How can an employee be happy and productive without being in the office? How can this work-life balance that everyone has been searching for, be achieved? After all, is remote working a good idea?
Remote working, “working with a computer from the beach” has been a big business trend for years. In Greece, several companies have already implemented it. Especially in recent months due to the Covid-19 crisis, the need for teleworking has knocked on the door of many companies. To keep their teams functioning they adapted to safety measures by urgently transitioning to work from home.
How we roll
In Papaki, since 2016, we are from those (lucky ones) that our office is where our computer is. There are team members working from other cities and countries. There are team members that are real digital nomads, traveling around and working from any beach or mountain they cross. In Crete, where our headquarters is located, we apply a semi remote working model. We basically choose which days we will go to the office and which ones we will work from home. Personalisation plays a key role in our work organisation. Since the Covid-19 outbreak Papaki transitioned easily and efficiently into a full remote working plan: everyone, without exception works from home.
Why choose remote working?
To someone who has no experience in teleworking, a team working effectively from home might sound baffling. However, the truth is that the benefits of remote work are prominent. We see its results day by day not only in how we feel but also in the company’s performance.
Fewer distractions, deeper concentration
According to research, 75% of people who choose to work remotely do so because they have fewer distractions. At home, in a co-working space or in a library, you can often achieve deeper concentration avoiding office distractions. Performance also increases significantly when we work from home: 85% of businesses confirm that productivity has increased by applying teleworking. Our office might be nice but especially in open spaces the noise from other departments makes almost impossible to focus and carry out a big project.
According to the same survey, 86% of employees said they were less stressed when working from home. You may be in the mood for work but not up for going to the office. The fact that you have to necessarily show up somewhere causes stress on its own. Is it that you can be in your pyjamas all day or take a short break and water your plants? Whatever it is, when you work from home you have less stress.
Custom made to our needs
Personalisation is one of the most important features. Team members are happier when they have the option to make their own program. We are all different and our needs vary. That’s why we perform better when we can balance work with personal life. We may want to eat with our family during our break or work next to our partner or outside in the fresh air. As comfortable as the office might be, when we have the choice of making our own schedule we love our job even more. After all, companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover than those that don’t.
Save the planet
By reducing travelling back and forth from the office you also reduce your energy footprint! Globally, about 27% of carbon dioxide emissions are due to transportation! While limiting the days going to the office, we pitch in reducing pollution.
In addition, a company that allows remote work may reduce its infrastructure costs. At the same time, the teams are used to being more flexible and working from anywhere. Finally, a great advantage is that the company can find potential employees from anywhere in the world. So the most suitable person can be found to join the team without geographical restrictions!
How do we achieve remote working?
In order for a company to achieve a smooth and efficient teleworking model, the base should be at the company’s philosophy and the team’s values. Papaki’s corporate culture starts from the candidate’s interview and is expressed daily in the office life. The pillars on which Papaki’s impeccable remote working model is based on are mutual trust, self-leadership and transparency.
The second key ingredient to achieve a perfect remote working model is to use the right tools. Methods that keep the team together, the members organised and the managers aware of each other’s tasks.
In Papaki we focus on frequent communication between the members. That’s why we have established a system of daily meetings: within the departments but also between the heads and managers.
Slack and Google’s G Suite are integral tools for open and direct contact within the team (even for fun stuff). We also use intranet, an internal network where the company’s news and insights are posted. At the same time, in order to effectively organise individual tasks, we use the trello platform. It helps us know what needs to be completed and when as well as which members are involved in each project. We all have control over our time, there is transparency and we can be as effective as possible.
We also lay stress on the issue of security. We are very strict while meeting all the requirements so that no third party can access the company’s data. We do this by using VPN and other similar systems from home.
Houston, we have a problem
Of course, there are challenges that need to be addressed in remote working. Companies that are not properly prepared and implement teleworking models hastily often face various risks. The most important problem for team members is the loss of balance between personal and professional life. It is easy for employees to start losing track of when to turn off the computer and stop working. The working day can be extended to weird hours and weekends.
* and how we solve it *
It is important for you to have a specific space where you work at home, as well as to follow your schedule as you would in the office. On the other hand, an unprepared business can fall into the trap of authoritarian control and insecurity about how efficient employees are at home. By first applying the corporate culture and then the tools mentioned above, the dangers and insecurities get replaced by a balanced and efficient working system with happy and engaged teams and satisfied employers!
In Papaki we envision a world full of Happy People and we start with ourselves. If you are thinking of trying out in your company a remote working model, it’s worth the effort following the tips offered!