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  • Writer's pictureRita

Making remote work work: Insights from NETO Innovation

Recently, I listened to a podcast by Jenny Chammas - "Femme Ambitieuse”, which discussed how to effectively manage remote work as a business manager. This inspired me to reflect on our practices at NETO Innovation and share some tips on how to make remote work successful. 


Reflect on your perspective 


Before diving into strategies, it's essential to consider your views on remote work. Ask yourself: 


  1. What do you think about remote work? 

  • Do you think of it as a fantastic opportunity for flexibility and autonomy? Or you had some reservations about it? 

  • Do you think that managing a remote team is difficult? 

  • Do you see remote work as a positive move towards a more flexible and inclusive work environment? 


2. What advantages do you see in it? 

  • Reduced commuting time? 

  • Autonomy for collaborators? 

  • Opening the opportunities to hiring talents from around the world? 

  • Better work-life balance? 

  • More time for exercise? 

  • Cost savings from not needing office space? 

 


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Tips for successful remote work 


Here are several tips for successful remote work from Femme Ambitieuse podcast and how we apply them at NETO Innovation


1. Embrace change 

Accept that norms are evolving, and remote work is becoming an integral part of our lives.


At NETO Innovation, our structure includes three full-time collaborators: Rita (President), Stéphanie (CSO), and Sara (Innovation Manager). We handle all the technical, writing, and management tasks daily. Additionally, we have Manale and Guitta who assist us occasionally with tasks like reviewing contracts and managing finances. 


2. Communication is key 

Effective communication is crucial in a remote setting. Establish regular communication structures: 

  • Use written messaging for professional discussions. 

  • Utilize video calls or phone calls for quick resolutions, as written communication has its limits. 

  • Always keep the camera on during video calls to maintain a sense of presence. 

At NETO Innovation: 

  • We use Google Chat for daily communication among the three of us. 

  • We hold morning meetings every day to kickstart our work. 

  • We call each other as needed throughout the day for issues that are hard to convey via chat. 

  • We have structured one-on-one meetings every three months. 

 


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3. Incorporate remote work into training and integration 

Ensure that remote work is considered in training and integration processes. Employees should have clear documentation of tasks and activities and specific, tracked objectives. 


At NETO Innovation: 

  • While we don’t apply all these points due to our small size, we have well-defined objectives for each employee, reviewed in quarterly and weekly meetings. 

  • As we grow, implementing structured processes will be crucial. 


4. Acknowledge the limits of remote work 

100% remote work has its limitations, and it is not made for everybody. Aim to meet in person more often. 


At NETO Innovation: 

  • The frequency of in-person work depends on each employee’s location. It goes from least once a month to at least once or twice a year. 


5. Provide the necessary tools and ensure clear rules 

Equip your team with the necessary tools and ensure they understand remote work rules. Not everyone is suited for remote work, particularly new employees who need more guidance.  


remote work

At NETO Innovation: 

  • We are creating a remote work charter to outline these rules. 

  • We provide necessary equipment to our team and are considering offering coworking space options if requested by the collaborator. 

  • We plan to organize longer team-building events. 


6. Regularly review practices 

Discuss remote work practices at least once a year to understand its pros and cons. Maintain non-work communication channels to share personal updates, successes, and have casual conversations. 


At NETO Innovation: 

  • We review remote work practices every three months. 

  • We have a WhatsApp group for the three of us and another for the whole team to share family photos, jokes, and frustrations. 

  • We communicate frequently, with daily calls between the full-time team, and monthly check-ins with the person responsible for accounting. 


Additional tips for amelioration 

To further enhance remote work practices, consider incorporating these additional strategies: 

  • Promote a strong company culture: Regular virtual social events (virtual coffee breaks, happy hours, celebrating team achievements with recognition posts or virtual parties) and team-building activities can help create and maintain a strong company culture. 

  • Prioritize mental health and well-being: Promote a healthy work-life balance and provide resources for mental health support to support your team’s well-being. This can be done by encouraging regular breaks and setting clear boundaries for work hours to prevent burnout.  

  • Implement regular feedback loops: Establish a system for regular feedback to understand the challenges and successes of remote work, helping employees feel valued and heard. For example, you can set up a dedicated, anonymous digital feedback tool where team members can share their remote work experiences and suggestions at their convenience. This allows for ongoing and spontaneous feedback, helping to ensure that all everyone is heard and considered in shaping remote work policies. 

  • Enhance cybersecurity measures: Implement robust cybersecurity measures to protect company data and maintain trust. 

  • Promote professional development: Encourage continuous learning and professional growth through access to online courses, webinars, and training sessions. You can, for example, allocate a budget for each employee’s professional development and allow them to choose relevant courses.  

  • Establish clear performance metrics: Define specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals to ensure productivity and clear accountability. 

  • Encourage physical activity: Promote physical health by organizing virtual fitness challenges or providing reimbursements for gym memberships. 

  • Develop a crisis management plan: Establish a crisis management plan in place to ensure the team knows how to respond to emergencies and maintain operations. 

  • Use technology to enhance collaboration: Use technology tools like project management software and cloud storage to improve collaboration and productivity. 

 

These strategies can help create a more productive and connected remote work environment, enhancing both team cohesion and individual performance. 


Conclusion 

Remote work is an evolving practice that requires adaptability, effective communication, and regular review. At NETO Innovation, we work hard to implement these strategies to ensure a productive and connected remote work environment. By embracing change and focusing on clear communication and structured processes, we aim to make remote work a success for our team. 


Continue exploring remote work 

To deepen your understanding of remote work and stay updated with the latest strategies and insights, we recommend exploring a variety of books and podcasts. Books such as Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, and Distributed Teams: The Art and Practice of Working Together While Physically Apart by John O’Duinn provide in-depth knowledge and practical tips for managing remote teams effectively.  

 

For ongoing learning and inspiration, consider listening to podcasts like Distributed, with Matt Mullenweg, and Femme Ambitieuse by Jenny Chammas. These resources offer valuable perspectives and advice from experienced remote workers and leaders, helping you navigate the challenges and maximize the benefits of remote work. 

 

These additional resources can help you build a more robust understanding of remote work, enhance your practices, and stay connected with evolving trends in remote team management and productivity. 


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