Business leaders are realizing that providing employees with flexible remote work options can lead to better results and a happier workforce.
Until recently, work policies have tended to be defined and rigid. Policies have required employees to work specifically at the office and during a determined time frame.
Despite technological advances that have made it possible for many office workers to do their jobs from anywhere, companies have been reluctant to change their policies. Business leaders were concerned that if employees weren't working in the office during specified times, then the company as a whole would experience a decrease in efficiency.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced the hands of businesses. With many working at home throughout much of 2020, executives and employees alike discovered many benefits of remote work flexibility, and found that employees could still be productive while working remotely.
As a result, many leading firms are now amending their remote work policies to focus less on when and where employees work, and more on results and flexibility.
Giving Employees the Flexibility to Choose Their Work Schedule
Computing giant Microsoft made headlines with a new remote work policy that embraces employee flexibility. In a post on the company’s blog titled “Embracing a flexible workplace”, Microsoft outlined the goal of their new remote work policy:
“Flexibility can mean different things to each of us, and we recognize there is no one-size-fits-all solution given the variety of roles, work requirements and business needs we have at Microsoft. To address this, we have provided guidance to employees to make informed decisions around scenarios that could include changes to their work site, work location, and/or work hours…”
What this is saying is that Microsoft is empowering their employees to make decisions regarding where they work and during what hours. The remote work policy is no longer defining those things for the employees, rather, it serves as guidance to help employees make the best decisions they can regarding their own work schedules.
Embracing flexibility will be the key to a successful remote work policy in a post-COVID world as it allows employees to set their work schedule in a way that works best for them. Everyone has their own obligations (both in their professional and personal lives), and their own preferences. A flexible remote work policy recognizes that cookie-cutter approaches don’t work for everyone.
Managers might be hesitant to grant such flexibility in fear that work efficiency might decline. However, managers can avoid these pitfalls by setting clear expectations when implementing flexible remote work policies. Expectations can include:
The quantity / quantity of work that the employee should get done and by when
When and through what channels remote working employees should be available for communicating with other employees
Days and times when attendance is mandatory for in-person or virtual meetings/events
At the end of the day, managers needs to allow employees to take responsibility into their own hands. Rather than focusing on when and where your employees work, provide them with the flexibility to choose for themselves and focus on their results.
Successful remote work policies will lead to a happier workforce as your employees will be able to better balance their work and personal lives. It will also help you recruit the best employees as workplace flexibility is becoming a top priority to job applicants.
Remote Work Solutions
Another key to enabling employees to work remotely is to ensure they have access to all the resources they need while away from the office. If your employees NEED to access their work computers to be able to run certain software applications or access files for their work, then you can help them by implementing a remotely access tool like Splashtop so they can remotely control their work computers from any other device, and from anywhere.
Learn more about Splashtop’s work from home remote access solutions.