Have you noticed the recent push to work remotely? According to a Gallup survey earlier this year, 43% of Americans worked at least partially from home rather than commuting. At CSols, many of our talented LIMS consultants live throughout the country, working from home offices and utilizing technology to keep in constant contact with team members. Have you considered the positives of remote consultants? Are you concerned about not having “face time”? Below we’ll address some of your concerns and also look at the value remote consultants can provide.
Searching for local LIMS consultants with required skill sets and availability can be difficult and even impossible in some areas. Expanding your search to include off-site LIMS consultants can assist you in finding the right resource for your LIMS project. There are many other benefits that are worth considering when selecting off-site LIMS consultants.
Budget tends to be of top concern for most any project. Minimizing travel for LIMS consultants, through supporting remote working, can drastically shrink the LIMS project bottom line and leave room for new lab informatics projects that may have fallen to the back burner. Also, utilizing off-site LIMS resources eliminates the need for extra cubicles, conference rooms, and workstations, all of which can help reduce the burden on your local infrastructure.
Coordinating travel for LIMS consultants that you require to be on-site, even for the well experienced, takes time and effort that could be better used focusing on the task at hand. Also, office environments are generally full of distractions, like noisy co-workers and interruptions. These issues are minimized at a home office, allowing for more time dedicated to the LIMS project and less time multitasking with disruptions.
Flights, car rentals, hotel stays, and the extra physical space required for LIMS consultants that you require to be on-site all contribute to using more resources. Supporting your “Going Green” initiative can be as easy as limiting travel and supporting a remote team.
Frequent travel takes its toll on LIMS consultants and spending hours waiting for connections and standing in security often leads to weary LIMS project workers. A comfortable and convenient home working environment allows for LIMS team members to perform at their best and worry less about travel plans and being away from family.
Are you worried communication will be challenging with an off-site LIMS team? With high-speed internet and the abundance of communication software and services, it’s never been easier to keep in touch and collaborate remotely. Here are a few tips to keep your LIMS team on the same page.
One thing taken for granted when working in close proximity to others is the ability to ask quick questions or update the status of a task. There are several well-established options to accomplish this digitally, such as Google Hangouts, Skype, or Slack. Rather than sending an email, a short message can keep you up to date with your LIMS team while also minimizing the size of your inbox.
Some say “a picture is worth a thousand words” or maybe it’s just nice to be able to associate a face to a name. Adding video to a conference call can add a touch of personality to a LIMS meeting and encourage participation in a way that audio-only calls cannot. In addition to video, sharing screens can help everyone stay on the same page. Displaying an issue or idea in real time helps add depth to the conversation.
Modifying documents with a group is a challenge even with everyone on site. Cloud-based storage solutions have changed the way people can collaborate. Real-time updates to documents can be made by multiple people at once and auto-archiving tools help display the changes made over time.
There is an abundance of technology, software, and apps, to help make communication a breeze with remote LIMS consultants. Figuring out the best way to communicate is the only hard part. To overcome this, establish preferred vehicles for communication early in the project and ensure all team members can access the various accounts and services. An on-demand video conference shouldn’t involve ten minutes of logging in and installing software.
Considering all the benefits of remote work, telecommuting is an option being utilized on more and more projects.
What are your experiences with remote teams? How do you keep lines of communication open? What tips do you have to build that “team” feeling in an increasingly digital workplace?