On the Rise
Remote work provides a way to increase employee motivation and promote a healthy work/ life balance. Employers can experience cost savings, improved attendance and productivity, and an increase in employee engagement. Flexible work arrangements have improved recruitment and retention.
Foundation of Trust
Trust is the foundation of a successful remote operating model. Remote work has the power to result in success if leaders trust their employees are working at their highest ability. Creating a culture of trust is a top-down responsibility. Leaders are expected to manage expectations and maintain continuous communication with their remote workers to provide improvement when needed. Your agency must implement a Remote Work Agreement along with a Remote Work Policy
Responsibilities and Tasks
Determine which specific assignments and tasks can be done remotely. Eligibility should be based on the work, not the person. Establish outcome-based performance metrics while monitoring progress steps and milestones. Regularly check in with employees to ensure they're on target to hit their goals. Consider adding more frequent, shorter meetings with your team.
If you question whether your remote worker will want to know something, share it. Be clear about any new or different productivity expectations you have. The more guidance and communication you provide, the fewer misunderstandings will occur, and the more smoothly work can stay on track. Make sure to clarify expectations for your team. Don't let people make assumptions about anything unclear.
Things come up at home that might not come up in an office. Make sure your team has some room to be flexible with their schedules. As long as everyone knows what they are accountable for, then having some flexibility will not be a problem.
Try your best to keep things aligned with your existing agency culture. Make time every day to text with colleagues, check-in personally, share stories and ask how people are doing. These little things help reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety. Use video technology to connect with your team and colleagues in a more intentional, human way. Video calls may not be comfortable for everyone, but the slight discomfort can be worth the benefit of seeing people's faces.
Ask your colleagues for regular feedback on how the situation is working. Send surveys to your remote employees. This data will help you now and in the future. There will probably be several things your agency will learn and continue to leverage in the future regarding working remotely and the policies meant to support it.
Is your agency’s technology system ready to support working remotely? Agencies must be well equipped to implement this transition to a remote workforce successfully. Use a Technology Considerations Checklist to make sure you have the right IT management tools and security. If your agency is supporting remote workers, this checklist will help you understand how prepared you are to tackle this challenge.
We feel it is essential to differentiate between remote work as a strategic operating model vs. remote work in emergency situations. The resources below are available as a focused action plan that is quick and easy to implement for companies who need urgent resources.