Efficiency is important for any business of any size or type. It’s especially critical for remote businesses that don’t have the luxury of being centralised in one place. Any effort you commit to making your remote business more efficient will produce a positive and noticeable ROI. Here are a few highly effective tactics:
1. Enhance communication
Communication is important in any business, but it’s especially vital in a remote organisation where team members are spread out across numerous locations. If communication isn’t open and effortless, issues will quickly take root in your business. Here are some suggestions for enhancing remote communication:
- Add a Google intranet software to the mix. An intranet works by consolidating your team’s activity (including document storage, calendars, and file sharing) and making it easier to collaborate for greater efficiency.
- Establish clear expectations on check-ins and progress. When a task is completed, it should be clear how it gets handed off to the next person or process.
- Any process that can be automated should be automated. It might take some extra time on the front end to fine tune the workflow, but the long-term value is clear.
Communication isn’t the most enjoyable topic for most business owners, but it’s certainly an important one. Pay attention to it and your processes (and culture) will be better for it.
2. Stay organised
Organisation is an absolute must. The more organised your team is, the less time will be wasted tracking down files, retracing steps, or re-communicating something that’s already been discussed.
In addition to having an intranet solution in place, think about how your team shares and stores files. An accessible cloud drive makes things a breeze.
3. Limit (or eliminate) meetings
Meetings are the worst. They have a way of slicing and dicing schedules into such small chunks that it’s virtually impossible to get anything meaningful done. In an ideal world, you should eliminate meetings altogether. But understanding that this isn’t always possible, there are some other approaches you can use to limit the negative impact meetings have on your team’s schedule.
The first approach is to rethink what a meeting is. When holding a meeting, only invite the people who absolutely need to be there. (If someone can be briefed on the meeting, or sent the minutes afterwards, and still be in the loop, there’s no need to invite them.) Secondly, you have to get rid of late starts and small talk. Begin meetings on time and get straight to the point. Make it a goal to limit meetings to 10 to 25 minutes (maximum).
The third suggestion is to bunch meetings together. Consider scheduling all meetings for Monday afternoons and Thursday mornings (for example). By holding back-to-back meetings, you’re able to “chunk” your time and leave the rest of the week open for productivity.
4. Implement the $100 Rule
We’re calling this the $100 Rule because it’s a round and reasonable number. But know that the exact number could vary based on your management style and financial constraints. (It might be $50, $500, or even $1,000.)
The rule goes like this: Employees are free to make decisions that cost $100 or less without getting pre-approval from a supervisor, so long as the decision alleviates a customer problem and/or will have a positive ROI for the business. (You can customise the parameters to your liking.)
Why is this important? Well, it comes down to efficiency. If a customer’s order wasn’t shipped when it was supposed to and a late arriving package creates an issue, your customer service reps shouldn’t have to file a ticket, contact a superior, and then jump through a bunch of hoops just to solve the issue. He should be able to order overnight shipping and fix the problem immediately.
The $100 Rule shows your team that you trust them and simultaneously eliminates the back and forth communication that bogs your team down and prevents them from getting meaningful work done.
Boost your remote business
Remote is the way of the future. What was already a burgeoning segment of the business world has been accelerated as a result of the COVID pandemic. But just going remote isn’t enough to put your business on the right track. You need to prioritise efficiency at every step along the way. Reference the tips and methods discussed in this article to begin rethinking how you view productivity through the lens of remote work.