Let’s talk about how to set employee expectations for remote work.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, remote work has become the most popular option for employers and employees. It’s a tool that can increase productivity, reduce turnover, and help your team members achieve the work-life balance they need to be happy.
In a recent Owl Labs survey, 75% of respondents said they would be less likely to leave their jobs if they could work from home. Remote work provides freedom, flexibility, and severe cost-saving advantages. Employees no longer need to spend countless hours commuting to work or move to the city to work with their dream company. They can now clock in for their day in their home office and spend time with their family instead of sitting in traffic commuting to work.
However, both sides must have clear expectations and goals for the remote position. What workplace expectations do you have for your employees? What policies and requirements do you have to ensure they stay on task during 9-5? With a clear set of expectations, you can ensure that employees understand what is expected of them and maximize workplace efficiency.
We’re here to teach you how to set employee expectations for remote work, so you can start building a thriving workplace for you and your employees.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Whether you have a hybrid or a remote workforce, over 83% of employers rely on technology for collaboration. However, even with the right tools and technology, 39% of employees in a survey felt their companies could collaborate more effectively.
In today’s digital age, collaboration tools are a must-have. These tools help foster connections between your employees and help them stay connected – no matter where they are working from. Whether it’s a project management tool like Basecamp or an instant messaging platform like Slack. These tools have the power to become an integrated part of the workplace dynamic.
When inviting software into the workplace, set clear communication protocols with your remote employees. How quickly do you expect answers to client questions? If they’re running late on a project, what should they do? Communication protocols complement your remote work expectations and ensure you always have a level of responsiveness from your team members.
Remote Team Management
Managing a remote team is not an easy task. The tools you use for an on-site team will not have the same effect with a remote or hybrid workforce. This means you’ll need a remote work policy employee handbook and to provide interactive remote work training resources.
The handbook should answer all the questions that managers and employees may have. Can an employer dictate where you work remotely? Can they choose their own hours? What are your cybersecurity requirements?
Once you have all these questions answered, send a remote work policy pdf to your team during onboarding. For inspiration and ideas for your pdf, we recommend looking up remote work policy examples SHRM or a hybrid remote work policy sample. These examples can help you establish clear goals and guidelines for remote team management and create a thriving workplace dynamic.
Work From Home Requirements
What are your work-from-home laptop requirements? Do employees have a fixed schedule? Is there a set of mandatory meetings everyone must attend every week? Is there provided equipment needed to work from home?
One of the most important requirements you need to have is technology. Without a set list of requirements and policies around technology, you may run into cybersecurity issues.
Work-from-home laptop requirements and policies are put in place to protect your business and sensitive company information. This might include but is not limited to, a properly protected or secured computer with standard productivity software and video capability, a headset, Internet access with necessary bandwidth, VPN, and meeting software (i.e., Zoom, WebEx, MS Teams, etc.), and/or any other job or department specific tools.
Remote Work Policies
Your work remote policy should cover everything from attendance, social media, confidentiality, data, code of conduct, and dress code. When developing your policy, use your hybrid and on-site policies as a remote work agreement template. You’ll want to consider what policies are and do not apply to the new remote workplace dynamic. You can also find inspiration for remote work policies by looking up remote work policy samples and templates.
Remote Work Best Practices
Remote work provides a level of flexibility and freedom. However, there are some remote work best practices to remember to ensure your team has what they need to collaborate effectively and provide clear communication to their managers.
Here are some remote work guidelines for employees to keep in mind:
Employees and managers should practice clear communication. In fact, sometimes, over-communication is even better! Whether someone is temporarily working remotely in another state or simply stepping away from their desk for an appointment: Everyone should always be in the know.
A remote position should be treated like any other position. Each employee should have a clear understanding of their responsibilities and can access the resources they need to do their job effectively.
Nothing beats the personal connections you create with your team. Meeting up in person on a monthly or quarterly basis will reinforce your company culture and keep everyone connected.
Reinforce a Work-Life Balance
Responding to the UK 2021 census, 78% of remote workers said working from home had improved their work-life balance because people have more time to spend with their families and friends, pursue hobbies, or exercise. However, even though you work from home, your team must make time for their personal lives. That means managers should avoid sending messages after 5 PM or asking for things on the weekends.
Work From Home Requirements
Lastly, don’t forget your work-from-home requirements. Each team member should have access to the equipment needed to work from home. This includes a laptop, cables, keyboard, desk, mouse, headset, and access to reliable high-speed internet.
During onboarding, a new hire, consider sending new hires a starter kit with all the work from home equipment provided and a print-out version of the work from home laptop requirements you put together. This starter kit will show your new hires that you’re just as committed to their success as they are to you. It will set the premise for the employee-company relationship and provide them with the needed resources.
Pro Tip: Consider adding snacks, branded gear, or promotional items with your logo, too This will help your new team members feel like they are part of a team, even if they work remotely!
Don’t let building a remote workforce scare you – it can be very beneficial for businesses and employees. However, Setting expectations in the workplace is a must. With a set of clear, concise policies and requirements, you can build a thriving remote workplace that is productive and collaborative. Your team will have the resources they need to stay engaged with their team members and maximize workplace efficiency.