Change can be scary, but changing your company policies to reflect the demands of the modern workforce is necessary to keep up with the competition and the future of work. The current state of remote work is innovative and enjoyable, with U.S companies that support remote workers experiencing 25% less employee turnover. Remote employees are more likely to stay in their roles, and they report being happier than their in-office counterparts.

Crafting a remote work policy will ensure your organization is prepared with the tools, resources, and strategies for employees to work remotely at a moment's notice. Implementing a remote work strategy makes your teams more agile and better able to adapt to changing work environments. Plus, by opening your company up to remote work, you're not only expanding your company geographically, but creatively. The more widely you cast your hiring net, the wider range of personal experience and expertise your employees will bring with them.

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If you still have qualms about the reality of remote work, remember this shift doesn't have to be all or nothing. Rather than committing to becoming a fully remote company by this time next week, start by dipping your company's toe into the world of remote work. Take the time to expand your policy gradually to see if your company is ready for remote work.

Despite the substantial benefits of hiring remote employees, many leaders are hesitant because they don't know where to start and are daunted by what seems like a full company overhaul. But when you start by answering these 6 questions, shifting your company in the remote direction seems not only attainable but as exciting and productivity-enhancing as it is.

1. Are some employees already accomplishing tasks remotely?

Have you encountered either of these situations at your workplace?

  • An employee has a dentist appointment at noon, so they work from home in the morning and come into the office after their teeth have been cleaned.
  • You and your team are working at the office and by lunchtime, there are six inches of snow in the parking lot with no sign of the weather clearing up. So, you send everyone home to finish out the workday in their home offices so they have safe commutes.

If either of these scenarios sound familiar, you're already trusting employees to be productive outside of the office walls. If your teams can communicate effectively without all sitting in the same physical space, it might be time to establish an official remote work policy.

2. Does it make sense for some employees to shift to remote work?

In the early days of business, everyone worked in the office together because that was how all business was done. Now that telecommuting technology has moved into the mainstream it's no longer necessary to work under the same roof.

Take a moment to check in on the tasks your teams are completing, are any of them completely virtual? If so, ask those employees about their interest in becoming remote workers. If you have support or any around-the-clock staff, remote work may make "night shift" a thing of the past!

3. Do you want to keep up with your competitors?

Take a peek at your competition, there's a good chance many of them have established remote work policies. If so, take this as a sign to develop one for yourself as well. Workers are leaving their companies for remote work at increasingly higher rates, the appeal of working from anywhere in this tech-dependent age is stronger than ever.

4. Have you lost talent to remote companies?

According to the 2019 State of Remote Work report, 71% of U.S survey respondents agreed that the ability to work remotely would make them more likely to choose one employer over the other in their next job search. The inability or refusal to adapt to workforce trends will lead to fewer applicants the next time your company posts about an open position on LinkedIn. While it always hurts to lose talented employees, there's nothing like the sting of losing workers to your competition simply due to the disparity in your remote work policies.

5. Have you outgrown your office?

Congratulations! Your last quarter sales doubled and word on the street is you'll be hiring an abundance of employees pretty soon to keep up with your new company-wide workload. At this rate, you'll be outgrowing your office pretty soon but instead of moving your home base it may be time to shift to remote teams. The cost of relocating your entire office is reason enough to hire remote employees or allow your current employees to work remotely.

6. Do you already have the technology in place to support remote teams?

Your company likely utilizes many cloud-based communication apps and programs and other remote work technology, especially if your employees are spread out across different office locations. With the right communication tools (e.g., video conferencing software and hardware, asynchronous communication tools) you're ready to begin the transition to remote work. Of course, there's a difference between using these same programs in the office and at home, but once you round that learning curve there is nothing stopping you from being as successful remotely as you have been in person.

If you're not sure if your company is really ready for this shift, check out our comprehensive guide to remote work for more information on the realities of this transition and learn how to create an effective remote work policy.

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