Do You Need A Remote Work Policy?

In 2018 most companies do utilize the services of remote workers. Whether it’s lending a helping hand for commercial writing tasks, graphic design, project management, web design, programming or other tasks, there is a greater demand for remote workers than ever before.

According to a recent article by Pamela DeLoatch which appeared on the HR Dive website, this means that HR Professionals need to help to ensure that remote work policies for their organizations are in place.

The Rise of Remote Workers

The increase in companies which rely on remote workers has been rising steadily since 2015. The advance in technology, increase in employee specialization as well as the challenges in finding qualified candidates filling open positions has helped push more companies into using remote workers. According to remote employment giant Upwork, employers found it up to three times more difficult to find qualified candidates to fill open positions than it had been previously. Because many candidates may not be willing to relocate, even when it is paid for by potential employers, remote work options seem to be the best solution for all concerned.

Customizing Remote Work Policies

Not all remote workers or situations are the same. Even with the advantages of working remotely, it may not work for every position or even for every worker. Some thrive on the increased flexibility and have no problem working the hours required or completing tasks. Some managers may be concerned that remote workers may not share in the company’s culture or vision enough. Making remote workers feel included where appropriate might pose difficulty.

Because of this, it’s a good idea for HR professionals to discuss with managers about remote work policies. Some things to consider are:

  • For some remote workers, all they need to do their job is a computer with a high-speed internet connection. If video conferencing is necessary, determine what type of hardware and software can facilitate the needs of the organization.

  • In 2011, one of the key members of Trello’s development team wanted to move out of New York City in order to be closer to other family members.  The company knew it would be far worse to try to replace him, so they decided to work with him instead.

    If your organization is also considering allowing some of your valuable personnel to do so remotely, consider a pilot program for a period of time in order to determine how it works.

  • When working with remote workers, flexibility is a must. Consider how workers will do team projects if working from various locations. Workers can greatly benefit from occasional face to face meetings via Skype or another meeting application. Making small changes as you go and communicating with workers can make remote work more effectively for all.