In fact, more than half the workforce is expected to be working remotely by as early as 2020!
This trend promises many positive outcomes for both employees and employers, but it will come with new challenges, which organizations must be ready to handle.
Here are 5 things organizations should be aware of before allowing more of their employees to work remotely:
1) Set Objective Standards:
Establish objective criteria by which employees’ work can be measured. In a physical office, a manager can monitor an employee by tracking when the employee comes in and leaves, speaking to the employee, and watching the employee work. When the work is remote, management must find other ways to judge performance. Do not determine value and contribution to the company simply by watching who is most active on email, group chat, or on the collaborative work application your organization uses. Rather, set clear standards and metrics by which remote employees can be evaluated.
2) Career Development:
Organizations will have to figure out how to implement career training and professional development as well as redefine what advancement within an organization should look like. All motivated employees want to grow and remote employees are no exception. Therefore, the responsibility to map out a course of career advancement and professional development for remote employees falls on the shoulders of their organizations.
3) Use technology to train and collaborate:
Host remote training and team onboarding sessions for your employees. This could be done using technologies such as video conferencing, chat, and collaboration tools to share information in the form of articles, webinars, videos, podcasts, and slide decks.
4) Enable Remote Collaboration
In a physical office, it’s much easier to facilitate collaboration between different roles and departments. For example, an employer could simply coordinate a meeting in a conference room between the sales and accounting or HR and customer service. When employees are all working in different locations, this becomes much harder to do. Organizations must have a system in place so that collaboration can happen smoothly even when employees work remotely.
5) Create a Great Work Environment:
Many companies compete for the coveted title of ‘best place to work.’ While working remotely has its perks, it has its drawbacks as well. It can be hard to top the spirit of camaraderie as well as the social aspects that come with working alongside people in a physical office rather than virtually. Not to mention, beautiful office space with a view and complimentary food and refreshments is impossible to replicate remotely. Some companies have even gone the extra mile to make their office work environments more attractive and pleasant, offering employees the ability to work from anywhere they choose within the office. Companies with remote employees will have to match the culture and work environments of organizations with physical offices who have a high rate of employee satisfaction.
Of course, hiring remote employees will not be possible for all organizations. Before entertaining any of the above considerations, you will first have to determine if a remote arrangement is a good fit for your organization or if it’s even feasible. In some cases, the product or service of an organization is not one that can be worked on remotely.
But if you do decide to hire remotely, make sure you have taken these considerations into account.