How to Deal with Your Workforce Wanting to Go Remote

The remote work model is not a new concept. However, it did get significantly popularized when the internet became much more available. Nowadays, the model is gaining some serious momentum, as most workers look to reap the rewards that come with it. 

LinkedIn Global Talent Trends Report of 2019 pointed out that roughly 72% of professionals look to upscale the flexibility of their jobs, especially in the areas of marketing and HR. Many professionals will eventually ask for this opportunity, and you, the executive, will have to find a way to deal with it. So, what is the best way to handle this?

First off, know that your employees’ remote workdays will likely bring you no detriment. It is understandable that in-office work means more control over the workforce’s productivity. However, there are still some things you should get ahold of. 

  • People who work from home are usually more productive than those working in an office. That is because employees often choose to put extra effort into work, to prove that they can be trusted. As shown in the State of Remote Work report, some 65% of surveyed employees say that the model increases the workforce’s productivity, and their superiors seem to think so as well.
  • These remote employees, on a larger scale, tend to save their companies some serious money. Costs such as office furniture, supplies, electricity, etc., can be easily dodged using the remote work model. According to FlexJobs, employers can save up to $22,000 a year per employee once they let them work from home.

  • Providing employees with such an opportunity will increase employee loyalty. With more time for themselves and their loved ones, they will be much happier and will show more enthusiasm at work. Not only that—according to a study by Softchoice, three out of four employees said they would quit their current position for another that would enable them to work from home. 

  • Employee retention will also increase. Workers everywhere tend to move for different reasons: family, health, better opportunities, etc. However, with remote work, even if they move, they can remain a part of your team if they choose to. Through remote work, you will be increasing the company’s retention rate significantly. 

Before you let your employees work from home, make sure you ask them a series of important questions. Some of these questions should be:

  • What makes you a good remote worker?

    Once they start pointing out their qualities, make sure that most of those are not general or obvious. If they have solid reasons, or they have a good background, you will make no mistake if you decide to give them an opportunity to work remotely. 

  • How do you perceive the rest of the team being affected by your telecommuting?

    They should point out that your company’s online collaboration platform of choice is an important tool for staying in touch with everyone. Their physical absence from the office will not make any difference if the job gets done. 

  • Do you think you working remotely will serve as a good example to be followed by others?

    Their answer must be solid and backed up with a few good reasons. 

  • Finally, what do you think makes your job position worthy of remote work?

    This is normally a pretty simple question, as the remote worker needs to be absolutely positive that every aspect of their work can be done remotely.

Last but not least, remember to keep track of the productivity levels before and after you let them work from home. As an executive or a manager, you probably have your way of tracking the overall success of your team. Here are some of the things that should help you monitor productivity before and after you introduce remote work. 

  • Remember to keep measuring not days, not hours, but how well your team’s tasks are done. Break the workload into smaller tasks and assign them to the right people.

  • Use software to manage tasks and communicate with your teams. Several apps make this possible and let you track what gets done.

  • Keep asking for daily updates—it lets your employees know that you have certain expectations. This normally leaves no room for procrastination.

  • Finally, let your remote workers know that they are doing a good job. Even though it is not the same when it is virtual, a nice word is always welcome, and they will know you appreciate what they do.

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