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How Remote Work Can Benefit Your Business

Just about everyone wants a job that offers flexibility. That’s one of the reasons more and more people are working out-of-the-office these days. Thanks to technological advances in recent years, you don’t always need to head to the office to get work done.

 

Companies can’t ignore this. Approximately 75% of younger employees report they would be willing to take a pay cut if it meant switching to a job that lets them work remotely. Organizations need to accept that offering the option to work from home (or a coffee shop, coworking office, etc.) will be key to attracting top-tier job applicants.

 

Of course, that means organizations will need to prepare for the impact this new working environment can have on productivity, as well as the overall company culture.

 

Understanding the Impact of Remote Work

 

The jury is still out on whether remote work has a positive or negative impact on workplace factors like productivity. There currently isn’t enough research to arrive at a conclusive answer. Although, certainly how a company manages employees has an impact (i.e. the fluidity of communication and performance practices used).

 

It can seem difficult to ensure workers are staying on task when they don’t share an office with their immediate manager.  People might assume at least some team members will slack off if no one is around to regularly check on their progress.

 

One way companies are minimizing off-task behavior and maximizing productivity is by implementing performance evaluations. With the correct software and measurements in place, and a philosophy that revolves around employee learning and development, managers can track an employee’s progress and support them to complete the most high-leverage tasks.

 

While the idea that working remotely can be somewhat distracting is an understandable assumption, there are various reasons for why younger employees in particular seek remote work opportunities.

 

There’s no doubt that technology has made it possible for employees to stay in touch with everyone from coworkers to clients throughout the day. As a result, surveys indicate many employees feel they are  always on call. If they know they can check email at home, they feel they are expected to. Being allowed to work outside of the office simply feels like a fair trade-off to them.

 

This may be why current evidence often suggests that remote workers are actually more productive than their in-office counterparts. When they don’t have to commute, it simply means they have more time to focus on their work.

 

Organizations that are developing their remote work policies can take steps to achieve these kinds of results, such as:

 

  • Using Technology: Various apps and software suites exist specifically to help dispersed teams stay in contact with each other. Companies should make sure they have the right technology in place (and that employees know how to use it) before letting teams work remotely.
  • Scheduling 1-on-1s: Remote workers still need to coordinate with their managers regularly. Since they won’t be sharing an office, it’s even more important to schedule weekly check-ins. In an office, it’s easier to spontaneously choose a time during the week to meet up. When workers don’t share an office, you need to make sure these brief meetings  are scheduled.
  • Train Employees: Employees who begin working remotely will also need time to adjust. Even workers who are productive in an office setting might struggle at first in a new setting. Management can make the transition easier by offering training programs designed to help employees make the shift to remote work.

 

Managers can use their regular check-ins and other touchpoints to emphasize the company culture.In-office workers are exposed to the company culture every day. That’s not the case for remote workers. Thus, it’s important to discuss the company’s values when discussing progress. This keeps remote workers engaged and up-to-date with the culture.

 

Again, employers can’t ignore these trends and should take the time to research and implement tools that make the most sense for their culture.  Once adapted to fit inside your organization, allowing remote work will give your company yet another competitive edge to hire and retain top talent.

 

 

Reap the benefits of increased organizational efficiencies with Careerstone Group.

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