If your company is contemplating implementing a remote work policy, there’s no time like the present! After all, telecommuting, once thought to be a workplace perk, has gone from being a trend to the way top companies do business. And with an estimated 80 percent of Americans interested in a job that offers a flexible work policy, allowing employees to work from home is good for business.
But if your company has been of the brick-and-mortar variety up until now, you’ll need some help to get started. Running a remote workplace is not hard to do, but it does take some specific strategies in order for it to be successful. Here are some tips to help you accomplish just that!
Running a Remote Workplace: A Guide
Assess your company’s needs.
Before you even begin the hiring process, you’ll need to take a look at your organization and review each and every job title, both present positions and potential future openings. Which positions can be done remotely? How can you take some of the current office operations and make them work on a global level? This first step is a time-consuming one, but well worth it as you lay the groundwork for establishing a remote workforce.
Do your research.
Just as you would have to know the laws for operating a business in your state or country, so would you need to know how having a remote company works from a legal perspective. Find out about the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) as it pertains to your organization, and the telecommuting laws that could impact your organization, both in a positive and negative way. For example, would your company need to pay workers’ compensation if a remote employee were injured working from home? It’s crucial to know the legal ins and outs of having a remote workplace, so consider hiring a lawyer to help guide you through this very important process.
Set your team up for success.
You’ve taken the time to go through extensive interviews, hiring only the best in your industry. But even top-tier talent can’t perform at their peak unless you set them up for success. That means ensuring they have the equipment and tools necessary in order to do their job well. So determine if you will give your employees new computer equipment so they aren’t working with old laptops that could impede their performance. Also decide what reimbursements you’ll make in terms of Internet costs, cell phone usage, and other technology they might need for their jobs.
Make meetings a priority.
Meetings are essential to any organization, but particularly so when it comes to remote companies. Why? Not only are meetings a good way of keeping the company cohesive, but they also help unite remote workers, giving them an opportunity to hear (and see) each other. Having regularly scheduled meetings also helps you keep your team on task, solve any issues as they arise, offer clarifications as needed, help your workers understand—and meet—expectations, and resolve conflicts before they become bigger problems.
Get to know your team, too.
In addition to team meetings in which projected growth is discussed, take the time to get to know your workers as individual people, too. Since there is no remote water cooler, it’s up to you to make one in the form of fun, informal meetings where employees get to chat about anything and everything—except work. It’s a great way for your staff to bond beyond team tasks, and you might discover that one of your staffers has a talent (such as writing or supreme social media skills) that can be utilized by your organization, too!
Create communication tools.
When your employees are spread out across the country—and the globe—communication is key in order to ensure that work is completed on time and correctly. That’s why you’ll need to have great communication tools in place so that you can communicate well with your team, and they can chat with each other, too. Encourage your staff to reach out to each other not only in email, but in instant message and the phone, too. Communication tools like Join.me, Yammer, Campfire, and others offer team members a chance to feel less isolated and part of a true team.
Running a remote workplace is easier than you think! By implementing some of these policies and procedures, you can join the thousands of other companies that have gone virtual and allow your organization to do the impossible—no matter where you and your team are located.