Sitting in a home office on a mountain in Upstate New York, You have come to realize that there were no mistakes in the growth of a business. There were merely a series of missteps that ultimately became part of the journey towards success.
It’s remarkable to think that you have been fortunate enough to return to your hometown and still run a thriving business, one that’s even more prosperous than when it operated from a physical location. This accomplishment makes what team and you have achieved all the more rewarding.
Nevertheless, transitioning to a fully remote operation isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. Then again, what in business truly is? In that regard, You have had some key realizations and implemented dedicated practices that have been game-changers for me. If you’re contemplating such a shift for your own business, we hope these insights can be just as beneficial to you.
The Modern Workday Transformation
A significant reason why individuals venture into entrepreneurship is to break free from the traditional nine-to-five routine and attain more personal freedom. Ironically, this aspiration often takes an unexpected turn. As a business owner, you understand that the ultimate responsibility rests squarely on your shoulders, and it’s challenging to disconnect from that weighty burden.
If you weren’t actively supporting your business, you were constantly engrossed in thoughts about it (or dare I say, obsessed). Frankly, you weren’t prepared for this reality, and it was a sobering realization that your new workday, now conducted from home, resembled a never-ending endeavor. This approach wasn’t sustainable or productive.
In the realm of remote businesses, the boundary between work and home life blurs even further compared to when you commuted to a physical office because, for the most part, they coexist in the same space. Moreover, the temptation to tackle that “one quick task” when you can work from anywhere often leads to a cascade of additional tasks, perpetually extending your work hours.
Navigating the path of burnout becomes rapid when work engulfs your life, and in the realm of creativity, a less-than-sharp mind often results in missed opportunities. This prompted your second epiphany. You bore the responsibility for changing this scenario.
This is where the notion of entrepreneurial freedom comes into play. You possess the authority to determine your work approach, your work location, and your work schedule. Recognized the necessity of introducing more deliberate boundaries and committed routines to empower your remote business without letting it dominate your life.
Establishing a Remote Business
Each person harbors their unique reasons for transitioning to remote work. It was the prospect of returning to your hometown nestled within the serene Adirondack Mountains, a decision fueled by the desire to provide your children with a wholesome upbringing.
However, Understand that even in this remote setting, you need to ensure the continued growth of your PR agency. It wasn’t just a matter of leaving behind your old brick-and-mortar office; it also meant being distanced from the networks and conveniences of a bustling city.
Consequently, You formulated a set of guidelines and best practices that would eventually constitute the essential elements of your “secret recipe” for success in a fully remote work environment.
- Establish a Dedicated Workspace: This is an absolute necessity. The demarcation between your home and your office, as previously emphasized, is of paramount importance. When you step into your home office in the morning, it signifies the switch to business mode, and when you step out, work remains there. Well, mostly, as it’s an ongoing process!
- Set Clear Boundaries: When discussing boundaries, it’s not solely about establishing limits for work hours to allow for personal rejuvenation. It also involves defining boundaries with your team and clients.
In a remote work setting, it’s widely acknowledged that you can theoretically be reached at any time, and some individuals might not hesitate to do so. Occasionally, this is acceptable, as it’s one of the benefits of a flexible schedule.
Nevertheless, it’s crucial to convey that no one should expect 24/7 availability. Managing this with clients who desire access at all hours can be a bit more complex. To address this, You have found that incorporating working hours into your calendar and email settings (along with out-of-office notifications during vacations) serves as a subtle reminder that is probably not online at 10 p.m. or 3 a.m.
This isn’t to say that won’t respond promptly to urgent matters, but it helps in not establishing that constant availability expectation.
- Consistently Keep in Touch: The adage “out of sight, out of mind” can indeed apply to maintaining and increasing revenue when working remotely. It’s crucial to avoid falling off the radar for both existing clients and potential ones. To mitigate this risk, aim to have more interactions with them than you typically would have in face-to-face meetings.
- Here’s a strategy to consider: For every in-person coffee meeting you would have previously held, now aim for three client touchpoints. Email communication, text messages, and calendar invites will become your trusted allies in this effort.
- Conduct Purpose-Driven Team Meetings: Raise your hand if you’ve ever been in an office where it felt like meetings were scheduled just for the sake of having meetings. In a remote business, productivity holds even greater significance, so it’s vital to assign a clear purpose to every meeting you organize.
Whether the meeting is intended for brainstorming, project updates, troubleshooting, knowledge sharing, or celebrating achievements, having a specific intention behind each session ensures that it remains engaging, rather than a mere display of faces on a screen.
In your agency, we’ve discovered that themed meetings are particularly effective in helping us stay connected and on track.
- Establish Accountability Systems: When people express concerns about growing a remote business, one of the common issues raised is accountability (or the perception of its absence). However, in today’s landscape, this argument holds little merit, thanks to the plethora of project management tools at our disposal.
Your team favors Asana and Google Docs, but your team may have different software preferences. The crucial factor is to ensure that you establish clear procedures and provide thorough training to your team on the chosen system.
Is this approach flawless? No, but it has yielded positive outcomes. Not only has a business experienced more growth since transitioning to remote work, but I can genuinely attest to having achieved a better work-life balance compared to the past. As you sip a coffee and gaze at the breathtaking mountains outside your home office window each day, I’m filled with optimism for the future!