers and employees.

Team culture and training are an important aspect of employee retention

It’s your turn

It’s pretty clear many business owners have trouble retaining their employees. Having more insight into how to empower your employees and keep them will allow you to reach lengths in your business you never thought were possible. However, unless you actually adopt these tips mentioned above, you will fall into the 47% of business owners who need to replace their employees in their first year.

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