5 Proven Tips for Flawlessly Transitioning Your Business to a Remote Work Model

The amount of businesses adopting the remote work model is growing at an astronomical rate. Before the pandemic, merely 6% of the US workforce was employed remotely.

In May 2020, that statistic shot up to approximately 30%, likely due to the temporary work-from-home quarantine policy. Now, as we approach the mid-mark of 2022 and workers return to the office, the percentage of Americans who wish to continue a full-time remote-work model is an astounding 58% — more than half of the national workforce.

For managers and business owners, however, adopting the remote work model has proven to be a significant challenge. Most businesses before the COVID-19 outbreak were not equipped to operate in any sort of remote environment — neither physically nor financially. 

But as with many crises, company leaders found several silver linings within this shift. Not only was remote work more appealing for employees, but business heads also saw significant cost reduction, boosts in productivity, and greater opportunity for achieving true work-life balance. 

Now, in the post-pandemic era, many large companies look towards transitioning to a fully or partially remote work model of some form, with smaller businesses quickly following suit. Of course, necessary changes and adjustments must be made to effectively manage a remote workforce. Here are five tips to transition your business to a remote work model. 

1. Set Clear Expectations and Policies

Before transitioning to your remote work model, you should first discuss with department heads and executives the necessary policies and procedures for working from home.

Just as employees working a regular, nine-to-five job in an office environment know they’re expected to be at work each morning, so should your remote workers know what days and times they are expected to show up in a virtual office environment. 

Additionally, they should know how they’re expected to show up. In other words, what software to use, what type of business attire is acceptable, and what kind of backdrops are allowed.

You should also make clear to your employees that just because working from the comfort of their home is the “new normal,” they shouldn’t be lowering their productivity when out of the office. Instead, utilize a time-tracking software, where they can virtually clock in and out, and you can monitor their most productive hours from afar. 

That being said, not all work means being on a computer 24/7; an employee might show up as being less productive, when in reality, they’re still getting work done. This leads us to our next point.

2. Measure Success By Results

Perhaps the biggest complication of transitioning to a remote work model is department executives measuring success by physical participation and presence. However, with remote work, this can’t be used as an accurate indicator of employee success. 

A remote employee’s exact number of minutes will vary greatly when operating in a remote environment. People have families, and occasionally this means an employee has to step away from the computer. Therefore, the best way to measure success is by focusing on results and outcomes. 

Statistically, remote work has been proven to allow workers to be more productive. According to FlexJobs, surveyed companies found that 68% of remote workers experienced fewer interruptions, 66% reported a more comfortable workplace environment, and 63% had more time to focus on work as a result. 

To effectively measure your company’s success in a remote environment, you should set KPIs (or key performance indicators) for your employees and make sure they are aware of their role in achieving those KPIs.  

3. Allow Flexibility

As most workers realized during the pandemic, working from home is not only a big change for a business, but for families, as well. Too often, company leaders who have never operated in a remote work environment set unrealistic expectations for their remote employees. 

For example, a single parent of a homeschooled child might not be able to be glued to their desk every hour of every day. Allowing flexibility amidst work hours is crucial, as it will allow remote staff to better balance their home and work responsibilities. 

From earlier starting hours, to occasional breaks, to extended working hours, to even offering work completion over weekends, flexibility looks different for each employee. Make sure to give each remote worker an opportunity to explain and outline any personal responsibilities they need to fulfill during typical work hours and offer flexible scheduling solutions to accommodate those needs. 

This flexibility in operations will not only give your employee the time they need to manage projects both work-related and personal but also boost morale and their desire to be productive. 

4. Encourage Team Spirit, Even From Afar

Oftentimes, the process of maintaining a productive team of motivated workers can start to break down in a remote work model. Employees can start to feel excluded or unheard, and miscommunications start to pile up. 

That’s why it’s important to continue to promote team spirit, even in a remote work model. While getting work done correctly and on time is certainly important, so is encouraging social connections in a virtual workforce. 

Every couple of months, consider hosting a fun team-building event, like bowling, karaoke, scavenger hunts, or an escape room. For companies with more spread-out employees, you can host virtual happy hours, online show and tell, virtual trivia games, or even something as simple as setting aside time for casual conversations before a meeting or conference call.  

5. Create a Consistent Line of Communication

One of the biggest challenges with remote work models is the lack of in-person interactions, which commonly leads to miscommunications between departments, confusion on project expectations, and other various misunderstandings. 

The best way to combat this is by setting up a consistent form to communicate and stay in touch with your employees. Maybe that means hosting virtual meetings over coffee or scheduling biweekly video catchup calls. In some cases, direct messaging your remote employees daily might also be necessary. 

As a company leader, it’s your responsibility to engage with employees on a regular basis, regardless of whether they’re in or out of the office. Your workers should feel like they can be open with you about business-related questions, comments, or concerns. By opening a door to consistent communication, your employees will also feel more valued and appreciated, which will contribute to retention strategies.

With the transition to a remote workforce comes many challenges, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Using these five tips can help your business successfully and smoothly transition to a remote work model.


Author: Cesar Jimenez, myBasePay CEO
Cesar A. Jimenez is an entrepreneur, investor, and military veteran with over 25 years of staffing industry expertise successfully leading technology staffing organizations. His expertise in the IT industry allows him to use his experience as a thought leader for talent acquisition, staffing, IT, and recruitment technologies with a passion for contingent workforce solutions. Cesar has held various leadership roles for both a global staffing organization and technology solutions companies. This expertise has enabled him to develop alternative workforce models that provide the agility for organizations to be competitive in today’s marketplace. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with hisfamily, working out, and coaching high school baseball players.

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