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How to Transition an Office to Allow Remote Work Flexibility

For years, companies have been hesitant to allow their employees to work remotely. This is mostly due to the common misconception that when employees work from home, they are not as productive because there are so many distractions.

However, within the past couple of years, remote work has become increasingly popular, and today it’s the trending norm. In fact, nearly half the workforce comprises remote workers, at least part of the time.

If you are not allowing your employees to work remote at least part of the time, you might be missing out on a lot of great candidates. This may not be a shocking statistic to most people, but from a survey done by Buffer, 99% of respondents said they would like to work from home at least some of the time. Furthermore, respondents said they recommend jobs to others based on whether they can work remotely or not. People in the workforce know that there are jobs out there that will allow them to work from home part of the time, if not full-time, so this might be the deciding factor in whether your top candidates choose to work for you or another company.

Buffer found that the results from this study were so strong that we can expect this trend of remote work to stay. Interested in getting in on this trend? Here are some steps you can take to help you to transition.

Be up front about remote work policies

For the most part, remote work is new for everyone. It’s a new concept for most employers and most people have not had the opportunity to work from home. With this being said, remote work is what you make it. If you don’t have any policies in place, you might find that it becomes chaotic and unorganized. Here are some things to consider when setting your remote work policies:

· Availability: Will you require your team to work during a certain timeframe or are you flexible as long as the work is done?

· Tools: Do you have tools set in place for the team to work together and help make the transition as seamless as possible? If so, go over these with the team and how they are to be used.

· Work submission: How is the team going to submit their work? Is there a place where all work can be stored?

· Productivity: Identify how you are going to monitor your team’s productivity and discuss this with them.

Reconsider hiring policies

Remote work is great for most people; but if we are being honest, it’s not for everyone. Transitioning to a remote team means you have to be careful in evaluating your candidates for the job. A remote employee must be self-motivated, strong-willed, and an excellent communicator. When working from home, there are a few more distractions, which means you have to trust that your employees will be motivated enough to stick to the job even when exciting outside activities arise.

Be on the ball with project management

If you are not strict with organization, it’s easy for things to become chaotic, and for your team to fall behind. Many remote teams have found success with a cloud-based project management tool. These are easily accessible at any time by any employee. It also allows for you to set deadlines, create reminders and assign tasks. Some great project management tools to consider are Trello, ClickUp and Basecamp. You might also find that you will need to share documents with other team members, which is why it’s also helpful to use Google Drive and DropBox.

Have the necessary tools

Just like in an office setting where you would need meeting spaces, phones and printers, the same goes for remote work. Additionally, you may require more tools that will help to facilitate your work. You should have resources (other than email) in place to help facilitate internal communication as well. Slack is a popular tool used by many companies. You should also have a plan for how you are going to meet. If everyone is fully remote, it might be impossible to meet in-person, so you might want to consider online meeting. Zoom is another great resource where you can host meetings.

Promote a good work culture

While remote job opportunities are important to employees today, so is a good company work culture. In Gallup’s 2017 State of the American Workplace Report, company culture ranked at the top of the list of reasons for why employees leave their jobs for other career opportunities. Here are some ideas to consider that will help to promote a good company culture.

Vacation time

Since employees work from home, it’s easy to forget that they need vacation time too. Remote workers actually take less days off and work longer hours. This is because if they are feeling under the weather, there is no need to stay home, because they are already there! Your remote team needs a break too. Don’t forget to reward them with vacation time.

Offer unique perks

Since your team is not in the office every day, it can be hard to reward them when they are doing a good job. Lifestyle Savings Accounts (LSAs) are a popular employee perk that companies have started to offer employees.

LSAs are an employer funded account that your employees can use to pay for anything that you feel will contribute to their happiness or productivity. Contributing to an employee’s LSA is great way to let them know that their hard work has not gone unnoticed, and that they are appreciated. Your employees will love this unique perk and the little reward they receive every time you feel they have earned it!

Within the next few years, you can expect remote work to become the norm. Considering transitioning to a remote team? With these few steps you will be well on your way to a successful, productive remote office! Want to learn more about how to make the transition easier? Contact Work2Live and our team would be glad to make the transition as seamless as possible through our lifestyle savings accounts.

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