Here’s the truth. Managing a business remotely is almost impossible.
As an entrepreneur, who’s decided to run a business remotely, you’ll have to face a handful of obstacles:
- Communication issues. This is not only true for the owners of small- and medium-sized businesses but bigger ventures as well. When it comes to meetings and making important decisions, it’s hard when you can’t have a face-to-face conversation.
- Distractions – the biggest enemy of all remote workers – is the reason why it is so hard to keep up with a daily schedule.
- Difficulties managing your team. Small- and medium-sized business owners, who manage business remotely, often have to deal with pending and overdue tasks, oftentimes due to the lack of communication with their teams.
So, is there’s at least a small window of opportunity for you to manage your business remotely?
April Crossley, the owner of a medium-sized business, manages her company remotely from the desert 3 months out of the year. In an interview with Michael Zuber, a professional development coach and an author, April tells, how even a full-time employee can create and run a business remotely without quitting their job:
According to April, the secret behind running a business remotely is outsourcing. She spent several months training her employees, who she outsourced her responsibilities to, to make sure that they will be competent enough to perform tasks. Her job, she says, is to just oversee the results.
The main problem, according to April, is work interfering with personal life. Even when away in the desert, April still often finds herself spending several hours in front of the computer to sort out her work responsibilities.
And it’s common for the owners of small- and medium-sized businesses.
Remote Management and Work-Life Balance
A research team at CEO.com surveyed 256 CEOs and found that:
- all of them worked on average 60 hours a week, either in-office or remotely
- every CEO worked on average around 10-11 hours a day
- almost all surveyed CEOs reported they worked nearly 6 hours every weekend
There’s not much time to figure out the work-life balance, isn’t there?
As a business owner, who manages a business remotely, you’ll often find yourself working when you’re not supposed to, not knowing that it impacts your performance.
While you may not feel the negative effects of working long hours right away, you’ll feel them in the long run. According to the Mental Health Foundation, lack of work-life balance often results in:
- vulnerability to mental health problems
- deteriorating physical health
- lack of personal development, poor relationship, and home management
If you decided to run your business remotely, beware that maintaining work-life balance will be a struggle, until you figure out your rhythm.
To make this transition a bit easier for you, take a look at these 3 strategies you can equip yourself with to successfully manage a business remotely and keep work-life balance.
- Setting the Boundaries
In one of our previous articles, Grainne Kelly, the owner of BubbleBum, revealed that her secret to maintaining work-life balance is setting boundaries in terms of time management. There’s time for meals, there’s time for sleep, there’s time for work, and there’s time for rest.
Grainne says that as a business owner, you constantly have to put out fires and ‘deal with drama’, which affects your ability to manage time.
To set the time for work ‘drama’ and to spare yourself a minute for your personal arrangements, you can use technology. You can transfer your whole team to using digital automation tools, which will track your working time for you. There are plenty of options, including Absence.io and Calamari, which help business owners run HR operations in a digital form.
You can use these HR automation tools to set your work time and time when you prefer not to be disturbed. On Absence.io, for instance, you can manage your whole calendar one year in advance:
HR automation tools contribute to improving workplace communication as well, as you can see, who’s currently available for a conversation, and who’s not. With these tools, it’s easier to coordinate your whole team and make sure that your own time is well-balanced.
- Delegating and Outsourcing Tasks
Without outsourcing and delegating, remote management and work-life balance are not possible.
“If you want to manage your business remotely, you decide in favor of having more free time. Thus, you don’t expect yourself to do all the work. So, you’ll need to learn, how to delegate”, says Jenny Clarkson, the CEO of BestEssayEducation writing service.
Delegating and outsourcing are not only crucial for your work-life balance as a business owner. Task delegation has a major impact on the performance of your team. According to the study done by the researchers from Denmark, employees that had tasks regularly delegated to them:
- finished the tasks 2x faster
- sufficient variation of delegated tasks resulted in more trust and motivation due to high levels of autonomy.
Outsourcing is what helped April Crossley, who we mentioned at the beginning of the article, to get away to the desert 3 months from a year since she was confident that her colleagues could deal with delegated responsibilities.
Her task is just to oversee the results, and this is the end result you should be aiming at too if you want to successfully manage your business remotely and maintain the work-life balance.
- Do a Test Run
As an owner of a small or medium-sized business, you know that it will be hard for you to let go of the control and manage business remotely.
It’s a psychological dilemma: you want more autonomy, you are confident that your team can tackle your responsibilities, and yet it feels weird not to control how your business runs every second of the day.
What can help you let go of this compulsive feeling of control is a test run.
“Spending 3 weeks to a month arranging things and planning how your business will run is a prerequisite of your peace and comfort when you’re away”, says Jeffrey Haiden, the CEO of GrabMyEssay writing service.
Jeffrey shares his tips on how to do a test run effectively:
- Daily briefings and informational meetings. The subject of these meetings – delegating and outsourcing responsibilities, discussing your company’s working schedule.
- Tet-a-Tet meetings. When all your responsibilities are outsourced, individual meetings with the team members, who now hold these responsibilities, is crucial for them to have a clear understanding of how to perform these responsibilities, and for you to feel more confident and reassured.
- Documenting all processes. To make sure that your business runs smoothly, and in case of force majeure circumstances, it is important to have every decision documented. To manage all the documented processes remotely, you can transfer all the paperwork to an online database and use collaboration toolset to have round-the-clock access to all the documents.
You do a test run not just to make sure that everyone sticks to their responsibilities while you’re away. You do it to maintain work-life balance, as it also presupposes less control and more freedom from your part.
So, is managing business remotely and maintaining work-life balance possible?
The key to a successful transfer from in-office work to managing your business remotely is in preparation.
Managing a business remotely should be a well-thought-out decision, and it requires time. Make sure that you do a test run, during which you plan your time and set the boundaries, work with your team, delegate and outsource responsibilities, and do everything to make this transfer run smoothly for you and your company.
By doing these simple preparation steps, you’ll be able to gradually start managing your business remotely, while preserving and maintaining the work-life balance.
Angela Baker is a self-made specialist, who is currently working as a freelance writer at TrustMyPaper and BestEssayEducation writing services and as a guest contributor at LiveInspiredMagazine and strategic manager at GrabMyEssay company. Her inspiration is personal and professional growth, which is often the topic of her articles. Helping others broaden horizons and improve their skills is what pushes Angela to be a better writer.