Getting Remote to Work

calendar June 27, 2019

If you are looking for ways to expand your new talent pool and make your current and future employees happy, offering remote work options could be just the solution you need.

Obviously, it’s not for everyone. Certain businesses require their staff to be onsite for a variety of reasons, and that’s okay. But if your organization doesn’t fall into that category, you might want to start thinking outside the box. And outside the office.

Research has shown that employees value flexibility and will take things like remote work options into consideration when making career choices. Studies have also shown that remote employees are happier, more productive, and more likely to see themselves in their positions for longer.

If increasing employee engagement, productivity, and/or retention sounds good to you, it may be time to go remote. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy.

Remote work doesn’t come without challenges, and your strategy should be put together with thought and care. Here are three ways to make sure your remote work policy works for both your employees and your company.

1.) Plan for it

If you’re a company committed to offering remote work options, start by creating a policy that makes sense for how your business and employees operate.

Things to consider:

  • What kinds of positions could successfully work remotely?
  • Will these employees be 100% remote or will there be in-office requirements also?
  • How will you structure your teams? Your communications? Your performance management?
  • How will you hold people accountable for their time, work, and results?

It may be tempting to jump right in without a plan, but don’t do it. Pouring your energy into creating a solid remote work policy will save you lots of time and frustration when implementing and managing it.

2.) Hire for it

Just as some businesses aren’t well suited to remote work, neither are some employees. Not everyone likes working remotely or functions well in that environment. It’s important to keep this in mind during your hiring processes.

If you want to hire people who will be more likely to thrive as remote employees, here are some ways to find them.

  • Look for people who have worked remotely in the past. If they’re applying for another remote position, chances are it’s something they like to do.
  • Talk to candidates with demonstrated success in positions where they took initiative, worked independently, and managed their own time.
  • Keep an eye out for candidates who describe themselves as being disciplined, self-motivated, and tech savvy. Excellent communication will be another important skill to look for. Responsiveness is also a plus.

Ask your applicants why remote work seems appealing. If they say it’s because they can’t bear to be away from their dog/cat/hamster for 8 hours a day, that’s not a compelling reason. If they talk about how having control of their time and atmosphere allows them to think creatively and get more done, you’re on the right track.

3.) Make it optional

Research has shown that remote workers have higher levels of productivity, loyalty, and satisfaction— when they choose to work remotely. But these results were significantly lower when employees were forced to work at home.

Having remote and onsite work options is really the best of both worlds. If you have a great employee who is moving but wants to keep working for you, that’s now an option. If you have a remote employee who decides they are happier working in an office environment, you can welcome them into the fold. If an onsite employee needs to go remote for a specific period of time, they can be accommodated.

Ready, set, go?

Watching your employees walk out the door isn’t always a bad thing… especially when you know they are working harder and happier than ever in their remote locations.

If you’re thinking about offering your employees the option to do their jobs offsite, why not do a little research and put together a plan? You may be surprised at just how well remote works.

Recruiting and retaining employees is easier when you can offer a comprehensive benefits plan that makes your team members feel as valuable as they are. At Combined, we build cost effective, long-lasting employee benefits strategies to keep your business and your employees in optimum health.