ARTICLE | 4m read
May 27, 2020
Even before the COVID-19 coronavirus, 86% of employees who had the option to “work from anywhere" utilized this opportunity. Today, the global pandemic has transformed working remotely from an acceptable option to the new normal. Now that most businesses are past the point of reaction (when they were having to rapidly adapt their workforce to work remotely), it’s time to begin thinking about what a long-term remote work strategy looks like.
There is abundant evidence for the financial benefits of remote work, from improved productivity to environmental sustainability to . But a successful teleworking strategy is more than just how it helps your bottom line. To build a strong remote work culture, you need to create a remote workforce management strategy that aligns across leadership, has clear guidelines for workers, and increases resiliency across your organization.
Remote workforce management is not the same as managing workers in physical office space. As you develop your long term remote working strategy, it’s important you build alignment across leadership in how to manage work from home employees. Make sure there are clear policies and procedures for managing remote teams throughout your organization, as this prevents inconsistencies and special treatment that can hurt your remote work culture.
For example, it is especially important IT and HR have a shared understanding of your remote working strategy. Because 70% of IT and HR leaders consider themselves accountable for the employee experience, you need to ensure these managers know how to work together to engage remote employees. HR will likely be responsible for enforcing your remote workforce policies, and IT will need to implement and support the remote work tools your employees rely on. By making sure IT and HR leaders are aligned in how you want your remote environment to function, you can maximize the benefits of remote work and avoid miscommunication.
of IT and HR leaders consider themselves accountable for the employee experience.
Office workers of the future will be working remotely, but a successful remote lifestyle won’t happen by itself. You need to gain buy-in from remote employees at all levels in your organization—and that requires your remote work culture to have established guidelines and standardized policies. By setting appropriate expectations for remote workers, you can improve collaboration and make sure your staff knows how to stay productive working from home.
As you establish your remote work policies, consistency is essential. Everyone who works remotely in your organization, from executives to new hires, should follow the same rules. This means they know what hours they need to be accessible, which remote work tools they need to use, and how to share files securely across home networks. By setting and sharing the same remote work guidelines for everyone, you can better manage expectations and minimize friction between employees in your offices and those off-site.
You can’t prevent all disruptions, but you can prepare your organization to thrive during them. This builds on business continuity, which is designed to get your operations back on track as soon as possible after an emergency. In addition to your business continuity plan, you want to focus on organizational resiliency that will enable your workforce to adapt to any circumstances all while continuing to do their best work.
So how can you create a remote work culture where all employees have the resiliency to adapt? By encouraging the same sense of shared connection they’d have in physical office space. Your remote workers need to feel like part of a team, aware of your organization’s larger goals and how everyone is working together toward them. When a disruption keeps a team member from accomplishing their work, the rest of your remote workforce should know how to make up the difference without delay. By making resiliency a keystone value in your remote work culture, you can ensure your organization is nimble enough to weather market fluctuations and industry changes so you’re always ready for what’s ahead.
By 2030, Gartner estimates the demand for remote work is going to increase by 30% due to stronger preference for remote work by Gen Z. To position your organization to lead in a remote work world, you need to create a remote working strategy for the long term. By building a remote work culture that aligns across leadership, has clear guidelines for workers, and increases resiliency across your organization, you can help your employees thrive no matter where they work.
Remote work will increase by 30% due to Gen Z preference.