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From last week’s blog, we learned that certain activities and occupations are more conducive to working remotely, primarily jobs that require a lot of digital activities. We also learned that productivity on collaborative tasks needs good planning to be successful.

There are many benefits to consider with remote working. Some costs are reduced for both the employer and employee. The employer can save on real estate. If employees are working remotely, even partially, less office space is needed. Along with less space, there is less upkeep, electricity, and maintenance. Employees can save time, money, and stress on commuting. Also, there are fewer office politics to navigate.

Many employees consider working remotely beneficial to a work/life balance as well as family. For some, it is helpful to schedule appointments and take care of children when they don’t need to spend multiple hours a day traveling back and forth to work. If this workstyle is preferred, productivity is likely to remain the same or improve.

On a more global scale, it is easier to hire the best talent as the pool of candidates is not limited. Along with a larger pool of candidates is greater diversity. There are people from many different cultures. Research supports greater diversity as a competitive edge. More ideas lead to better products and services.

The key is to make remote working a successful practice. Things to be considered include but are not limited to supportive policies and practices; structures to build a positive culture and be productive; and the right technology.

Policies and practices need to define work schedules, company expectations, attendance, sick time, etc. Since mental health and physical health are important to consider with remote working, businesses should identify programs that could help employees if needed.

Building a strong culture for remote working is also important. The company’s vision, mission, and core values drive employee performance. It is the responsibility of the leader to communicate the cultural norms and lead by example. However, social connectivity is an integral part of the culture and needs to be nurtured. The leader needs to re-create the in-office culture with activities such as a virtual happy hour. Time to chitchat before and after well-structured meetings helps as well. Building intentional relationships with colleagues, leaders, and customers leads to higher productivity and increased customer service.

Working remotely requires the right technology to get the job done. These include online platforms, accessible communication tools, cybersecurity, and training if needed. Platforms may be needed to organize work and work products in a central location. A good communication tool is needed to conduct effective meetings. Security measures for all technology and intellectual property need to be implemented. Training to operate all forms of technology should be provided so users work safely.   

Lastly, it is helpful for employees to set up a home office where she/he can work quietly without distractions with furniture that is ergonomically correct for physical health.

A happy and productive employee is likely to be loyal and remains with a company that values them. For assistance in developing remote working models, contact kathy@deliverworkforce.com or visit the website for more information at www.deliverworkforce.com