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The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work Best Practices for Employers and Employees

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work Best Practices for Employers and Employees

5 minutes

November 19, 2021

Love it or hate it, remote work is here to stay. In fact, 16 percent of companies are now 100 percent remote. Remote work has grown 159 percent over the past 12 years and many employees believe they are more productive working from home.

People have figured out ways to rock that video call, attend thought-provoking events, collaborate with co-workers, and still have time left over to walk the dog, entertain the kids, and celebrate work wins. The remote work trend has created a massive shift in how employers hire, manage, collaborate with, and retain teams and how employees manage their daily lives. Here are some basic ways you as an employer can change the way you work and how employees can be more productive at home.

Employers Must Learn New Leadership Skills

First and foremost, remember that the people you want to recruit and retain have more options than ever before. Millions of people are quitting jobs in search of more flexibility. If your company doesn’t offer it, your competitors probably will. Before valued employees walk out your (physical) door:

  • Understand: What is important to your employees? Some workers may want to be 100 percent remote whereas others prefer a hybrid model, where they spend some time in a physical space. Everyone has a different home situation. Without getting too personal, find out what your key team members want to do.
  • Adapt recruiting and interviewing techniques:  Attract the best remote workers. Because remote work may require a higher level of collaboration and independent thinking, you might be looking for different qualities than in your past hiring.
  • Invest: in the processes and technologies that will enable you to build the strongest possible workforce in this new work world. Automation, if used properly, can actually lead to more interaction across work teams. 
  • Don’t forget rewards and recognition: You may not be able to go out to happy hour as a team, but you can still celebrate successes and give positive feedback for individual and team wins. Here are just a few suggestions.

Tips for Working Remotely for Employees

Want to work remotely? Target those companies that are leading the charge in remote work. Interviewing for a remote job requires a different skill set than you might have learned when you were working in an in-person role. Practice your online presentation skills and be prepared to answer questions about self-motivation and how you plan to manage your workday. Present like a pro. Even something as simple as lipstick on your teeth or a glimpse of your boxers (dog or undies) could cost you a job.

That said, if you want to land a remote job and/or retain remote status, you must learn how to be more productive at home. Remember, many companies (including your current employer) are still adapting to this new work style. They may be concerned about control, collaboration, and output. 

  • Create a schedule: One that works for both you and your employer. You may have at-home responsibilities like child, elder, or pet care so you’ll need to balance that with the needs of the business. Again, depending on the company, a screaming child or a ringing doorbell might be problematic in a big pitch.
  • Check-in often: Establish guidelines for meetings and reporting. 
  • Separate home from work: Make sure your entire home doesn’t turn into an office. Creating physical spaces that separate your work life from your personal life is important. 
  • Use technology: Encourage your employer to invest in integrated and practical technologies that foster collaboration. 
  • Take time for self-care: Boundaries are critically important, so be sure to time block and create opportunities for sleep, exercise, and socializing. Put that yoga class on your sked and mark yourself as “unavailable” when you cut out early for happy hour.

Whether you are the leader or the employee, remember that this work model is relatively new for most people, but it’s becoming commonplace. Only through the right systems and ongoing communication and process improvement can we all learn to be more productive -- remotely!

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