Step 2: Create Strategies & Policies

Providing Guidance

As the normalcy of remote work becomes part of our society, we will see many changes in the acceptance of and expectation for remote work. Many organizations and employees are experiencing the benefits of working remote. According to the International WorkSpace Survey Report (2019), even before the pandemic 62% of businesses worldwide have a clearly communicated remote work policy.

During the 2020 pandemic when employers rapidly transitioned to remote work, they soon discovered that their existing policies, work structures, and established processes did not address the specific needs and challenges experienced by remote workers. Without relevant policies, remote employees and their managers have no guidance regarding acceptable and expected behavior in the remote workplace.  

To ensure professionalism and productivity among your remote workforce, you will need to adapt existing company policies, processes, and even job description. In some cases, you will need to create brand new policies to support business goals. As remote work grows, it is important to consider additional trends, acceptance, and preference for a standardized and well trained remote workforce.

In WorkforceRemote.org’s Remote Control process, the first step is to develop relevant remote work policies. Below are two lessons about things to consider when developing remote work policies.  

References

The Annual IWG Global Workspace Survey. (2019). International Workplace Group.

Re-Imagine Work Options

Employees and supervisors need clear, practical policies, strategies, and remote relevant job descriptions that directly address the unique conditions of the remote workplace.

Note: In thess demos, you will experience an excerpt of a  recording of a webinar presentation.  Media within the course do not consist of webinar recordings.

Remote Strategies & Policies

This resource highlights strategies that organizations can consider including Remote Rotation and Gradual Implementation.

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Addressing Space Constraints with Innovative Solutions

A growing business is a good thing, but if your company is outgrowing its space, we have a policy strategy for you to consider. We borrowed this strategy from the United States Navy. Former sailors will know about the term “hot bunking.” Hot bunking is a naval strategy for optimizing limited space on a submarine. A submarine holds 100 sailors; however, the sub has only 50 bunks for sailors to sleep in. With the hot bunking strategy, half of the sailors work while the other half sleeps. At the end of the shift, the sailors switch locations: half of the crew vacates the bunks to go to work, and the working crew members move into the empty bunks at the end of their shift.

Adapting Naval Strategies for the Workplace: Remote Rotation

We have adapted the Navy’s hot bunking strategy, and we call it Remote Rotation. Let’s say that you have five office spaces, but you have 10 employees. This is when you can implement the strategy of remote rotation. With remote rotation, on Mondays and Wednesdays, you can have the five employees on the orange team use the office spaces on those days. The five employees on the blue team would work remotely. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the teams switch places: The Blue Team works on-site in the office spaces, and the Orange Team works remotely. On Fridays, both teams work remotely. Of course, you can alter the schedule and combinations to fit your specific needs.

Benefits of Remote Rotation

Remote rotation allows your company to reduce its office space costs. For example, let’s say you currently lease six office spaces for six employees. With remote rotation, you would only need three offices, which would reduce overhead costs like lease expenses.

Gradual Implementation Policy

Another policy that you’ll find in our remote policy toolbox is the policy of Gradual Implementation. This policy requires new hires to work on-site for their first three months. This acclimates new employees to the company culture and allows you to ensure that they are ready for remote work. After their probationary period and remote policy training, you can allow the new employees to work remotely one day per week. You can then incrementally increase the number of days according to a timeline that fits your company’s needs.

Remote-Relevant Job Descriptions

This resource highlights strategies to ensure your job descriptions and expectations are remote-relevant.

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Making Job Descriptions Remote-Relevant

Are your job descriptions remote-relevant? You need to establish clear standards for remote work and communicate those standards through remote-relevant job descriptions. Here’s an example to illustrate the importance of providing remote-relevant job descriptions to remote employees.

Illustrating the Need for Remote-Relevant Directions

Let’s say you have two employees in Gulf Shores, and you want them to attend a meeting in Pensacola Beach. Employee A will be driving a car to the meeting, while Employee B will be running a boat. Would you give these employees the same directions on how to get to the destination? Of course not. They have the same destination; however, car drivers need specific directions that have relevance to their mode of transportation. Boat captains need specific directions that have relevance for their mode of transportation. Giving identical directions to a car driver and a boat captain can have unintended consequences.

Job Descriptions as Driving Instructions

Think of a job description as driving instruction. If remote employees don’t have relevant job descriptions that explain expected behavior in the remote environment, how will they know what you expect? Or, if we stick with the driving example, how will they know where to go? For your sake and theirs, remote employees need remote-relevant job descriptions that address the specific realities of their remote work.

Setting Clear Expectations

Your job descriptions must explain your expectations for availability, work environment, and other essential standards. To help with this crucial task, we at WorkforceRemote.org have created a Job Description Optimizer. This tool guides you through the step-by-step process of converting a standard job description into a remote-relevant job description.

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