Go Remote: How CEOs Can Work in the Digital World
Previously, working remotely was associated with outsourcing lower value tasks. However, the massive shift brought about by technology over the last decade now drives the popularity of “remote work.” In the past, remote employees tended to be low-level data-entry positions or developers. Now more advanced positions, including high-level executives, are taking advantage of working remotely. Now, CEOs can go remote. These executives like the logistical benefits, increased productivity, and higher quality of life.
Go Remote is the New Work Model
It’s a trend that is increasingly popular with managers and employees alike. And, productivity isn’t being impacted negatively. Recently, 83% of employees feel that they do not need an office to be productive. Also, 99% of employees surveyed in the 2019 Buffer State of Remote Work reported they would like to work remotely.
The number of CEOs who are “going remote” is the most notable trend. Technology now allows executives to lead and scale organizations ranging from a handful of employees to hundreds and even thousands of employees. They can use an arsenal of digital tools and well-thought-out processes.
Ethan Bull, co-founder of ProAssisting , knows what it takes for the CEOs of even the largest companies to remain effective while working remote. As the former executive assistant to a multi-billion dollar enterprise executive, his firm provides remote, high-level executive assistance services to high-powered executives, many of whom work virtually themselves. He’s offered a few insights on how CEOs can make the transition and go remote.
The Importance of Policies and Procedures
Remote or not, as a CEO you need to guide yourself and your entire organization your end goals and objectives. When you are operating remotely, you are not directly in front of your team. Detailed policies and procedures ensure everyone remains on the same page.
Doing this holds everyone accountable and eliminates gray areas. When everything is clearly written and shared via Dropbox or Slack, hiccups don’t derail your company’s progress.
Working remotely is highly coveted these days. Therefore, it’s essential that you prepare for the influx of questions and requests. If you let one employee work remote (or yourself), it’s almost certain more will want to follow.
If you have two executive assistants and one is allowed to work remotely, there will be conflict between those assistants. There will also be issues between the assistant who works in the office and their direct reports.
You can’t immediately move everyone into a remote role. It needs to be a smooth transition that doesn’t interrupt your productivity or company culture. A well-thought-out plan must be implemented to ensure the shift is smooth.
Implementing a Go Remote Policy
Not all positions are suitable for remote work. In this case, consider implementing a work-from-home policy for your in-house team members. This can be done in a way that satisfies two needs and wants. This is the need to have the job done on-site and the team member desire for the remote experience.
Think of a way that you can allow team members to work at home, whether one day a week or one day a month, which aligns with your objectives. This will go a long way to support your company culture and contribute significantly to employee satisfaction.
Growing a Remote Team
One of the most significant changes, especially when it comes to executives that come from a traditional corporate environment, is they are not going to see or communicate with their teams face-to-face in an office setting.
“A lot of seasoned executives and leaders need to see people in their seats to feel like they are getting their ‘money’s worth’ out of their employees,” explains Bull. That mentality has to change for a company to thrive remotely.
Embracing technology can help make a remote team feel “closer.” While team management tools like Slack or Asana are great for chatting and keeping organized, phone and video conference calls cannot be replaced. The tone of a voice reveals a lot. Therefore, don’t eliminate the communication channels that help maintain a healthy relationship among the company.
Utilizing a Remote Executive Assistant
As a CEO, you want to maximize every dollar the company spends. Utilizing remote executive assistants allow you to on-board talent at a drastically reduced price compared to the cost of hiring an in-house full-time employee.
A virtual assistant only bills for hours worked. That way, you don’t waste money on downtime. Essentially, you no longer have to pay employees to surf the Internet or play on their phones in-between tasks.
Your assistant, even if remote, will appear to be working for you next to your side. Location isn’t a factor when it comes to having access to your calendar, email, and contacts. You have full control to delegate tasks. Plus, the executive assistant can carry those responsibilities out from any location.
Remote work is the future. In fact, it’s already here. With the right procedures, policies, and mindset, any organization can excel as a fully remote company. And, that includes having the CEO who can also choose to go remote.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.