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Why remote working could be your next power move

Vanessa Tierney, CEO and founder, Abodoo

As a disrupted industry, recruitment and remote working go hand in hand. The technology available means we can be in constant contact with our teams and platforms like Zoom, Google hangouts and even Facetime power effective candidate interviews.

As harbingers of the future of work, too, recruiters can lead by example, as we mirror our clients’ worlds. Remote working’s going nowhere: Buffer’s State of Remote Work survey showed that 99% of remote workers want to work remotely in some way and 95% would recommend it to others. Dell plans to have half its workforce working remotely by 2020.

So, as an ambitious recruitment professional, how can remote working be the next step to building a career you love?

You get to make the most of not being in the 9-5

Taking out the daily commute frees up your schedule as does not being tied into regular team meetings. You can use your most energetic time to do your best, deepest work, moving the dial on your productivity and impact. For me, it’s right after the school run and I’ve adopted that start-up founder habit of a power hour first thing in the morning too.

Be thoughtful about your working schedule. It’s easy for boundaries to leak when you work at home. Making up time to respond to emails at 9pm is fine – but not every night. Schedule those sessions in to avoid the “always on” tendency.

Over-communicate your way to success

For me, communication is your key asset when you’re managing a remote team. Invest time in communicating openly and consistently - again there’s a plethora of collaboration tools to support this from Slack, WhatsApp or video conferencing. Schedule 121 check-ins and encourage updates on your team’s goals, projects and achievements. In the absence of quick face to face catch-ups by the coffee machine; your role is very much about steering and guiding through clear communication to create a cohesive team culture. Taking time to crystallise messages, share updates, foster a culture of collaboration will set you up for success.

At the same time, it’s important you’re advocating your own achievements too. Share progress and celebrate your wins and encourage your team to do the same.

Build meaningful relationships

None of us are islands and meaningful relationships form the basis of all success in business. In a people business like ours, there’s such an opportunity to nurture an authentic network of rewarding relationships, whether this is online – through LinkedIn, professional groups and event Instagram, or offline. Find like-minded people in your organisation to form peer-to-peer groups with, offer to mentor younger leaders coming through, or, something that’s worked well for me, is an “inner circle” of other female founders who I Skype and share a Slack channel with on a regular basis.

In person contact is as important too. Find a local networking group if your business is truly distributed, or seek out industry meet-up groups in your area – Eventbrite is brimming with these. Stay open minded: I’ve forged great school gate friendships which have become business relationships further down the line. And do hold regular team get-togethers with clear contexts and objectives to give your people a chance to forge their own relationships.

Make professional development a constant

For many remote leaders and workers, learning is an added benefit. You have more energy and time for professional development, and because of the nature of remote working, there’s often that curiosity to seek out trends, educational opportunities and trainings. Again, taking time out for conferences or events can cultivate relationships in your network and support your personal brand. Investing in yourself in this way, sharing your learning on social media and positioning yourself in your industry all feeds back into your role as a leader.

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