If lockdowns and office closures over the course of the coronavirus proved anything, it was that working remotely is not only possible, it’s beneficial.
Productivity, work-life balance and employee satisfaction are all improved. Overheads, commuting costs and carbon emissions are cut. Inclusivity is vastly improved, with a far wider talent pool to choose from as a result.
Some companies (and their workers) have worried about moving to remote working models. This can stem from a workplace culture that values interactive, live collaboration – or more commonly, it can be due to a lack of trust.
While some elements of collaborative working can translate to remote work, the trust issue is much deeper and harder to resolve. Some solutions include actively monitoring teams – but this is intrusive and creepy, signalling deep distrust of employees. That’s hugely damaging to engagement.
These are outlier cases, though – and most of the world managed to prove that remote working is one of the best ways of working, ever. In fact, many people base their decision to become contractors solely on the ability to work remotely and flexibly.
But there’s definitely a right way to do it, and Cloud solutions enable businesses and contractors to work together seamlessly, no matter where they are in the world.
The Cloud was supposed to revolutionise the way we worked – and now, it looks like that time has come.
Cloud computing and storage solutions enable everyone in a team to collaborate, on a level playing field. With a private Cloud solution, even teams with slower internet connections and older hardware will have ultra-low latency access to powerful virtual workspaces.
This is a far cry from having to share large files over email, or relying on file transfer services. Solutions from Microsoft, Google – and now even an option to migrate to Atlassian Cloud – have streamlined collaborative workflows in a truly revolutionary way.
This is really helpful when working with contractors remotely. For a start, Cloud security is built-in. Access can be granted at a project or admin level, and with the backup and rollback features of Cloud solutions, nothing can ever really be lost – so companies can rest assured sharing their workspaces with contractors.
Cloud tools, including Atlassian Could solutions, are made for collaboration. Cloud computing and storage platforms can be upgraded to the latest hardware and software totally seamlessly – slashing IT costs. Cloud computing lets you automatically scale up whenever you need to, meaning your infrastructure can grow at the exact same rate as your business.
Remote working with contractors does pose some challenges – but, with video conferencing and good management, you can make every project run smoothly.
This is a vital step to working with contractors, remote or otherwise. Give them clear goals to work towards, and help them integrate into their team with icebreakers. These can be done over video conferencing apps, and in group chats on collaborative workspaces like Slack.
Read more: setting SMART goals for contractors
Make sure they have the access and permissions they require to do their work, and all the tools they need to do it, too. Make your contractor feel as welcome to the team as any new starter – and trust in their ability and expertise.
Team development with contractors can seem tricky, but it follows the same principles. A core requirement for success is regular check-ins; not intrusive interrogations – but a quick “hello, how are you doing today?”.
Find and resolve issues before they become damaging to the project, with simple, understanding communication. Keep goals and milestones updated – but importantly, make sure your contractor feels as valued and listened to as any other part of the team.
Always give them feedback! Even negative feedback can be tactfully delivered to become a motivator. Engaging with contractors like this is a great way to maximise their potential.
If you’re thinking of using monitoring tools to snoop on progress, think again. Only 30% of workers are comfortable with being tracked – and that figure may be skewed by those simply agreeing to it to save their jobs.
While monitoring can have positive outcomes, it is overwhelmingly seen as a sign of distrust.
Trust that your contractor knows what to do, and build a rapport that reciprocates that trust – so that they’re comfortable and happy to raise issues with you as they arise.
Trust is a wider workplace culture issue. If it’s low, it can harm individuals, teams and whole businesses.
Getting it right won’t be a quick fix. But with the future firmly set in remote working in the Cloud, it’s one that will benefit every company adopting the remote model.
ClearHub finds Atlassian contractors that suit your business best. Our global network includes team players who are remote working specialists; highly aware and tuned to the intricacies of working remotely in the Cloud.