Businesses have coped with the coronavirus pandemic in many different ways. But one of the most common methods companies have used to continue business as usual amid restrictions and lockdowns is to have their employees work from home.
A remote workforce has numerous benefits for both companies and workers. As a business, you will have fewer overhead costs, and your employees will be happier and therefore more productive. Remote workers themselves can enjoy an improved work/life balance, reduced stress, and more flexibility and responsibility in their work. It is a win-win situation. Many employers have been reluctant to introduce a flexible working structure due to worries that remote employees won’t work as hard without strict micromanagement. But multiple studies have proved the opposite is true.
But remote working can only lead to a more productive business if your employees have everything they need to work effectively from their homes. It is up to you to set expectations and ensure they are suitably equipped with the requisite knowledge and equipment.
To help you kickstart your flexible working policy, here are five ways to empower your remote workers.
Provide the right tools
The hardest thing about empowering a remote workforce is ensuring everyone has the tools they need. This may require an initial investment on your part to get started. Video collaboration software such as Microsoft Teams is essential for your team to communicate with each other. Some staff may need laptops or phones, and it is not always feasible for them to use their own. Issues like technical support are a lot harder to deal with remotely, so your business may require a managed IT service to get things off the ground. Click here for more info.
Resist the urge to micromanage
It can be frustrating to know that your staff are out there on their own, getting their work done under their own steam. But to reap the benefits of remote working, you have to trust them to get things done. You should of course set clear expectations for your team from the start and check in on projects occasionally, but the last thing you want is your team resenting you remotely.
Accept different working styles
Outside the confines of the office, there is no longer any obligation for workers to stick to a regular working structure. Of course, there will be deadlines and fixed meetings, but everyone has different personal commitments and working styles. If someone needs to leave at 3pm to pick his kids up from school, why should that be a problem if he gets all his work done on time?
Your remote workers may need guidance, and it’s up to you to provide it. Being physically distant can make communication more challenging, so make sure you are available on working days and promptly respond to emails.
Don’t forget to socialize
Without the camaraderie of the office and the company of colleagues, working from home can be lonely. Make an effort to lift your staff’s spirits with regular group video calls. Start each meeting with a bit of a chat and a catch up to recreate the atmosphere of the office.
As a business owner you must be always thinking of staying up to date with new processes, changes and advancements in your industry so that you can evolve to better meet consumer expectations.
With passing time, your business evolves and so you may want to improve your brand image.Rebranding is a costly affair. Simply changing the logo design of your business is not enough, rebranding involves a whole lot of brainstorming activities.Take the example of Nearbuy, a service commerce platform that was earlier known as Groupon India, which has grown five-fold since its rebranding in 2015. You may not be sure if it?s the right move for your company and may want to compare the pros and cons for rebranding. Check out these reasons why a rebrand could be a smart move:
1. Your Brand Is Outdated
What was appealing to the customers 5-10 years back or more, may not be the case in current times. The customer?s taste is changing everyday. The customer today is more inclined towards intuitive design and user experience and so it is necessary for businesses to give their brands a facelift every now and then according to changing customer needs and demands.
There might also be a case that your business has seen some major changes in terms of mergers and acquisitions in its operational area, rebranding becomes absolutely necessary in such cases of designing brands identity. It lends a new identity to your business and reassures consumers about what they should expect and what benefits can they reap out of these changes.
2. You Want To Facilitate Growth.
You may have expanded your business and incorporated new products and services. If your current brand still focuses on your core business as to what it was previously, it will give a wrong signal to your customers.You may go for entire new rebranding in such situations, which will help communicate these changes to customers with a fresh new look and overhaul in messaging.
Example of this can be UPS which went for a total rebranding in 2001, to tell everyone that they are not just a package delivery service, but rather an innovative company who cares about their customers and strives to efficiently manage a hub of activity to provide quality service.
3. You?re Trying To Reach A New Audience.
After having run your business for many years, a need may arise to target newer audience.The reasons to do so can be many – a decrease in sales, the desire to diversifying, and other factors may lead to your decision to reach out to new customers. It is quite obvious that when your target new audience, the branding strategy also has to change. For instance, you cannot hope to attract the older generation with a branding strategy that incorporates all things young and hip.
4. You Want Your Brand To Rise Above Competitors.
Usually customers perceive middle-tier businesses in most industries in a similar fashion. There is hardly any differentiating factor among the many business and customers opt for the most readily available products and services, without exercising their own choice.
If you feel that the branding of your business is quite similar to that of your competitors, it is time for you to break that image and rebrand for a better future. This will help establish your brand in a different light in front of your customers, in comparison to your competitors, and they will get a good enough reason to seek out your products or services.
5. For The Sake Of Innovation
Your brand is the face of your business that is seen to public.If you want to showcase the technical and social innovations that your business has achieved, rebranding becomes a necessity. Brands that continuously rebrand their products and services could potentially outperform you in terms of reputation and profitability. A classic example of this is the fact that towards the end of the 80s, most businesses changed their ?westernised? tone of communication to a more rooted Indian tone to attract the growing middle-class.
Rebranding can be the biggest turning point in your company?s success story, if done rightly. Take a cue from predecessors in your industry who have rebranded successfully, but also make sure that you retain your company?s original spirit even in the makeover.
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