The world has seen significant changes since April 2020. For the first time, a pandemic compelled most companies to offer remote-friendly work environments for their employees.
Today, the majority of people have had some experience working remotely. Many people are now enjoying the freedom of working from home. This has increased the demand for remote-first companies.
How can businesses make the transition smoothly?
Continue reading to find out the answer.
Why bother adopting the Remote-First Model?
It’s been a long-awaited change for many workers, especially those who desire a better work/life balance. It’s not only employees who are open to this idea. Businesses are beginning to recognize the benefits.
As an example, take Morgan Stanley, a banking giant. They intend to have “less property” in the future. Similarly, Nationwide Insurance report adopting a
Ask your team members if remote working is a viable option. Ask around to find out if there is a demand for remote work.
Sending out an anonymous survey is a good idea. It asks you the following question: “In an ideal world, what would you like to do (long-term)?” ‘
Next, choose one of the three choices:
- You can work remotely.
- The hybrid model allows you to work from both your home and office.
- Always work in the office
We recommend that employees are encouraged to share any concerns about working remotely. This includes any suggestions or solutions that might make the transition easier.
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Make a remote working policy
You need to establish a work-from-home policy to make the transition to remote work a smooth one. It shouldn’t be complicated or full of legalese. Make sure it is clear and concise, so everyone in your team understands the operation of your policy.
This document will define the working style of your remote team. You’ll need to include things such as:
- Hours of operation
- Employees will have access while working remotely to the software tools they need.
- How to measure productivity
- Who is eligible to work remotely?
- It is important to determine whether the employee will work from home full-time or part-time.
- Communication between employees (i.e. how the team should stay in touch, the chain of command, etc.)
You get the idea.
What are the benefits of starting a remote-first business?
Let’s take a look at the perks.
Work from home is a favorite of employees
Recent research shows that 60% love working at home and would like to continue doing this after the COVID-19. This is particularly true for parents who have to manage their family responsibilities and work. We all want to travel more. We don’t always have enough vacation time to satisfy our wanderlust. Remote working allows you to travel the world while still keeping up with your job duties. It’s truly a win/win situation!
We don’t have to remind you that happy employees are more loyal than a dissatisfied workforce. This is not only great for staff retention, but also for building a strong employer brand.
Recent research shows that working remotely can lead to a rise in productivity and progress. Twitter actually saw such an increase in traffic that they allowed employees to work remotely forever.
Not only Twitter recognizes the benefits of working remotely, but global giants such as Google and Microsoft also acknowledge them. These companies all stated that they will be evaluating their long-term remote work strategies by 2021.
It’s much easier to hire internationally
It is also worth noting that remote-first companies make it easier to hire staff around the globe. You may need to reach a wider audience to find the best talent in your industry. This could mean hiring people that are not physically close to you.
These candidates will be able to consider the job opportunity without having to move (should they choose not).
How can you stay connected with remote workers?
Many people are concerned about the lack interactivity when switching to remote work. These concerns should be addressed before you embrace this new work style. As the boss of your company, it is your responsibility to ensure that morale remains high and to support your employees in their ventures into at-home work.
GetResponse did an amazing job at this. They even offered all the following to employees in order to help them adjust into “the new normal”.
- A monthly stipend that can be used to cover home office expenses such as food, beverages and well-being treatments.
- One-time grant for the establishment of an office at home
Accordingly, 97% of respondents to an internal survey believed that GetResponse’s management team had supported their transition to remote work.
Employees may be concerned about more than the financial and practical aspects of working remotely. Some employees say it is difficult to “switch off” meaning they don’t feel like they are leaving work behind. Others report feeling a sense of loneliness after a while.
It is important to encourage interaction between employees. You can think Slack channels and Zoom catch-ups, meetings and socials. It’s important that your team continues to hang out as lockdown starts to ease around the globe.
You could even plan a monthly coffee date. Or an after-work drink? What was something you did that brought you together as a team beyond the office? It didn’t matter what it was, can you try to maintain it? This helps employees get through lonely times of at-home work.
Are you ready to embrace the remote-first work style?
We hope you are now more informed about whether or not embracing remote-first working is the right choice for your company. If so, you will now have some ideas in your head about how to support your employees during this transition.
Your thoughts and opinions are welcome. What was your experience with remote work? What were your struggles? We’d love to hear about your struggles in the comments section below. Let’s have a conversation!