How to Make Remote Working Work for Your Team
There are many benefits to remote working including increased worker productivity and retention, job satisfaction, and decreased costs. However, the potential downsides of remote working may make you wary of letting your team work at home or hiring someone who will work remotely full-time. Here we list 4 important things to help make remote working work for your team.
1. Establish a remote work policy
If you want remote working to work for your team, you need to establish a remote working policy. Here are a couple of things to outline in this policy.
Companies need to decide which positions and to what extent (part-time or full-time) employees are eligible to work remotely and clearly state this in their policy. There are some jobs that may not be conducted remotely. Communicate this effectively to your employees.
Availability expectations should be outlined in the policy. Whether it's a 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. work requirement or letting employees to set their own schedules, either should be put in a policy to eliminate future frustrations.
Treat remote workers like any other employee in the office. Set expectations and set clear goals. Successful performance management begins with effective goal setting. Check out our article on effective goal setting here for more details.
Set standards and policies for equipment. Will the company supply work equipment (computer, office supplies, software, etc), or will employees be expected to obtain their own equipment? Writing clear policies for equipment will help avoid potential conflicts in the future.
It is important to create clearly defined cybersecurity practices for remote workers. While remote work does create new security risks, with the right policies in place, these risks can be mitigated. Be clear on how and when the public Wi-Fi connection can be used. Establish policies on how remote workers should access and send sensitive documents. Finally, provide employees with a protocol if they believe any information has been compromised.
2. Establish several lines of communication
It’s easy to walk into someone’s office to ask for advice or help in a physical workplace, but remote working can make this complicated. Establishing several lines of communication (such as Skype, Slack, Teams etc) can ensure that you can contact the person during work time. Availability should be clearly outlined in the work policy.
3. Conduct regular meetings and check-ins
We have written on the importance of feedback and this doesn’t change when your employees are working remotely part-time or full-time. Having a performance management system that allows you to communicate feedback on a regular basis is important to clarify goals and expectations. Document these goals so that employer and employee can view it and keep individuals accountable.
4. Host annual meetups/retreats
While meetings and check-ins can be done via video conferencing, if your team is truly remote, hosting annual meeting ups is a good way to build team morale and establish work relationships.
What do you think? How do you make remote working work for your team?