Leadership/InnovationMichael Deane

How to Manage Your IT Business from Afar

Remote businesses are the next big thing, and there is no denying it. Research that was done last year lists the benefits for both the employee and the company, and even the environment. The workforce is shifting towards the flexibility of work, avoiding rush hours and the big incentive of being able to get your work done from the comfort of your favorite pajamas. And there is not an industry as impacted by this trend as the IT.

Working in IT allows you to get your job from virtually anywhere in the world and then sell your service to whomever you’d like. Limitations are almost nonexistent. The appeal of this line of work is almost incomparable, and the industry grows and grows.

The possibility of running an entire business from the comfort of your own home isn’t a luxury nowadays, but a very regular occurrence. Every study done shows that more employees, especially the younger ones, consider remote work a crucial part of their careers. However, just because it happens often doesn’t mean it is easy to manage, or that it is successful by default.

In order to make sure that your remote IT business is as successful as it can possibly be, you should use all of the resources available to you. So, let’s start with this list and all of the useful advice you can find on it.

Most of the things should stay exactly the same, only better!

The difference between a traditional office and a remote one should only be in terms of what a remote one can do better. All of the benefits and good case practices of the traditional ones should be put to good use here as well. Your employees should enjoy the privilege of avoiding long commutes and the hours needed to get ready in the morning, as well as the benefit of creating interpersonal connections created in a regular open space office.

But, how can you achieve this? The best and the most stable way is to start building a culture. Even though it is a little bit harder to create a solid, ever-present culture in a remote team, it is still very doable, not to mention necessary. The foundation you set up using the culture and its accompanying values will make a significant impact on employees’ relations as well as their happiness, retention rate and productivity.

Technology is a tool, not the end goal

Once you go digital, you never go back. And there is no denying it, especially if you are working remotely in an IT field because technology can have a significant impact on your business. But, in order to make your business thrive, you should look at technology only as a tool, and not as an all-powerful solution to all of the challenges you will be facing in your business. In many cases, it is the best solution. In many, but not in all, even for a fast-rising IT company. Employees love their flexibility, personal space, and quality work-life balance. But they also love the warmth and familiarity that no technology can provide.

The human element shouldn’t be overlooked or forgotten. Work hard on adding that personal touch in your relations with employees, clients, partners, and every service provider you encounter. Schedule video calls instead of just audio calls, write personalized e-mails, ask people about their day, spouses, thoughts on the game you saw last night or the finale of Game of Thrones. Engage with people and let the technology connect you, rather than drive you apart.

Hire experts for the more complex side of things – such as taxes, laws, and procedures

The energy you put into your business will certainly pay off, but sometimes it just feels like too much. It could take you hours to find the exact law that applies for your specific situation, and the time spent could be put to better use. Especially having in mind that you can never be sure that you have the correct information.

This is the reason why hiring an external expert for issues concerning tax regulations, safety violations and the newest environmental laws can be of great help to your business. Manage your resources wisely, but there are issues that don’t have a lot of room for error because mistakes are very costly.  

Sometimes it’s difficult to delegate and to share even the slightest bit of control of your business to someone that isn’t you, or at least part of your core team. And although the decision is an emotional one, it is undoubtedly the best long-term strategy for the success of your business.

The results will be as desired, and you will have more time to focus on important things and to create the pillars of your business, together with your team.

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