Today's organisations are digitally transforming before our eyes. Companies worldwide are embracing smart working and are moving their workforce, workplace, and workloads to cloud service applications and infrastructure.
While the benefits of remote working are easy to spot, there are a few challenges to implementing this new model properly. The transition from the traditional office model to WFH (work from home) means that organisations need to accelerate their digital initiatives. But if you have a strategy in place and adapt your endpoint security and endpoint management, then the change should not pose a challenge.
Planning your Remote Work policy
If you plan on allowing working-from-home or remote working, it would be necessary to create a policy or a set of guidelines to outline expectations and responsibilities for those involved. Such an approach needs to specify information about:
- Which employees are eligible to work remotely
- When and how often they can work remotely (referencing an employee attendance policy)
- Legal rights of remote workers
- Use of equipment and the remote technology workers must use
- Responsibilities and goals of employees working remotely
Critical Aspects of a Remote Working Policy
A remote working policy takes time and resources to compile, but it's necessary to protect your organisation and your employees. If you don't have a policy in place, you are opening yourself up to many liabilities.
As part of a blueprint for remote working, you need to provide clear information on the following topics:
- Explain the roles, responsibilities and goals of employees within your organisation. Depending on your industry, not all job roles can be conducted remotely. You can work around certain limitations, for example, by assigning specific days of the week when individual employees can work remotely.
- Eligibility for remote working. Some organisations are flexible and allow all their employees to telecommute while others prefer to enable remote work for client-facing positions. It's not uncommon to only allow the option of remote working to senior and more experienced workers or to require employees with poor performance to return to regular work.
- Frequency of remote work. Decide if employees can work from home on an unlimited basis, or if you're going to limit the number of days per month. Will there be certain days when everyone should be in the office?
- Software and tools. Look into and pick tools for communication, task organisation, secure data transfer and general day-to-day management. There are some great free tools like Slack, Asana and Zoom, but you need to think about the bigger picture and secure all ends. Creating a cloud-first environment comes with some complexity and vulnerabilities. If using SaaS collaboration platforms, then cloud security is a huge consideration.
This list is by no means exhaustive, but it covers the basics of a remote working policy. Keep in mind that remote work is different than regular work in one significant aspect – the focus is on results-driven productivity. The results of a task or project are more important than the process.
Embracing remote work requires a certain level of trust between you and your employees. It also means relinquishing (some) control over micromanaging their day and giving them the freedom and flexibility to work in a way that achieves results and outcomes.
While this may seem counter-intuitive, data so far has shown employees have taken to the remote working model and are feeling happier and more comfortable. Increased flexibility and freedom to manage their time result in a better work-life balance. In turn, this increases employee satisfaction and improves retention rates.
Seeing as remote working isn't showing any signs of slowing down soon – now is as good as time as any to start writing your remote work policy and investing in the technology to make remote working a permanent part of your business.