The need to implement a remote work strategy has become ever more critical, especially at times like this. A business can benefit in multiple ways from the positive impacts of integrating remote working into its company culture. A remote work environment allows businesses to grow and also provides a work-life balance for staff. Not only this, but it also allows your team to work from anywhere without the confinement of fixed office space. Companies are beginning to realize that they could benefit from a large pool of talented employees from any part of the world.
With foreseeable advancements in technology in the remote work industry, more companies are leveraging the positive impacts of remote working. Relevant data showed that more people are beginning to adopt the policy of working from home. Based on some remote work statistics for 2021, 45% of US employers offer remote work. Similarly, the number of US employees that work remotely has significantly increased — by an incredible 173% in the last 14 years. Although remote working is not a new concept in the business space, the Covid-19 pandemic has necessitated the practice in many companies today.
Benefits of Remote Working
Technology is fast changing the way we do things, and remote working is not an exception. Several factors contribute to the productivity of an employee. Working from home offers flexible work schedules, zero commute time, and less stress associated with the traditional office space. Remote working provides workers with far more flexible work schedules, allowing them to enjoy an excellent work-life balance.
Working from home offers zero time commuting to work and fewer distractions for some colleagues. As a result, working from home is less stressful than the traditional working environment.
One of the critical objectives of remote work is saving costs. Experts believe that an average business can save up to $11,000 per year if its employees work from home for half of that time.
While remote working offers numerous benefits to you and your staff, implementing it successfully may challenge many. To successfully implement remote working, there are several considerations you should think about before implementing remote working in your company.
Things to consider before implementing a remote working policy
The typical work environment is designed specifically to enhance productivity. With many individuals lacking proper home office workstations free from distractions, working from home could be challenging to implement adequately. You will have to think about creating or advising staff about creating the right work environment in their homes to enhance productivity.
Unlike a typical work environment, your remote team may find it challenging to figure out a defined working time. However, the traditional office space is structured to enable staff to know their designated working hours. Offering clear communication on expectations is critical to ensure satisfaction for all parties.
The main objective of remote working is to reduce costs. Therefore, you need to weigh the cost implications of implementing a remote work policy in your company. Remote work helps to introduce cost-saving opportunities for your business. However, you will need to conduct a thorough analysis of the cost of real estate per eligible employee. If results are favorable to your bottom line, then it’s worth considering a remote work policy.
Implementing A Remote Work Policy For Your Business
Once you have established that your business needs will be met even if you work remotely, you can implement it. If fully remote doesn’t suit, you could also consider a flexible remote work policy — the key is to find what works best for your company.
Begin By Getting Feedback
Get feedback from your staff before implementing a remote work policy. Do they want it? Do they feel it will benefit their careers and your business? What positives do they see, and what negatives?
Since your staff will be the most affected by the change in working structure, you must reach out to your team to find out their doubts and discuss the best possible ways they think the policy would benefit company growth or hinder it.
Many business owners fail to set a trial period before implementing any significant policy in their business. Choosing a trial period before implementing a remote working policy will help identify areas that need improvement. This period would also allow you to see how your customers respond to your change in work culture, and you can collect feedback. A 90-day trial period is adequate to allow your staff to adapt to their new working environment and see the best ways to deal with possible problems that may arise.
Media and telecommuting technology continues to advance at a rapid rate. In a bid to effectively prepare your employee to transit to remote working culture successfully, you will have to train and retrain your staff. Ensure you train your staff on new communication methods, software, and project management systems, maintain productivity while working remotely, deal with the stress of remote working, etc.
An effective remote work policy is usually characterized by detailed planning with outlined expectations. For example, your team must understand the communication channels and the frequency of updates you would want from them. Similarly, the company must specify the working hours to your team. A company handbook on how your staff should function in a remote working environment will come in handy.
The most crucial aspect of implementing a remote working policy is providing the necessary tools and equipment your team needs to function effectively. For your remote worker to be productive, they need vital working devices such as laptops, desks, chairs, and working internet. Provide a budget that takes care of your employee’s needs in creating a conducive office space in the home.
Once you have implemented a remote working policy in your company, you should put in measures to ensure the policy remains in place and productivity remains high. Make your team feel actively involved in the decision-making process and ensure you conduct regular training to keep them abreast of the ever-evolving strategies of remote working.
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Originally published at upstack.co on Jul 28, 2021, by Joanna Blomfield.