Many Florida based business are no longer bound by their walls or borders. Though there are still numerous jobs which require employees to be physically present, there are progressively more jobs which can be done remotely. The advancement of technology and connectivity innovation has enabled work to be done from almost anywhere. Many companies that have instituted a remote work policy have reported that working remotely is a win-win for both the employee and the business. Despite upper management fears, companies usually notice improved staff morale and increased productivity, which is a winning combination. Team meetings and day-to-day communications, still fundamental for completing most projects, can easily be facilitated from remote locations.
Remote work policies can benefit Florida employers as much as their employees. Employees report that working remotely increases their efficiency and productivity. It also allows them to maintain a better work/life balance and reduce the amount of time they spend commuting, both important for recruiting and retaining millennials. Modern companies realize that a happy employee is a more productive employee. Permitting people to complete their duties based on their own schedule can be an attractive recruitment and retention tool, especially if your competitors have not yet established a remote work policy. Remote work options can limit absences, increase employee retention and save money.
Here are 4 tips to keep in mind when developing a remote work policy for your business.
It’s best to start remote work arrangements slowly, on a provisional basis. This gives all parties involved an opportunity to test things out to see how well the system is working. Three months is a good starting point to give both the company and the employee time to decide if working remotely is right for them. Make sure to assess how well things are working during the 3 months timeframe so there won’t be any surprises at the end of the probationary period.
The decision to allow an employee to work from home should be based on productivity and responsiveness, not individual personal circumstances. While exceptions can exist, the best policy is one that treats everyone the same and respects the basis for their request to work remotely. Everyone has work/life needs; you run the risk of causing resentment if your decision to grant a remote working status is seen as preferential.
Employees need to be able to do their job and stay connected no matter where they are. Set up their laptop or home computer with a VPN that allows them to connect securely to your company server. Make sure you address security issues and remind them that working from places like cafes or airports can compromise their security and make them vulnerable to cyber hackers.
The truth is that assessing workplace performance can be difficult whether the employee is sitting in a cubicle or working from a remote location. There is still a stigma attached to working remotely so it makes sense to set measurements, milestones and outcomes for gauging performance. Ideally, this will be done with quantitative measurements based on the employee’s past performance. Set clear expectations about deliverables and timelines as well as communication objectives.
Developing a satisfying remote work policy is a good investment for the health of your business and is a valuable recruitment and retention tool. Following these tips will help your company establish a mutually satisfactory policy for everyone concerned. Though remote workers do add certain types of increased risk, including cyber security threats, the upside is much greater than the downside.
Here at Lanier Upshaw, we understand that your people are your most valuable asset. Flexible benefits, like remote work options, can give your Florida business a competitive edge when it comes to attracting and retaining today’s top talent. Contact us here to learn more about how we can help give your business a competitive advantage and learn about the upside of risk.