Remote Work Plan: When Employees Prefer Not to Go Back to the Office

Post-pandemic, many companies have gone back to the office, but a lot of employees still would rather work from home. This has created a kind of dilemma. The solution is what’s called the remote work plan or policy.

If you still haven’t got a remote work plan in place for your business, read on. We have laid down what you should include in your team’s remote work plan. Also, what you should avoid doing for hassle-free workdays.

What is a Remote Work Plan?

Also known as a remote work policy, a remote work plan is a document containing all the rules and regulations associated with the company’s or team’s views on remote work. It outlines exactly what is expected of the employee and employer. Typically created by the company’s Human Resources department, the remote work plan must include:

  • The employees’ and employer’s objectives and goals
  • Information about the processes and programs used by the company for remote work
  • Details about the proper communication channels within the company

It’s best to tailor your remote work plan to suit your team’s specific needs.

Steps to Create a Remote Work Plan

Creating a remote work plan is easier than you might think! Here are six steps to create a plan perfect for your business.

1. Create guidelines.

Remote work is full of possibility and offers enough flexibility for every type of worker. The lack of clear guidelines, however, can lead to miscommunication and decreased productivity. When drafting a remote work plan, think about the basics that are often overlooked. This includes when your employees should log in or out, what benefits they can expect as remote employees, and who’s in charge of what.

2. Clarify who’s eligible.

Still making the transition from a traditional office to a virtual environment? Make use of a coworking space for employees who aren’t eligible to work completely from home. These individuals might be your newest hires (so you can keep an eye on them) or workers who are usually late. Eligibility also depends on the nature of your employees’ jobs. Field agents would need an office to report to while copywriters could stay home.

3. Make it detailed.

There’s no such thing as a remote work plan that’s too detailed! Consider it your team’s guidebook to everything. From each department’s job descriptions and step-by-step workflow to information about employee performance evaluations. Anticipate any problems they might encounter while working remotely. Provide probable solutions before they even occur.

4. Consider tech tools.

The success of remote work largely depends on the technology your team uses. While Wi-Fi connection is a must, you should also invest in proper communication tools. Try Slack and Microsoft Teams, Zoom for video conferencing, and paperless tools such as DocuSign. If tracking tasks is an issue, you could also use software specifically for monitoring employee productivity.

5. Form a schedule.

Create daily, weekly, and monthly schedules your team can consult and follow. These should include any project timelines, the team’s core work hours (when everyone should be online and reachable), and any of your employees’ potential blockers (e.g. childcare, medical appointments, classes). This schedule not only benefits your team’s workflow but provides your employees with flexibility in their own personal schedules. It allows them to have a greater chance at proper work-life balance.

6. Empathize with your employees.

If you aren’t able to see your employees in person often, it can become tempting to treat them like robots instead of people vulnerable to stress, sickness, and burnout. Consider their legal rights, such as overtime pay despite working from home. Employees are still employees, no matter their workplace. At the same time, don’t forget about their physical, mental, and emotional health. Remote workers tend to juggle household chores or childcare with work. Encourage them to take breaks whenever they need a breather. To promote camaraderie among employees, you might also want to plan team-building activities, leisurely outings, or occasional face-to-face meetings.

What to Avoid

Now that we’ve discussed what to include in a remote work plan, there are a couple of things you need to avoid during its implementation.

Avoid micromanaging.

Remote work requires a great deal of trust between the employer and their employees. Trust that your team is working as they should. Avoid constantly asking for updates, forcing them to work all day in a team video conference, or correcting their work every chance you get. Letting them work without interruption can lead to greater productivity and stronger bonds between workers and management. In other words, micromanaging is one of the easiest ways to drive your employees away.

Avoid taking cybersecurity lightly.

In a remote setup, much of your work will be done online. The risk of a cybersecurity breach is too high to ignore. To protect your company and your workers, consider taking cybersecurity precautions. Train employees on proper cybersecurity measures, ensure everyone uses secure wireless networks, implement multi-factor authentication for all online accounts, and audit workers’ personal devices for any cybersecurity weaknesses.

The Perfect Remote Work Plan

While these tips should help you create a remote work plan, remember that the perfect plan for your team depends on your company’s specific needs and your remote workers’ circumstances. A well-thought-out plan can save you numerous headaches along the way.

The most important aspect of a remote work plan, however, is how you choose to define it. “Remote work” doesn’t always mean “working from home.” If a traditional office space isn’t for you and a work-from-home setup is out of the question, rent a desk or room for your team at a coworking space.

Weremote offers memberships for companies and individuals looking for professional workspaces in various locations across Metro Manila. Check them out! They might even make it into your team’s remote work plan.

Weremote stands as a community where professionals and businesses thrive, offering a dynamic environment for growth. As the coworking brand of Wrkspace Office Management and Solutions Inc., Weremote continues to foster professional development and build vibrant communities. Weremote is a portfolio company of AHG Lab, the largest independent venture builder in the Philippines.

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