How to Decide If Remote Work Is Right for Your Company
If you’re deciding if remote work is right for your company, you are not alone. Remote workforces are increasing every year–in fact, 48 percent of polled HR professionals said a portion of their workforce would be eligible for flexible work in the next five years. You don’t want to be left in the dust. Here’s how to decide if remote work is right for your company.
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Consider the benefits of remote work.

Remote work doesn’t just benefit employees. According to the “2015 Workplace Flexibility Study,” conducted by CareerArc and WorkplaceTrends.com, “Employers are seeing benefits from their flexibility programs. The top benefits organizations saw in their work flex programs were improved employee satisfaction (87 percent), increased productivity (71 percent), and that they retained current talent (65 percent). 69 percent use their programs as a recruiting tool and 54 percent said that their programs positively impacted their recruiting.”

If your company goes completely or partially virtual, you’ll see financial savings in the areas of rent or mortgage payments, utility bills, office supplies, office equipment, coffee expenses, and more. Remote work also opens up the talent pool available to you. Where you once could only consider applicants located within your company’s city, you can now consider exceptional candidates from anywhere in the country or even the world. Lastly, remote work benefits companies by improving employee retention. Employees who are able to work from home and on a flexible schedule report lower stress and increased productivity, and take less time off of work. Employers who trust their employees to work autonomously from their home offices will be rewarded with loyal, productive, and happy employees.

Are you already working remotely?

As you’re deciding if remote work is right for your company, consider the fact that most, if not all, of your employees probably already work remotely from time to time. Do they check and respond to emails after work hours from home? Have they ever left the office to complete a project from a coffee shop of their home office? Have they worked from home when they had a sick child home from school? If so, your employees already have experience working remotely. Combine this with an already trustworthy and diligent worker, and you have a strong basis for a remote workforce.

Determine the remote work options your company can support.

With technology and the Internet, many jobs can be done remotely. Take an inventory of each position and department at your company to determine which can be done remotely. If there are aspects of certain jobs that can’t be done remotely, is there a technological tool available to make it possible? Look into options. Also consider how much remote work your company will allow. Will all employees work 100 percent of the time from home? 50 percent? One day a week? Can employees fit in their eight hours anytime during the day, or do they need to work strictly 9-5? Figure out what works best for your particular company and put a remote work policy in place.

Find the tools necessary to work remotely.

Before your company allows remote work, put the tools needed in place. How will meetings be conducted? How will documents be shared and distributed? How will projects be tracked? Look into software and programs that will help your company work efficiently. Having these tools in place will help you feel more confident in allowing remote work in your workplace.

Do a trial run.

If you’re still unsure that remote work will be the right fit, do a trial run. Give it three months and reevaluate after. Gather employee feedback and listen to what they have to say about the experience. Perhaps they need more structure or more communication from management. Maybe a different computer program would create more cohesion. Rework your remote work strategy as needed to create a strong and efficient remote workforce.

If you want to find the best talent, increase productivity, save on overhead, and increase your employees’ happiness, offering workplace flexibility will set you apart. Fifty-one percent of polled adults said they will be looking for a job with flexibility in the next three years. Be sure your company is one that these applicants will seek out.

By Rachel Jay | July 6, 2015

Jane Gonzalez
Associate Editor