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The Signal

Business analysis and trends to help entrepreneurs like you stay ahead of the curve

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Date Published: 
April 29, 2020

Hey there!

👂 I spent a lot of my 'idle' time this weekend listening to Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing on Audible. People were built tough in those days. The mental fortitude of those on that expedition was unbelievable.

🔗 Last week's most clicked link was A Simple Guide to the World Economy.

⏪ If yah missed it - last week was our (once-monthly) Start-a-business Edition. We dove deep into how to build a $8700 a month business around a niche that's booming: Home made bread (don't worry - you don't have to know a thing about it).

Today, we're going remote. As in, remote-work. It's part a bigger project I'm busy with. Hope it proves valuable.

Clickworthy

// Valuable tidbits from around the interweb.

✍️ I've read a few things about clear and concise writing being a huge part of operating remotely. I agree on some points. Here's a valuable tweet and another tip for good writing.

🧠 Switching off after work is a big part of working remotely successfully. A free-forever meditation app - Medito can help you do that.

🔑 As a member of a family who is perpetually misplacing things, I've always thought about creating a lost-item finder. Tile is some of the way there. A bit clunky, but it's a start.

A Byte

// A byte of something useful. As tasty as a choc-cihp cookie, but better for you.

As part of a bigger project, I'm writing a series which helps businesses go remote. The inspiration comes from working alongside my dad for the first time (his business is not tech-enabled).

This is an excerpt from the series which deals with the first part of writing your work from home policy.

Here it is:

Perhaps the most difficult part of transitioning to remote work is the uncertainty. No one knows what’s allowed, and what’s not. This uncertainty can be the cause of an unhappy and inefficient team.

So we’re tackling that problem head on. Right now. Let’s do it.

--

We’re going to be assuming that your business has been forced remote for now. If it hasn’t you can still go through this process - just be sure to have a look

--

Your work from home (WFH) policy serves the purpose of outlining the rules and procedures for exactly how your team should be performing their jobs. It draws a clear line in the sand about what’s appropriate, and what’s not.

Here’s what our WFH policy is going to cover:

  • Introduction
  • Work hours;
  • Tools;
  • Communication policy;
  • [EXTRA] - WFH Outside of COVID-19

As I was writing this, things got more and more in-depth. I didn’t want to leave out the important deets, so I’ve split up the WFH policy into a few emails to make them digestible.

Let’s get into it.

--

  1. Introduction

It is worth outlining exactly what the WFH policy is, and what it’s purpose is. Something I’d include is an overall objective for the company while working remotely. See this template as an example.

Keep this in mind as you go through this whole process: The goal of your WFH policy is to make your team as efficient as possible.

I'd include an over-arching WFH 'strategy statement' which can be the guiding light for your team when they're unsure about how to handle anything. Here's an example:

If you wouldn't do it in the office - don't do it at home.

--

  1. Work Hours

One of the most challenging subjects to tackle. One of the benefits of WFH is the flexibility it provides. Your employee’s might have kids, or unusual requirements which means their schedules are slightly different from a normal work day.

How do you balance flexibility with all-out chaos?

Here are some questions to consider in setting out your policy:

  • How many of my team members have children?
  • How many of my team members have commitments during work hours that they need to tend to?
  • What type of work are the different team members doing? Are they a producer or are they administrative? There are different requirements for both.
  • How important is collaboration between individuals during work hours for my business? Is there a time when everyone should be available?
  • How important is it for my clients to be able to reach my team during work hours? How flexible are they?
  • As the team leader, am I worried about hours worked, or work produced?

When you have answered most of these questions and investigated each to their full extent for the entire team (you may well need to ask for their input on these to help guide you), you’ll have a good idea for how to define working hours in your WFH policy.

A Quote

// Because there's always someone smarter than you in the room.

99% of all failures come from people who have a habit of making excuses.
George Washington Carver

An Action

// Idea's are great, but sometimes you need someone to kick yah butt into gear.

Find yourself an accountability partner.

There is no more powerful a tool which you can use to reach your goals than someone who holds you accountable to that journey.

Find someone who matters. Ask them what they want to improve. The relationship works both ways.

The End Notes

// I know, I know. I can almost hear you saying "Don't go, don't go."

That's it for this week.

We're being partially released from our country-wide lockdown (rules are being eased to allow exercise outside from our houses), so I'll be celebrating Worker's Day with a run.

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If you've found this interesting, valuable or entertaining, a few of your friends might too. Please forward on to them.

If you want to support in other ways, reply to this email with some feedback and your honest thoughts - please.

See you next week, thanks for reading!

- Simon

PS: As always - I'd appreciate your feedback, please? (or you can just reply to this)