If your company doesn’t already allow employees to work remotely, it’s time to get on the bandwagon. Nearly half (43% ) of U.S. employees work remotely at least sometimes, according to a 2016 Gallup survey, and this number is only expected to rise.
Once people go remote, they typically don’t want to go back. In fact, 99% of respondents surveyed for the 2019 Gallup State of Remote Work report revealed they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers.
The impact remote work will have on your company largely depends on your business model. If much of the work completed by employees can technically be done anywhere, this could hugely change the way your business operates. However, if due to the nature of the work, people need to be onsite, you probably won’t see much of a difference.
Here’s some advice to help get your company ready for the remote era.
Get Proper Resources in Place
If employees are going to be working remotely, they’ll need the right equipment. No two companies need the exact same resources, so you’ll have to decide the best route for your team. This might involve investing in laptops for everyone or adopting a bring your own device program — whatever works for you. You’ll also need to think about things like making sure people have remote access to your network.
Adjust Your Management Techniques
Overseeing remote employees isn’t entirely different than managing a traditional workforce, but you’ll need to adjust your approach. For example, communication is still key, but instead of having weekly staff meetings in a conference room, you might hold weekly video chats for the team to regroup.
Learn How to Engage Remote Employees
Just as in a traditional office setting, you’ll need to keep remote employees engaged. In some ways, this isn’t too different than what you’re already used to — i.e., help them see how their individual efforts tie into company goals — but keep in mind it can be harder to tell if an employee is disengaged when you’re not seeing them every day.
Hire the Right People
Some people excel at remote work, but it isn’t for everyone. When hiring new employees, tailor your interview questions toward remote work to choose candidates who will thrive in this environment. For example, you might ask if they’re comfortable using chat tools — i.e., Slack — and find how they motivate themselves to get work done without being in the physical presence of their boss.
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