With so much work is done on computers these days, the need for the traditional office environment is disappearing. If a significant chunk of someone’s job is done on the computer, then it follows that computer and internet access is more important than the physical location.
Allowing employees to work remotely shows that a company values the happiness and productivity of their people over the urge to micromanage them, which increases the perceived value of working for such a company in the eyes of existing employees and future hires.
Other benefits to a company can include increased employee happiness, lower turnover, potentially long term savings on overhead if some roles are transitioned to be full-time remote positions. Employers can also use r
emote work as a ‘carrot’ or privilege to motivate and drive results from their teams.
If you’ve got employees who are asking about remote work, or you would like to offer it to your team, consider these five tips before you dive in:
- Quantify their deliverables – Part of the shift toward more remote work involves the concept of paying people for results, and not their time. When letting your employees work from home (or a beach somewhere), your expectation is at minimum the same productivity and results they would be producing if they were in the office. As an employer, you can both help them understand what that looks like and ensure that you get the level of output you require of them by setting very clear, quantifiable deliverables when they are working remotely.
- Start with a test run – Once you’ve quantified the required output from your employees, you want to kick off the process with a test run. Ask your employee to prepare a clear plan of what they’ll achieve remotely, and say you’d like to do a test run first with a followup discussion of the results afterwards. You might consider trying a day or two in the middle of the week, to prevent any productivity loss stemming from a long weekend.
Important: Encourage your employee to consider how working remotely benefits both them and the company, or in the very least is not a risk for the company. The easiest way to do this is for them to have a plan of what they’ll achieve on your test run.
- Insist on a proper remote environment – What this really comes down to ensuring the quality of the internet connection your team members have while working remotely. If it’s inconsistent, they must find another location. Nothing dampens the excitement and productivity of working remotely like a poor connection. Make this clear prior to starting the test run to be sure they have thought about it when making their remote plan. It’s fair to highlight the ability to make a skype video call uninterrupted by lag as a basic requirement of any remote agreement.
- Consider the downsides – Downsides for employers include potential loss of company culture and increased potential for abuse of time. That said, if you have put some effort into establishing the conditions, expectations, and deliverables associated with letting employees work remotely, these downsides can be mitigated fairly easily.
- Embrace the change – Remote opportunities are becoming more popular across a wide range of industries. Don’t get stuck in the ‘this is the way we’ve always done things’ way of thinking, and consider whether or not letting not your employees work remotely can benefit both your team and your company.
What are your thoughts on the remote working trend? Let us know in the comments below!