Remote working is fast becoming one of the main trends for the future of work.
Companies now realise that implementing a remote working policy goes a long way to help retain your best employees. It is not always straight-forward but you can make provisions in your policy that can prevent issues into the future. We examine the issues and benefits you could face if you don’t implement a considered remote working policy.
Issues to consider
- Not being present (physically) in the office can cause gaps in communication
- Workers might often be confused about their responsibilities when not in a physical team environment
- Make sure that you have the correct infrastructure in place to support your remote workers, it will make all the difference!
A common misconception of remote workers is that they are less productive and collaborative than in-house counterparts. An article published by Forbes in 2019 states this is not the case. The survey conducted stated that among those who worked remotely both part-time and full-time, 77% stated they were more productive when working remotely and 30% stated that they accomplished more in less time than when they worked in-house.
“Remote working has been a real draw for attracting great talent in our organisation, we have many remote workers in different locations who are extremely effective” says Adam Coleman, CEO of HRLocker. “from customer success managers to programmers, it really doesn’t matter if you have the right things in place to facilitate remote working.”
So, what is required to implement a considered remote working policy?
- Engage your remote workers with frequent, meaningful conversations using technology, site visits and awaydays/events to recreate the office setup.
- Use technology to connect. Software such as Microsoft Teams allows screen sharing, video conferencing and remote access to office systems to make your remote workers feel part of the team.
- Make sure you connect visually at least once a day. Identifying work goals for the day helps them feel connected and part of the team, which is vital if you are working remotely as they can often feel isolated.
- Developing a daily, weekly and yearly “Grove”. It’s important to touch base on the status of their work checking in to see if they require any support from the team.
- Have regular performance reviews with your remote workers. Invest in a performance review package to make these interactions easy to manage.
- Invest in a good internal communication system such as Microsoft Teams. This allows conversation throughout the day whether you are next door or in another country. It also has great features such as screen sharing which helps to communicate and explain difficult business ideas easily.
- Know your people. To combat the potential impact of isolation on remote workers, managers need to know their employees. Remote worker performance has been studied extensively, and particularly to the volume of work these employees produce. In the past few years, researchers have also begun to study isolation, loneliness and burnout among remote workers.
- Know their tendencies. Managers can build a work culture that enables remote employees to not only bring their best self to work every day but also do what they do best every day.
- Have a stringent recruitment and selection process. It is important to remember that not all candidates are going to be suited to remote working.
There are many benefits to setting up a remote working policy but it’s not without its challenges. If you put all the correct things in place this could be a huge win for your business. So go ahead, and get planning today!
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