Today’s workforce is one that often crosses the boundaries between in-office and remote work. With our ability to stay connected—thanks in large part to reliable technology—organizations are commonly allowing employees to work remotely for at least a portion of their workweek. And countless studies illustrate the benefits to productivity, employee morale, the environment, and talent retention, among others.
It’s safe to assume that remote work isn’t going anywhere. So what steps can you take to ensure remote work policies align with your organization’s goals? Here are four tips for implementing a remote work policy in your organization.
1) Offer remote work only to qualified employees.
Create expectations around eligibility—and put it in writing. We offer a flexible work benefit to eligible employees, and the terms of eligibility are written explicitly in a policy document. With a written policy, there’s no confusion or “gray areas” in terms of which employees are eligible for this benefit.
2) Sort out communication requirements in advance.
Effective communication is fundamental for a successful remote workforce. You want your employees to be able to work productively from an environment away from the office, but you don’t want to feel as though they’re unreachable. Utilize email, chat apps, video calls, and phone calls for daily communication. Set the standard for communication and responsiveness early on to avoid issues in the future.
3) Set up regular meetings, whether they’re in person or on video calls.
We expect team members to stay consistently in touch, and the best way to achieve this is to have standing meetings. These can be weekly, bi-weekly, or whatever makes sense for your team. Also, there’s something to be said about being able to read someone’s body language and facial expressions when you’re communicating—so we highly recommend using video calls if you can’t meet in person.
4) Discuss progress or problems during evaluations.
Employee performance can be affected by how an individual works, and this includes the work environment. Evaluations are a great time to debrief with remote employees on their remote work benefit. Use this time to discuss success and challenge areas.
The modern workforce offers more flexibility to accommodate lifestyle needs. This reality means that organizations need to implement remote work policies in a strategic way so that they can retain good talent while also meeting their business goals.