Introduction to Remote work
What does remote work mean?
Whether you’re just launching your brand-new business, or simply looking for a way to ensure your team is productive, a business owner has a choice to make: bring all employees under one roof, or allow team members to work remotely. But what does remote work mean?
In Canada, working remotely is more than just a trend: over 50% of workers work outside their main office at least half the time. Giving employees this option will likely allow your company to attract the best and the brightest in your field—but many business owners fear productivity will drop in such a situation.
At Clavis, our team has the option to work fully remotely and we have team members based in four different countries.
Remote Work May Increase Employee Loyalty
According to DMZ’s “Out of Office: How to Make Remote Teams Work for Your Business,” the majority of full-time workers aged 18–29 prefer a flexible work schedule; as millennials are the largest group in today’s workforce, it is essential to make sure your business suits their needs.
As reported by FlexJobs, 82% of millennials state that they would be more loyal to their employer if that employer offered flexible work options.
Studies have shown that the long-term health of a business is tied to employees’ attitude toward the company. Remote work is one way to provide flexible hours, flexible environments, or both.
Communication is Key When Working Remotely
Don’t wait until after hiring a new employee to outline the company’s expectations regarding remote work. The article quotes Michael Prynor, founder and CEO of task management software Trello, on how his business approaches the interview process. He notes that the team uses video calls to ensure applicants can communicate face-to-face, but also to evaluate their environment.
Make sure any employee you hire has access to an office with a door, he stresses, as this will significantly cut down on distractions during working hours.
DMZ also pulls from a podcast interview in which Beat Buhlmann, general manager for note-taking app Evernote, emphasizes the importance of outlining expectations and responsibilities for remote workers in the interview process. The article also highlights Buhlmann’s advice on communication, including the need to distinguish between when online chats are appropriate, when an email must be sent, and when it is necessary to pick up the phone.
Considering millennials—that age range so many businesses must try to appeal to—love using their phones, but hate actually speaking on them, this advice on the need to specify when a voice call is needed might be the most useful note in what is, on the whole, a helpful article to all business owners considering allowing remote work.
Remote Work Tracking: Don’t Forget the Paper Trail
To ensure your business operates efficiently, some sort of paper trail must be put in place. DMZ quotes a report by Workopolis stating, “two out of five companies with remote work policies don’t have formal paperwork that outlines expectations.” Fortunately, this article offers easy-to-use options that allow businesses to implement policies related to remote work. Global Workplace Analytics provides a sample “Telework Program Policy” that allows business owners to pick and choose what needs to be included in their own policy, including information about compensation, work hours, and approval of workspace.
Workable also offers a template that should be viewed as a starting point for businesses setting up employment policies for remote workers; Workable, in addition to being a bit easier to navigate, also provides links to additional policies related to remote work that employers can adapt to suit their own needs.
Here at Clavis, our primary goal is to #MakeSocialSimple. But to do so, it is crucial to hire the right employees for the right roles, and to ensure those employees are loyal to your company.
We have also talked about the best tips to maximize your commute, including the work from home ‘commute’. If you are looking for the best way to start your morning as a remote worker, check out that post.