Fix Your Remote Work Policies
5 remote work policies you can implement today for happier remote workers.
You know how hard it is to either work remotely or lead a team of remote workers. These 5 simple changes will immediately tune your teams for top performance. Assuming you have already done your due diligence and hired the right people for remote work you are good to go. Let’s do this!
1. Don’t treat remote work like a benefit.
This is the most important shift in thinking for most companies. Do you think of cubicles as a benefit? Probably not. Maybe you have a super swanky office where people love to work. That might lure in candidates and woo potential business partners but for most employees they just want to get their work done. As a company you need to recognize that the place an employee gets their best work done is the right place. That’s not a benefit it’s just good business.
2. Don’t be cheap on office furniture.
At this point I hope we are in agreement that remote work is not a benefit and that we want our employees doing their best work. Would you make them pay for a desk and chair in your office? No. We want them to do their best work. This comes from the best work environment. Reimburse employees for standard office expenses.
- Misc Office Supplies
- Computer, Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse
- Phone Expenses
- Internet Expenses
- Office Refresh ($150+) — Think new plants or maybe a fresh coat of paint. Whatever makes their office worth coming to every day.
- Computer Replacement
- Other Office Furniture and Tool Replacements as Needed
3. Do buy cool camera system for conference rooms and use them!
This one goes for companies that have a mix of on-site and remote employees. If you ever use a conference room this is an absolute must. There is nothing worse than sitting in a meeting looking at the one person who dialed you in while everyone talks around you. More often than not you get ignored completely. There are many great choices out there. I prefer a system that has a 360 view. I think the products coming out of Owl Labs are the best around right now. (https://www.owllabs.com/meeting-owl Not Affiliated) They give a full view of the room and single out the person who is actively talking so it feels like a more traditional conversation. If you get push back on cost, these run ~$1,000, just remind purchasing that just about every other item in the conference room cost that. You wouldn’t have a conference room without chairs. If you have remote workers you can’t have a conference room without a good camera system and TV.
4. Do require remote workers use their cameras in meetings.
You don’t have to be the camera police but remote workers should use their cameras most of the time. This create accountability but most importantly it is much easier communicate when you can see someones body language. Seeing the deer in the headlights look will give you an opportunity to better explain. Not seeing it can break the project.
5. Do plan regular in person meetups.
IRL matters. The biggest miss in remote work culture is “water cooler” time. The tradeoff is often higher productivity but with a loss of camaraderie. Getting teams together once per quarter is ideal but you can get away with yearly if travel or budget are a concern. These meetups should be a mix of high level planning meetings and social opportunities. I find that some light competition will tighten bonds very quickly. Mix that with a beer or two and your teams will look forward to these events every time.
Pretty simple, right? By making these changes you will show your remote workers that you understand their needs. Happier employees are good for business.