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Choosing the Right Remote Desktop Application for Your Business Needs

In today’s fast-paced and interconnected world, remote work has become increasingly popular. Businesses are adopting remote work policies to increase flexibility and productivity. To facilitate this transition, a reliable remote desktop application is essential. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your business needs. In this article, we will explore some key factors to consider when selecting a remote desktop application.

Security and Privacy

When it comes to accessing your business’s sensitive data remotely, security should be a top priority. Look for a remote desktop application that offers robust encryption protocols and secure authentication methods to protect your data from unauthorized access. Additionally, ensure that the software provider follows strict privacy practices and adheres to industry standards.

One important security feature to consider is two-factor authentication (2FA). This adds an extra layer of protection by requiring users to provide additional verification beyond just a password. Look for applications that offer 2FA as part of their security measures.

Performance and Reliability

A remote desktop application’s performance and reliability are crucial for seamless remote work experiences. Slow connections or frequent disruptions can significantly impact productivity and frustrate employees. Therefore, it is important to choose an application that offers stable connections with minimal lag time.

Consider the bandwidth requirements of the software as well. Some applications may require high-speed internet connections, which may not be feasible for all users or locations. Ensure that the chosen application can perform well even with varying internet speeds.

User-Friendliness and Features

A user-friendly interface is essential for any software application, including remote desktop applications. Look for an intuitive interface that allows users to easily navigate through various features without requiring extensive training or technical knowledge.

Consider what features are necessary for your business needs. Some applications offer additional functionalities like file transfer capabilities, session recording, multi-monitor support, or even mobile device access. Assess your requirements and choose an application that aligns with your business needs.

Compatibility and Integration

Before finalizing a remote desktop application, ensure that it is compatible with the operating systems used by your employees. Check if the software supports Windows, macOS, Linux, or any other specific operating system requirements within your organization.

Integration with other tools and software is also important for seamless workflows. Look for applications that offer integrations with popular productivity tools such as project management software, communication platforms, or customer relationship management systems. This will allow for smoother collaboration and enhanced productivity.

In conclusion, selecting the right remote desktop application for your business needs requires careful consideration of several factors. Prioritize security and privacy, evaluate performance and reliability, assess user-friendliness and features, and ensure compatibility and integration capabilities. By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision that will enable efficient remote work operations for your business.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


business plan for working remotely

Remote Work Best Practices (Plus Sample Policy)

Table of contents.

business plan for working remotely

Remote work not only provides people with the ability to work from home, but has also introduced new dynamics to the workforce, including flexible work schedules and cost savings for office space for employees. In fact, 9 out of 10 workers thinking about a job change consider hybrid or remote positions, according to research from business consulting firm Robert Half .

Remote work has perks for both employers and employees. Companies making a more long-term or permanent switch to a remote environment can help the adjustment be successful by ensuring a smooth transition, excellent remote management plans and a well-devised remote work policy.

What are remote work best practices for businesses?

To help ensure remote work is a success across your organization, follow these best practices:

1. Maintain a company culture.

Some employees choose an employer for its company culture . Whether your company is only recently remote or has always been, maintaining the culture that attracted employees to your organization in the first place can help keep employees happy and working for your company. For example, you could support a caring culture by broadening your wellness benefits, as Actualize Consulting did. Its $750 wellness benefit is available to each employee for use toward a gym membership and fitness purchases such as treadmills and classes.

As another example, Sarah Danzl, communications officer and vice president of customer marketing at Degreed, said that a priority for her was to ensure the holistic care and mental health of her team with regular check-ins, specifically to ask about how they’re doing and dedicate some time to non-work chat. Degreed also provides access to mental health support and wellness options like the Calm app.

Editor ‘s note: Looking for the right employee monitoring software for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

2. Use video tools to stay connected.

Working remotely can be difficult for people who strive for face-to-face interaction. Utilize the best practice of acting as if you and your team are in the office with the help of technology. Consider keeping spirits high and teams connecting by hosting a Friday video happy hour, video team meetings and virtual employee lunches. The goal here is to stimulate activities that would be done in the office, outside the office.

Addressing remote work difficulties often involves corporate wellness initiatives with a specific emphasis on mental health.

3. Go paperless.

Just about everything can be done digitally these days. Use a tool like DocuSign for contracts that need signatures, and encourage employees to lean on the best customer relationship management (CRM) software and other digital tools instead of paper for notes, project management and other tasks.

4. Invest in internet security.

A network is only as secure as its weakest link. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have turned their workforces remote. As a result of more people working from home, weak security links are inevitable. By investing in internet security , you can provide (and even mandate) the tools that keep everyone’s devices safe. This, in turn, keeps company information safe. Most importantly, it minimizes the risk of personal data being leaked through a vulnerability in your infrastructure. At the heart of your internet security is a virtual private network (VPN). It allows for direct, safe communication between all remote workers and the office.

5. Consider employee monitoring.

Employee monitoring is necessary for large organizations. A significant part of leadership and management is keeping people on task; however, with remote work, that becomes challenging.

Employee monitoring systems allow you to see a worker’s computer activity. This informs you as to how much of a workday is actually spent on work projects and tasks. Employee monitoring solutions allow you to track the productivity of the work-from-home model. [Read related article: The Best Employee Monitoring Software of 2023 ]

6. Accommodate flexible work schedules.

There are many benefits that come with remote work, such as reduced overhead and lower liabilities, to name a few. If, though, remote work is hastily or poorly implemented, the downside is lost productivity. The key to preventing lost productivity (which can be difficult for a company to come back from) is to allow employees to work a flexible work schedule.  

Many at-home employees are juggling child care and school. Flexible work schedules empower them to find a better work-life balance that enables them to work productively around their kids’ schedules . One suggestion to make this transition smoother for your company and team is to shift to a completion-based work model. In this model, the focus is less on how many hours an individual works and more on what they accomplish.

7. Invest in collaboration tools.

Collaboration tools are everywhere. Some of the biggest names to rise to the top include Skype and Microsoft Teams. Of course, the most popular by far is Zoom. These tools allow for adjustable online workgroups. They include video and audio chat, and they allow for screen sharing.

You can also look into apps that create shared workspaces. File sharing systems are similarly important. You can even look at dedicated communication servers with resources like Discord and Google Chat.

To ensure remote work success , businesses should maintain company culture, use video tools to stay connected, go paperless, invest in internet security, consider employee monitoring, accommodate flexible work schedules and invest in collaboration tools.

How do you create your remote work policy?

Your remote work policy sets the standard for what you deem acceptable and unacceptable from your remote employees. Every remote work policy should have conditions that ensure clear expectations and communication between the company and each remote team member. Here are a few pertinent guidelines on what to include in your remote work policy:

  • Outline eligibility criteria. Consider whether employees must reside in the same location as your business or if they can work from anywhere. If your business is only partially remote, define which roles are eligible for working from home and how often employees can work from home.
  • Develop a work plan. To create an effective remote work plan, break down company objectives into measurable goals and responsibilities. Determine the necessary tools and technology for employees to work remotely and collaborate effectively. Consider technical support for those who experience difficulties. You can then involve employees in the process of deciding how performance will be measured, using metrics specific to each role and asking for input on the best methods for tracking productivity.
  • Emphasize the company rules. Although your employees are no longer in an in-person office environment, clarify the rules, regulations and policies that still apply. Employees should know exactly what is expected of them.
  • Decide whether employees can choose their own work hours or should be available during specific hours. Take into consideration their personal schedules, and be flexible with allowing them to work within a certain window or during core hours.
  • Set expectations for response times to emails and messages. Keep time zones and workload in mind. Establish a time frame for responding to important emails or messages.
  • Institute guidelines for when to use instant messaging, email or video calls. Is it mandatory for your employees to use the camera when on video calls? Consider setting up non-work-related communication to keep similar aspects of an in-person work environment.
  • Make sure your employees have access to online training resources or courses. Establish one-on-one meetings with supervisors and their employees for online coaching and to discuss growth and advancement.
  • Discuss compensation. Transparency is key when it comes to compensation changes, especially when transitioning to remote work. By clearly outlining eligible expenses and the reimbursement process, employees will feel supported and informed. Consulting with employees on their priorities for benefits and reimbursements can aid in creating a more personalized compensation plan.
  • Security and confidentiality rules. When working remotely or from public locations like cafes, there are various data security risks to be aware of, such as shoulder surfing, theft and unsecured networks. To mitigate these risks, educate employees on these threats and provide guidelines on how to avoid them, such as locking screens, using strong passwords and two-factor authentication, and avoiding discussing confidential information in public places.

Sample remote work policy

To provide guidance for employees and management, this document outlines the terms and conditions of remote work and requires employees to acknowledge their understanding by signing it.

Terms and Conditions

  • Eligibility requirements: If the employee’s job responsibilities can be fulfilled using only fundamental equipment and technology, they may qualify for remote work privileges, subject to the company’s approval, provided they demonstrate reliability, self-discipline and self-motivation. In the event an employee’s job is not suitable for remote work, they may be allowed to work from home for a limited number of days per year. This policy promotes a flexible work environment that can accommodate the needs of both the company and the employee.
  • Work expectations and schedule: To assure the best performance, employees are required to adhere to set work schedules, meet deadlines, maintain quality standards and submit daily reports, with some degree of flexibility permitted. Tools for time and task management, project tracking and access to resources will be provided. Weekly performance evaluations will be conducted using the same metrics for in-office work.
  • Company rules: Employees who work remotely are expected to adhere to all rules and regulations in the Employee Handbook. Company policies regarding PTO, conduct, confidentiality, etc., apply to employees regardless of the location.
  • Equipment and supplies: Employees will be reimbursed for job-related equipment, tools and supplies deemed necessary. Requests for reimbursement should be submitted through supervisors. Employees may be permitted to use their personal electronic devices for work purposes with prior written approval.
  • Security: To ensure the security of company data and information, adherence to established security protocols outlined in the Employee Handbook and confidentiality agreement is mandatory. Violations are subject to disciplinary action, and employees will be granted access to a virtual private network to safeguard connections with company servers and networks, which must be used exclusively for work hours.
  • Compensation: Working remotely will not affect an employee’s salary, which will only increase per company policy and successful performance evaluations. Remote employees will remain eligible for professional development programs and promotions, while the company will provide reimbursement for internet and electrical expenses sustained by employees who follow the correct reimbursement protocol.
  • Consequences: Inability to fulfill work obligations or compliance with policies and procedures during remote work may result in disciplinary action, such as termination of the remote work agreement, placement on a performance improvement plan or termination of employment.

How can you transition to remote work?

For companies that are new to remote work, laying down a foundation for a smooth transition is the key to a productive remote work team . Here are some steps you may want to follow:

  • Have a remote work policy. Draft a remote work policy that clearly communicates what your expectations are for your employees.
  • Maximize technology. Technologies such as video conferencing and instant messaging make remote work a more personable and collaborative experience.
  • Hold virtual “hype” meetings. Get your team excited about your company and its goals through some team bonding by holding a weekly or monthly hype meeting. During these meetings, encourage employees to talk about some of their accomplishments, and be sure to give out praise where it is due. Use this time to get employees excited about new projects and clients.
  • Encourage engagement. Let your employees know you want to hear their feedback about remote work. Be sure they know you want to hear both positives and negatives. Getting that feedback will help you refine your remote work policies. Also, make sure you are available to answer any questions employees have about the remote work policies.

>> Learn more:  5 Reasons Remote Teams Are More Engaged Than Office Workers

What remote work equipment do your employees need?

Consider providing your employees with the following types of remote work equipment:

Collaboration tools

A collaboration tool helps workers stay connected. To save time and money, your collaboration tool should also serve as a complete project management, communication and productivity platform. Here are a few of the best tools for this type of work:

  • Salesforce CRM: Keep track of every customer, automate tasks and send targeted emails. [Read our Salesforce review .]
  • Trello: Get access to boards, lists and cards to track and organize projects.
  • Asana: Manage goals, organize projects, set deadlines and more.

Video conferencing service

A video conferencing service – such as Google Chat, GoToMeeting or Zoom – lets users make video calls and host internal and external video conferences. 

Whether via a mobile phone or a business phone system, employees need to be able to call not only one another, but also clients and vendors. [Read related article: The Best Business Phone Systems of 2023 ]

Instant messaging service

It can save your employees time if they can send a quick instant message via a chat tool, such as Slack or Google Chat, instead of texting, calling or emailing.

Work computers

If you expect your employees to work effectively from home, it’s wise to provide them with a computer that is preloaded with all of the applications and security features you want.

How can you be a good remote manager for your remote team?

As a business owner or manager, you can expect your team members to look to you for leadership and guidance. While they won’t be able to physically knock on your door, you still need to be there for them. Here are some tips for how to be a good remote manager:

Keep communication open.

Let your employees know you are available for them, and don’t just wait for them to come to you. Be proactive by checking in with them regularly. When applicable, offer feedback and words of encouragement. Also, be sure to make time to meet virtually and to hold performance reviews.

Give great direction.

Whether working in the office or remotely, employees appreciate a manager who is a clear communicator and offers clear direction. For example, when you give employees instructions, make sure you are direct and offer enough information for your team to fully understand what you need. Poor communication results in frustration and lost productivity.

  • Be empathetic. With the dog barking, the kids crying and the neighbor mowing his lawn, it’s not always possible for remote employees to have a distraction-free environment. But as long as your staff members get their work done by their deadlines, be empathetic about at-home demands that may pull them away from their work for a few minutes each day.
  • Stay organized. If your kitchen or living room doubles as your home office, it can be easy to get disorganized. Use calendars or project management tools to keep your tasks organized and stay on top of your game.

What are the benefits of remote work?

Remote work can be a win-win for employers and employees..

Remote work benefits for employers

  • Cost savings: Without office space, there’s no commercial real estate to pay for, or any of the expenses that come along with it, such as utilities and office furniture.
  • Improved employee productivity: Without having distractions from loud co-workers, many employees are more productive.
  • Lower absenteeism: When people don’t feel well, they may be more likely to take time off of work if they have to go into an office. If employees have minor symptoms, they may feel more comfortable working from the comfort of their home, where they also will not spread illnesses to co-workers. As a result, employers can expect lower rates of absenteeism.

Remote work benefits for employees

  • Improved work happiness: Studies have shown that working from home is a perk that boosts employees’ happiness. In a study from Owl Labs and Global Workplace Analytics , the prospect of being able to work remotely, even if only occasionally, was found to increase the happiness of 86% of workers.
  • A more comfortable environment: There is a good chance that your employees aren’t thrilled with your office environment, whether it’s an open office layout or a cubicle farm. By working from home, employees are free to create a more comfortable workspace.
  • A healthier workplace: When employees work from home, they don’t have to worry about co-workers getting them sick. Even before COVID-19, the flu and other illnesses spread easily among employees in the office.

Marissa Sanfilippo contributed to this article. Some source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.

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This is How to Build Remote Work into Your Startup Business Plan

business plan for working remotely

Today, the virtual business model has a radically new relationship with employees. Instead of going to the office and seeing team members face-to-face, the only contact they have is via phone, email, and other technologies . 

On one hand, this can yield some major benefits, such as increased productivity and happier employees. On the other hand, it can slow workflows down if you haven’t organized and mapped out the process. 

As such, it’s key that your remote team and working environment are now included as part of your business plan . That’s right — if you can nail this process on paper, you’ll find that creating seamless workflows is so much easier. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a look at whether or not you need a business plan and how to incorporate every aspect of remote working into it. 

First, do you need a business plan?

A business plan is a useful document that helps you and any potential investors better understand your business. You might think you already know your plan inside out, but by writing it down you and your team will gain insights that would otherwise have been inaccessible. You may even discover new ideas and approaches.

With a business plan, you will be able to use it as a tool to outline the next steps you want to take and action items to get there. 

A business plan also increases your chances of securing capital from investors. No business plan = no outside investment. 

Lastly, entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve growth than otherwise identical entrepreneurs who do not plan. Business plans are an integral part of starting a business.

Why do you need to include remote work in your plan? 

There’s no doubt about it — remote work is the way forward for many startups. A virtual workforce is no longer something to consider for the future. Instead, it’s an operational strategy that many businesses are implementing right now. 

However, successfully implementing a remote workforce is no mean feat. There is a lot to consider, including:

  • Communication 
  • Engagement 
  • Location 
  • Productivity 
  • Morale 
  • Hiring 
  • Tools 

By adding remote working to your business plan, you’re helping your business overcome any potential problems that can easily be encountered if you’ve never used a remote team before. You’re also persuading potential investors that you know exactly what you’re doing. Yes, you’ll be working with a remote team, but you’ve covered all the bases so they will hit the ground running. 

How can you include these remote work fundamentals in your plan? 

Anyone who’s written a business plan from start to finish will tell you how detailed it can be. Adding remote working into the mix can feel like you’re just creating extra hard work for yourself. 

In this section, we’re going to break everything down for you so that you know exactly how to include it. 

1. Make sure the objective is clear 

Before you get into the real nitty-gritty details, you first need to make sure your overriding objective is clear. Why is your business hiring a remote workforce?

These are the questions you need to answer about your remote work plan

Early on, you’ll need to define: 

  • Who you are, including your company leadership and core offer.  
  • The type of remote workforce you will hire, be it freelancers, contractors, or employees. 
  • Where they will work — Will your workers work at homes (at their own expense) or will you furnish workspaces such as offices or co-working memberships? 
  • Whether or not your business will be online only — Perhaps only a portion of your staff will work outside the office?  

Setting clear objectives from the start will help you understand your startup in more ways than you now know. You don’t need to go into great detail, but paint your vision so that you (and investors) understand how a virtual workforce is going to make your company a success. Keep in mind that you are likely to make adjustments along the way. 

2. Outline remote working guidelines and policies 

Outlining remote working guidelines and policies allows you to make it clear to your remote team what it is you expect from them. This should include all aspects of virtual work, such as working hours, communication expectations, cybersecurity requirements , and — of course — legal rights. 

Your guidelines and policies could prove to be the most challenging aspect of the remote section of your business plan because you will need to figure everything out, from tools to communication expectations. But, don’t be overwhelmed, we’ll be covering what needs to go into your remote working guidelines and policies throughout the rest of this article. 

3. Cover location and facilities 

When your team is working remotely, they must have access to everything they need. This includes computer equipment, IT support, telephone access, tools, security, and other ergonomic equipment like comfortable chairs and desks. 

You also need to make it clear whether or not the company will be responsible if something goes wrong with a remote worker’s equipment, or whether they will have to pay for repairs and technical support themselves. 

Wherever the remote worker chooses to work, make it clear that they must take care to look after their equipment and devices (to protect from, among other things, theft), and that WiFi is easy to access and reliable. 

4. Incorporate your communication plan 

Communication is fundamental for all remote businesses. Creating a communication plan in your business plan can help you make the switch to a remote workforce as seamlessly as possible. Among other things, it will prevent delays and ensure maximum efficiency. 

Make it clear what tools you and your team will be using to stay connected (more on this later in the article), and define what your communication plan is. In other words, how do you plan to contact team members? You can, for example, use Skype or Zoom when a point needs clarifying, or whenever you want to have a team meeting, but you can use instant messaging for less formal conversations. 

Ultimately, you’ll want to find ways of creating a culture of online communication with solid rules of engagement in place so that staying connected is done with efficiency in mind. You might also need to address the issue of time zones — if people are working in different time zones, is there a way to change their working hours so that there aren’t lengthy delays between team members sending and receiving replies?

When drafting your communication plan, list down: 

  • Preferred methods of communication 
  • Rules for communication 

Now, how to choose the right remote workers 

To instill confidence in potential investors, you’ll want to demonstrate via your business plan that you’re hiring the right remote workers . 

It’s key that you address where you’ll be looking for your hires. You can find remote workers on job boards, as well as global freelancing hubs, such as WeWorkRemotely and Flexjobs . But it’s also important that you address how you’ll be creating job posts that attract the best workers. For example, you could drive home the work/life balance benefits that come with working for your company, whilst making it clear how they’ll be paid. 

You should also write down how you’ll conduct an initial screening process. A good idea might be to ask a select list of potential candidates to complete a specific task. Once this part of the screening process is done and you’ve narrowed down your candidates further, consider testing them with a full day’s work to see how they perform. The results should give you a clear idea regarding who your outstanding candidate is. 

You also need to find creative ways to interact 

A remote team won’t be successful if your employees are socially distant from each other and feel isolated. This sort of thing lowers morale and creates a sense of disconnect from your company, and it will make investors nervous. 

It’s a smart idea to find creative ways to interact with your team members. You could, for instance, schedule a weekly team call with everyone that always begins with 10-15 minutes of relaxed “catch up.” You could also organize virtual games once or so a month, and pair off 2-3 workers who spend an hour each week chatting over a video about both work and non-work related topics. 

Whatever you do, you should aim to find creative ways to interact that boost your company culture and morale. 

Which tools should you utilize? 

Using the essential tools will ensure that your team stays on top of tasks. Tools are there to make remote team management so much easier by improving communication, project management, idea sharing, and productivity.

When you write a business plan, make a note of any software you intend to use and how you will conduct the onboarding process. 

Business planning solution 

For your business itself, you must work with a business planning solution that allows you to craft a perfect business plan. The best business planning solution tools will give your entire business a framework that you can feel confident in and also help you present the plan to relevant stakeholders. 

Project management 

Managing projects can be tricky when everyone is working remotely. But with the right project management software in place, your whole team can engage with each other and the project in one centralized hub. The best tools allow for easy collaboration, planning, task scheduling, organization, reporting, budgeting, and they give a clear overview of the project so that everyone knows what’s been completed and what they need to do next. 

Cloud storage

Using cloud storage gives the whole business and any potential investors confidence that important files and documents won’t go missing. Cloud storage protects work from being lost, it creates a backup for everything and it can also encourage more cooperation between your team members.

Communication tools 

Communication tools fundamentally help your remote team stay connected. However, there are different types of communication tools you can use, and it’s important to specify which ones your team will be using for what types of communication.

For example, an all-in-one tool like Slack is loaded with integrations and features that make it ideal for whenever your team needs to trade ideas and check-in on tasks. On the flip side, a customized Slack alternative is better for whenever your team needs to fire off instant messages to each other. 

Virtual private networks (VPN) 

Virtual private networks (VPNs) give you peace of mind that the work that is being created and shared by your remote workers isn’t accessible to anyone else. A VPN essentially gives everyone access to a secure database that, once again, will give both your business and potential investors more confidence. 


Integrating remote work into your startup business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It will take you a bit more time. But, as long as you use the advice in this article as a framework, you should be able to hit the ground running. Just make sure to cover as many details as possible and to use this as an opportunity to learn more about how remote working will work for you.

AvatarAshley Kimler

Ashley Kimler


Ashley Kimler is a B2B SaaS Copywriter, Content Strategist, and Founder of CopyNoise. She's been helping businesses of all sizes get in front of the right audience online for over a decade.

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business plan for working remotely

How to create a remote work plan (plus free sample template)

remote work plan template

Working remotely has become the new normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With so many employees working from home, team managers need a remote work plan or policy to ensure that their employees stay productive.

But how do you create an effective remote work plan?

In this article, we’ll tell you how to build a remote work plan and what to include in it. We’ll also share a free downloadable remote work plan template to help you get started.

This article includes:

(Click on the link to go to a particular section)

  • Sample Remote Work Plan Template
  • What is a Remote Work Plan?
  • How To Create A Remote Work Plan?
  • 3 Tips for a Successful Remote Work Plan

Let’s get started.

Sample remote work plan template

(If you want to learn more about remote work plans, you can skip ahead to the relevant section . You can scroll back here once you’re done.)

Here’s a sample remote work policy template that you can use today:

A. Company objectives

This remote work proposal outline has our guidelines for employees who work remotely, i.e., from any place outside our physical office space. The plan is made such that remote work benefits both employees and our remote company.

We aim to provide better job satisfaction and increase employee productivity via our remote work policy and plan.

Remote working (or teleworking) is a permanent or temporary agreement between employees and managers where the former is permitted to work from a non office environment for more than [ xx months ].

Working from home for a maximum of [xx days ] a week on a recurring basis also falls under our plan.

C. Remote working agreement

Employees at [company name] can work remotely on a permanent or temporary basis. 

Employees who want to work remotely must submit a request to the HR team. They will assess and determine eligible employees and send a copy of the remote work agreement. 

To avail of all the remote working benefits, employees will have to sign the agreement. This document will explain the company culture and remote employee roles and duties.

Employees who are new parents or have a disability will have to consult with their manager and the human resources department to get longer periods of remote working.

D. Remote work guidelines

To ensure that employee performance increases due to the remote work arrangement, we advise our remote employees to adhere to these rules:

  • Have reliable internet access.
  • Work from a distraction-free and quiet home office space.
  • Concentrate on work duties during working hours by making a daily and weekly schedule.
  • Follow the break and attendance schedules as discussed with your manager.
  • Ensure your schedules overlap with in-office team members as it’s necessary to collaborate within a team.
  • Remote team members and managers should conduct online or in person meetings to discuss progress and results.

E. Compliance with policies

Our remote workers must also follow other company policies. 

Some of the policies include:

  • Employee code of conduct
  • Dress code 
  • Confidentiality
  • Data protection 
  • Anti-discrimination
  • Compensation and benefits
  • Internet and computer usage 
  • Cell phone usage, etc.

You will find the above policies within the employee handbook.

F. Equipment

According to our remote work plan we will provide each remote employee with essential equipment, like a laptop, headset, and cell phone. 

We will also install VPN (Virtual Private Network) and company-required software when the team members receive their equipment. As per the policy, we will not provide secondary equipment like printers and screens.

Remote employees will also receive [$xxx] per month as a remote working allowance to cover office-related costs like electricity and rent. 

Disclaimer: This remote work plan is not a valid legal document accounting for the local, state, or federal laws. Neither the author nor Time Doctor will assume any legal liability that may arise from using this sample remote work policy template.

What is a remote work plan?

A remote work plan is a document that makes remote work easy for you and your employees. 

It defines the responsibilities of your remote employee and what the employer expects from them. This document can guide your employees through remote working challenges using the right technology and practical solutions.

creating a remote work plan

How to create a remote work plan?

Your remote work policy and plan should be drafted with your team in mind. A well-written remote work policy can help you develop a successful remote work environment. 

Let’s look at the first steps of building an effective remote work policy or plan:

1. Establish clear rules

Though working from home can lead to increased productivity, the chances of employees slacking off at work are high.

You have to set a few clear guidelines in your remote work polic y to help your team stay focused during work hours.

For example, your coworkers – can log in at different times, which may disturb workflow.

You can avoid this by setting an agreeable time period for all employees to log in. 

This way, they can clock in when their remote team members usually start working and collaborate to work on projects.

2. Elaborate on employee eligibility

Not all employees are eligible to work from home. Some of them may misuse the benefits of working remotely by not logging in on time, not working during work hours, etc.

You must also consider the nature of the job. For example, a real estate agent will have to spend more time on the field than working from home. 

Moreover, before the remote work proposal, you should check whether your employees have:

  • Strong communication skills.
  • The ability to work without supervision .
  • Time management skills.

You should also consider whether they will be punctual during core business hours.

Screen employees by checking their previous attendance records , productivity charts , and overall yearly performance. 

Based on previous data and required soft skills, you can decide whether you can trust them to work sincerely from home.

3. Provide guidance to employees

Your remote work policy and plan should guide your team to work from home. 

They should be able to work remotely such that the workflow, team performance, and customer satisfaction aren’t disturbed.

For example, HR professionals who have to hire employees may find it difficult to work from home as they might not be able to conduct one-on-one meetings. Your remote job plan can recommend online assessments, phone calls, and video calls to conduct the remote hiring process. 

Additionally, consider setting an onboarding process to transition in-house employees into remote workers. You should also educate your team members on the company goals, their job duties, etc. 

4. Suggest the right tools

Employees may require equipment, like additional desktops and Wi-Fi, while working in a remote environment. You may also have to arrange a VPN or internet security software for employees to keep company information secure.

Additionally, you can provide a communication tool like Slack , so your remote workforce can have quick discussions. 

Your plan can also recommend a video conferencing service like Google Chat to build an effective and meaningful work relationship.

And finally, you can use software like Time Doctor to track time when your employee starts and ends working.

What is Time Doctor?

Time Doctor Homepage

Time Doctor is a powerful employee time tracking and performance management tool used by major companies, like Keller Williams as well as by small businesses like Thrive Market, to boost the productivity of employees working from home.

Time Doctor has several features to help you manage your remote employees . 

With Time Doctor, you can:

  • Track the time remote workers spend on each task and project.
  • Analyze employee productivity using detailed reports. 
  • Use screencasts to ensure your remote employees are actually working. 
  • Create work schedules to ensure remote employees log in during work hours.
  • Pay your remote employees for the hours they’ve worked with payroll integrations with Paypal , Wise , etc. 

4. Create a remote work schedule

By creating task lists, your employees can plan their flexible schedule around their personal lives – making it easier to manage tasks.

They can create a daily and monthly schedule on Google Calendar to accommodate all their work. For projects, you can use a  project timeline template and give them a schedule so that they can plan their day, week, and month accordingly.

5. Discuss compensation and benefits

You should offer your remote employees bonuses and wellness benefits like you would do with the employees working from a traditional office setting.

Additionally, you could also reimburse any money your remote workers spent on buying work from home essentials like laptops, printers, internet costs, etc. Or you can also come up with an agreement regarding the ownership and payment of devices.

You may also have to increase the number of their FMLA leaves( Family and Medical Leave Act) as they work from home.

6. Be mindful of employee legal rights

Just like your office team, remote workers also have legal rights – such as compensation for overtime. So you can set a limit to their daily working hours (i.e., 5 hours per day) so that you’ll know when they work overtime.

Similarly, you should tell your remote team about how their work will be monitored — as it can be considered a privacy breach if they aren’t informed beforehand. This way, you can prevent your telecommuting employees from feeling discriminated against. 

7. Focus on employee health and wellness

Remote work can be stressful to manage due to distractions, household responsibilities, the distance between the distributed team members, and several other reasons. 

Coworking parents may have to manage household chores, office work, and a child — which can be exhausting. 

Your company policy for remote work should prioritize the health and well-being of employees to make it convenient. You can schedule breaks, have quick chats, and informal team meetings to help boost your team members’ physical and mental health.

Additionally, you should consider setting up some fun group events and activities. 

For example, before your remote workforce starts their morning tasks, you can schedule a virtual 30-minute workout session for the entire team. This way, your employees can feel refreshed and energized when they log in to work.

You can also engage your remote team in casual video calls where they play games, conduct virtual events, and talk about things outside work. 

3 simple tips for a successful remote work plan 

Let’s look at a few actionable steps that you can take to ensure remote work success:

1. Streamline team collaboration

Your remote work policy should address that telecommuting employees may not be able to work as efficiently as before due to communication and distance issues.

You can avoid this by encouraging the use of collaboration tools to manage daily team tasks.

Tools like Trello and Asana allow you to assign tasks, share files, and add comments – making collaborative work super easy.

Additionally, your remote team members can also synchronize their plans by logging in and taking breaks simultaneously.

2. Increase employee engagement

Your remote work practices should keep your employees engaged such that their productivity and team output can increase. 

You can keep your employees engaged while they work from home by:

  • Regularly checking up on them.
  • Conducting fun virtual meetings like Zoom happy hours .
  • Making sure they feel valued by giving them bonuses or rewards.

By increasing employee engagement, you can also improve their job satisfaction and increase retention rates.

Want a foolproof way to increase engagement?

Check out our guide on the best employee engagement software in 2021.

3. Stay empathetic

A remote environment can have many distractions like noisy neighbors, demanding toddlers, etc. — which can make it hard to be a focused work environment. 

That’s why you need to be understanding when they are unable to submit work within the fixed business hours or skip a remote meeting due to valid issues. 

You can connect with them better by talking to them frequently and giving them regular feedback. This can help you create a bond with them, encouraging them to come to you when they need any help or face issues.

Wrapping up

Your company benefits from an employee remote work plan as it leads employees to work efficiently by directing them to focus on work. 

But creating a remote work plan isn’t enough. 

You’ll also need to introduce the right remote work tools like Time Doctor. With Time Doctor, you can easily track your employees’ work and guide them to increase their own productivity.

Sign up for Time Doctor’s 14-day trial to track your remote team’s performance today!

Time Doctor - start a free trial

Liam Martin is a co-founder of Time Doctor which is software to improve productivity and help keep track and know what your team is working on, even when working from home.

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How to implement an effective remote working strategy

November 14, 2022

Man in glasses sitting at desk in front of a laptop while writing into an open notebook

Source: djile/Shutterstock

The new normal: Remote working

The concept of remote working has come a long way. In its early stages, it was mostly unique to small start-ups lacking physical offices and digital nomads operating out of co-working spaces scattered across the world. Many things have changed since then. While the Covid-19 pandemic definitely played a major role in the worldwide shift to remote working , the model's standalone benefits have gone on to surpass expectations and are more than capable of holding its own.

The initial transition required some getting used to. Introducing video conferencing, new tools, and the right strategies proved challenging, and employers recognised that laying down a solid foundation was essential to a successful long-term telecommuting routine.

A remote working model allows businesses to save up to 40% in overhead costs

Amidst all the challenges encountered by business decision-makers, the benefits of a work-from-anywhere model were undeniable.  Some of these examples include: 


Challenges of setting up a remote working strategy

work from home challenges

  • Limited access to the right technology or getting timely access to tech issue resolution.
  • Lack of cohesion and communication between employees might lead to information getting lost in translation.
  • Difficulty unplugging after work or maintaining work-life balance
  • Lack of collaboration and socialising can lead to feelings of isolation among employees
  • Difficulty maintaining company culture for HR managers and business leaders.
  • Disconnect in training and development processes for onboarding new talent can be challenging for HR.
  • Difficulty in managing global teams scattered across different timezones

Important considerations for implementing an effective work-from-home strategy

home office space

HR involvement

Get your HR team involved early in developing all workforce management programmes. It is an essential step in helping departments communicate their plans to all their employees.

Transparency and clarity are key to ensuring that employees understand the financial reality, the reasons behind the department’s approach, and the potential impact it may have on them.

Workplace culture and employee experience

For employees accustomed to working in an office setup, a work culture that involves some degree of isolation can throw various curveballs to the assimilation process. The most jarring shift, perhaps, might come from working collaboratively in person to adapting to a collaborative expectation in a physically distanced setup. Both employees and employers must learn how to manage the changes in how internal communication can be maintained.

Workers must also acclimate to the introduction of new technology. This might include tools to track and manage workflows in a mobile working setting, help onboard new employees, streamline interdepartmental collaboration, and structure HR processes. Along with this comes the potential challenge of not having immediate access to an in-office IT department to troubleshoot any complications.

Another thing worth thinking about is what happens when homes begin to double as workspaces. For employees, identifying how to find a balance between personal and professional lives will prove to be a learning curve, as the line separating the two can easily blur under these circumstances.

Fostering an employee experience is integral to a company’s success. The physically distanced nature of teleworking settings can restrict the level of visibility companies have over employee engagement.

Employers must think about supporting remote work best practices in the long term. Be it through regular one-on-one phone calls, conducting periodic surveys or providing employees with sufficient access to information and knowledge tools to nurture their growth.

Maintaining compliance

Growing accustomed to the new reality of a telecommuting model also involves adjusting how compliance policies are managed. This is even more complex for companies with a global workforce as they will have to pay attention to the regulations that govern their own country as well as the ones of the countries where their employees live and work.

For traditional office environments, these regulations are clearly laid out, but when most (if not all) of your employees are working from home, restructuring your compliance program to ensure that your newly remote company is legally liable can present a lot of grey areas.

Some of the steps companies can take to maintain an effective compliance program include the following:

  • Updating your compliance policies to reflect a work-from-anywhere environment.
  • Consulting global mobility experts like Airswift to identify best practices for incorporating employee safety and liability considerations into a global remote organisation.
  • Implementing training sessions to ensure that employees are caught up on the latest changes in your company’s compliance policy.
  • Ensuring employees are aware of the dos and don’ts surrounding the handling of company information.
  • Conducting regular compliance audits to reaffirm your company’s commitment to maintaining compliance.

compliance pro tip (2)

“Where compliance is concerned, companies should be mindful of adding remote workers into the business in new locations, they should do so in a way that doesn’t trigger permanent establishment (PE) risks with corresponding corporate tax exposure.”

Consider the costs

There are plenty of tangible short-term savings to be made with regard to reduced overhead costs. However, you must consider the costs your organisation is ready to absorb from employees working from home. Before rolling out a long-term, flexible workplace model, companies must identify and outline the costs that will be covered along with the ones that won’t be.

From office equipment such as desks, laptops and scanners to stationery, insurance and the hiring and training of talent - be mindful of expenses that may be incurred through this new normal working model.

Data security risks

With employees working from their own spaces, increased use of unauthorised devices, insecure or public Wi-Fi networks and more put companies at greater risk of compromising their sensitive data. And that of their partners and clients. Making them susceptible to unintentional breaches of data protection laws.

Enforcing cybersecurity safeguards across scattered home office spaces whilst monitoring employee activities without infringing on their privacy can pose a challenge. This is further heightened for businesses that operate globally and must be in compliance with multiple data protection laws.

For employers to continue to protect their corporate and employee information whilst remaining compliant, steps must be taken to suss out and mitigate data security risks. Start by assessing your cybersecurity risk profile. Next, work with your IT and risk management teams to properly establish a clear and robust data security playbook.

Once this has been implemented, the next phase should involve recalibrating and communicating these procedures to your employees and management teams. Training in this arena is often necessary to ensure that all staff are educated and updated on company policies related to maintaining healthy data security habits.

Key metrics towards remote work success

remote work success

Establish clear communication

A clear communication strategy is the quintessential stepping stone towards a successful strategy. Ensuring employees perform consistently involves more than just tracking the times they're logging in and out of work. Therefore, project management teams must be precise in communicating their expectations from employees and perform regular check-ins to ensure that their virtual teams have the resources they need to meet these standards.

Employers should structure a clear workflow plan on an individual and team level with their staff. For the sake of transparency, this information should be available across the department so that employees know what they need to do to perform but are also looped into what their teammates are handling. This is so that they know what to expect and who to communicate with when challenges arise.

Online productivity tools such as Monday.com and Asana have proven helpful under these circumstances as they allow for easy reporting, productivity measuring and business continuity.

Define goals and measurable outcomes

While we know that clear communication is integral to any effective strategy, the concept itself can be rather abstract. What exactly entails clear communication? This is where we break down the specifics of setting up a seamless communication plan.

Questions to ask and answer might include:

  • What are the agreed-upon working hours for all team members to be available?
  • What tools will be used for communication, and what are the procedures involved?
  • What is an acceptable response time for emails and messages (take timezone differences into consideration)
  • Who reports to whom?
  • Who has access to which documents?
  • How are responsibilities delegated?

Having well-defined responsibilities is essential to ensuring that everyone in the team knows what they’re accountable for. It’s also important to remember not to work in silos.

Therefore, an open communication stream is necessary when discussing KPIs and expectations. It allows teams to acknowledge and agree on what they are working towards. It also makes it easier for employees to monitor their own progress against pre-defined targets and stay organised.

healthy remote work environment

Create healthy telecommuting environments for your employees

Satisfied employees are the backbone of any successful company. Make it a point to provide your employees with conditions they need to maintain productivity while working from home. This might include making sure they have the right equipment to setting up task management solutions to help them stay on top of their KPIs and track their progress.

On an intrinsic level, empower employees by reminding them that they are valued and their voices heard. Small gestures such as rewarding good performance, asking for opinions, or putting aside a few minutes daily to check their well-being can go a long way. In many cases, conducting employee surveys are useful in bridging the gap between expectation and actual experience.

Also, pay attention to behavioural changes such as lowered KPI scores, increased sick days, etc. These may be telling signs that something might not be right. In such instances, create a safe and comfortable space for employees to speak openly without strong-arming or interrogating them.

Reinforce company culture

When your virtual workforce is scattered across geographic locations and time zones, how do you cultivate an environment of trust and connectedness among employees? Here are some helpful tips:

  • Organise regular and informal Q&A sessions with team leaders and management staff
  • Send virtual kudos or shout-outs to recognise and encourage outstanding performance
  • Create a social channel on your business’s communication platform to allow employees from various departments to interact and mingle in a light-hearted environment
  • Schedule virtual townhalls or huddles once every quarter to re-establish company-wide goals, progress and values
  • Invest time into creating a thorough and informative employee onboarding deck, as this can help new remote team members familiarise themselves with and understand your company culture

How an Employer of Record helps businesses manage remote work processes

What is an employer of record.

An Employer of Record (EOR) is a service offered by global employment solutions providers. It allows their client company to legally employ staff in a foreign country where they don't have a legal entity.

While the client company is responsible for managing the performance and schedule of the employee, the EOR is regarded as the legal employer in the foreign location. An EOR’s responsibilities can include sponsoring work visas, managing payroll and taxes, immigration and making sure all labour regulations are followed. 

To learn more about the different functions provided by an Employer of Record, an article on EOR vs international business incorporation will provide you with deeper insight into why many companies opt to work with an Employer of Record while planning for international expansion .

Here are some ways an Employer of Record can help streamline global remote workforce management.

Manages all legal responsibilities on your behalf

An Employer of Record is legally responsible for handling all facets of compensation. This includes allocating employee benefits and managing taxes. Protecting you from any risks involving employee compensation and claims management. For remote employees that are based outside of their origin country, an EOR can help to provide them with the correct documentation to ensure they can continue to work legally.

Manage your back-office tasks

From overseeing employee onboarding and advising on notice periods and termination procedures to managing payment disparities to ensure your employees are compensated fairly, an Employer of Record handles all administrative tasks on your behalf.

Maintain compliance

An Employer of Record can help your company avoid compliance risk by ensuring you are aligned with different state and federal government regulations. This includes overseeing a remote employee's compensation, ensuring they are paid on time and withholding all necessary taxes.

Save time and money

From payroll to handling local regulations, an Employer of Record saves you time by handling all the bureaucracy on your behalf. By removing the need to set up a local entity in the host country your employees are based in, EORs can save business owners thousands of dollars. It also frees companies from investing money into hiring internal teams to manage administrative functions ranging from finance to legal procedures surrounding local employment law.

Advise on confusion about notice periods and termination rules

An EOR can help remote workers resolve these issues when there are no clear guidelines stated within their employment contract with the client company.

Navigating global workforce strategies with Airswift's Employer of Record services

Implementing an effective remote work strategy takes time and patience, especially when working with a globally dispersed team of international employees. Here at Airswift, we consider ourselves a global business with a local approach. We have more than 40 years of experience supporting companies in managing a global workforce across 60 countries worldwide.

Whether you’re working with remote teams across the globe or are looking to expand into new locations, our global employment and mobility (GEM) solutions range from tax and payroll processing, Employer of Record services , HR outsourcing and much more. All of which can be customised to suit your specific needs.

Get in touch with us today to learn more about how we can help you accomplish your global workforce management goals.

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This post was written by: Leanna Seah, Content Manager

Looking to expand your international team?

Learn about our Global Employment & Mobility services

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43 Remote Work Best Practices, Strategies, and Tips for Your Business

Use the following guide as a crash course for remote work best practices, strategies, and tips so you can better lead, manage, and perform on your remote teams.

Remote Work Research Report

Table of contents, what is remote work, benefits of working remotely, 4 tips for working remotely, building a remote work culture, how to engage remote employees, remote working survey questions, 3 tips for onboarding for remote workers, how to manage remote employees, 4 ways to boost employee performance while remote, professional development for remote workers, keeping remote workers connected.

43 Remote Work Best Practices, Strategies, and Tips for Your Business

Remote work isn’t new, but it is newly widespread. According to a Gallup poll,  56% of U.S. workers are working remotely  all or part of the time. And while some may start returning to work full-time or in a more hybrid capacity, the trend towards remote work seems here to stay.

Upwork’s Future of Workforce Pulse Report  estimates that by 2025, 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely , an 87% increase from pre-pandemic levels.

As more and more companies and employees embrace remote work, leaders and managers will need to re-learn and re-think some of the old ways of doing things. From team collaboration and meetings to performance management and schedules, remote work is transforming how, when, and where we work.

So what exactly is remote work? And how is it different from traditional office work? To get a better understanding of how to best approach remote work in your business, it’s helpful to have a clear definition:

Remote work definition

Remote work is essentially any work done away from a physical office location. Remote work gives employees the flexibility to do their work and stay productive and connected to their team and office from anywhere—whether on the road or at home.

For most, this means working from home or a favorite coffee shop. But others have embraced a “digital nomad” lifestyle—working and traveling across multiple locations.

The rise of cloud technology and improved communication and collaboration tools have allowed more and more teams to join the remote work movement. They are also starting to reap the added benefits and improved productivity that remote work can bring.

Despite initial hesitation from more traditionally-minded leaders to invest in remote work as a viable option for the workforce, most people now agree that remote work has compelling advantages.

Benefits of remote work include:

  • Increased employee engagement
  • Greater productivity
  • Reduced turnover
  • Positive employer brand
  • Lower overhead costs
  • Wider talent pool to recruit from

Employees want and value the flexibility and autonomy that remote work affords them. In fact, 54% of employees say they would change jobs for one that offered them more flexibility, which results in an average of 12% turnover reduction after a remote work agreement is offered.

And organizations benefit from happier employees who are more productive, engaged, and excited to work with the company.

Bottom line: Remote work is good for your bottom line—and your people.

Remote work statistics

Research proves time and time again the positive impact remote work can have on both employees and businesses.

Understanding how remote work impacts your teams will help you better address potential problems and prioritize the things that matter most to your employees—and that will make the biggest difference in long-term performance and engagement.

Here are just a few remote work statistics illustrating what the present and future of remote work might look like.

  • 61% of employees prefer being fully remote . A survey by Growmotely found that more than half of remote employees prefer working fully remote. Consider checking in with your workforce periodically to uncover their work preferences—whether fully remote, in-office full time, or a hybrid arrangement.
  • Only 76% of new hires agree they have what they need to do their job from home. Make sure your remote employees—especially new hires—have the tools and resources they need to do their work. This includes hardware as well as software, security access, platform logins, communication channels, and clear policies and organizational documentation. A robust onboarding process can help set up remote hires for success.
  • 77% of remote employees confirmed improved productivity. The verdict is in—remote employees tend to work longer hours and get more done. Just make sure you’re setting fair expectations and supporting work-life balance so your employees don’t burn out.
  • 62% of employees believe working remotely positively impacts engagement but only 5% are likely to stay at their company long-term. Although employees feel more engaged when working remotely, retention doesn’t always match. This is an opportunity to stay dialed in to your remote team’s engagement so you can take strategic steps to engage, connect, and retain your employees.

If you’re new to remote work, it can be a big shift from working in an office. Here are a few remote working tips to make the transition successful for you and your team.

1. Communicate, communicate, communicate.

With remote teams, it’s nearly impossible to over-communicate. Since you aren’t all working together in an office setting, you don’t have the opportunity to collaborate in person, check in at each others’ desks, or chat in the break room to stay up to date. This means you need to find other ways to communicate effectively and clearly.

Clarify early on how your team will communicate and the best channels for different types of work and topics (e.g., performance reviews vs. project updates).

These might include:

  • One-on-ones and check-ins
  • Team meetings
  • Video conferencing
  • Project management software

Frequent communication will help everyone stay on the same page and build better connections and trusted relationships across the team.

2. Clarify expectations.

You can avoid a lot of frustration, confusion, and misalignment through clear expectations from the start.

Set expectations around:

  • Communication
  • Scheduling and availability
  • Performance and feedback
  • Recognition
  • Calendars and deadlines 
  • Goals and mission

Clarifying how, when, and where your team will work can improve efficiency, keep everyone aligned, and prevent conflict from the start.

3. Increase feedback loops.

Juggling communication and schedules across a remote team can be tricky—especially if people are working in different time zones. That’s why establishing a consistent feedback culture is so important.

Managers should regularly solicit feedback from their remote teams to understand how best to support individual employees, identify areas of potential conflict or friction, build trusted relationships, and drive performance.

4. Set healthy boundaries.

Working from home can blur the lines between personal life and work life. Remote workers already work longer hours than office workers, putting them at risk for extra stress and even burnout.

Help keep your remote employees happy and well by setting healthy boundaries around work :

  • Limit hours of availability
  • Encourage self-care
  • Build wellness into your team activities (e.g., host regular mindfulness breaks)
  • Share about family life or personal interests outside work
  • Require regular breaks from the screen

Just because you aren’t all gathered in an office doesn’t mean you don’t have a team or company culture. That’s why it’s important to focus on building a healthy and productive culture from the start.

How remote work impacts culture

Culture is made up of the attitudes, behaviors, and values of a group or organization. In other words, it’s the heart and soul of your company and its people.

When you add remote work into your company dynamics, that will impact how employees and leaders work together. For example, we know remote work can improve productivity and performance—but it doesn’t always translate to higher employee retention.

Building a strong remote work culture from the start can help you capitalize on the benefits of remote work while mitigating some of the risks and challenges that are unique to distributed teams.

Working remotely pros and cons

When teams work remotely, culture can be harder to define and implement. But distance doesn’t have to result in disconnection.

Remote workers typically value and appreciate greater flexibility and autonomy over their work and schedules. This can translate to a positive culture of mutual trust and accountability. Plus, when workers have fewer organic opportunities to connect with their team members in person, they may be more engaged with team-building activities that foster connection.

There are also challenges to remote work that can impact culture. For example, distance and differing schedules can cause misalignment and miscommunication.

Additionally, with the line between home and work blurred, workers may end up working long hours and have difficulty taking breaks and signing off at the end of the day or on weekends. This can create an unhealthy burnout culture that stretches your team thin and makes employees feel like they have to be available to each other at all times of day or night.

Understanding these pros and cons of remote work and how they can impact your culture can help you strategically develop your remote culture.

5 culture-boosting remote working tools

Technology is your friend when it comes to remote work. And fortunately, there are tons of options and solutions to help remote teams stay connected and productive from anywhere.

Focus on remote working tools that streamline communication, enable collaboration, and reduce friction for workers—whether that’s tracking work assignments or following up with coworkers.

  • Zoom helps teams build connection with face-to-face interaction. Features like breakout rooms and screen sharing make it easy for teams to collaborate. Real-time human interaction is great for participating in team-building activities like virtual happy hours.
  • Slack is a good option for keeping team communication clear and fun—from tracking work and checking in to fostering team connection with water-cooler chats and sub-channels for special interests.
  • Lucidspark is a virtual collaboration tool that makes it easy for teams to communicate and brainstorm in real-time (or asynchronously). The infinite whiteboard is your canvas for sharing ideas, sketching projects, and planning work. Use it for work or play to promote team connection and streamline communication and collaboration from afar.
  • Blink is a remote work management app that optimizes mobile employee experiences. It includes features like calendar management, discussion boards, and a newsfeed—making it easy for employees to stay connected on the go.
  • Quantum Workplace takes the guesswork out of remote employee engagement with intuitive performance management solutions, intelligent data analysis, and integrated feedback, recognition, and survey tools so employees and leaders can stay connected, aligned, and on track.

4 strategies for building a remote work culture

You know culture is important. But how can you actually build a remote work culture if your employees aren’t physically together? Here are 4 strategies to get started:

1. Find out what your employees think.

To build a strong culture, you first need to understand what your current culture is and how your employees experience it. The easiest way to do this is to ask!

Send out an employee survey with questions and ranking statements like:

  • I believe in the work that we do.
  • I understand and support our organization’s mission and vision.
  • I like the culture of this organization.
  • Our culture supports the mission and vision of the organization.
  • The leaders of the organization contribute to the positive culture of this organization.
  • We have a culture of (recognition, feedback, transparency, etc.).

A culture survey can give you insights into what is working well and opportunities to improve so you can target your culture-building efforts strategically.

2. Make culture part of your strategy.

If you don’t have a plan, you’re not going to achieve the results you hope for. And this applies to company culture too. Culture is built with intention, so include remote work as part of your overall organizational and engagement strategy.

By prioritizing culture and approaching engagement, you can better address barriers to remote work and ensure your talent initiatives align with the culture you’re trying to create.

3. Promote activities that build connection.

Working remotely doesn’t mean you can’t feel close to your team. Make time for activities other than work communication to foster team connection remotely .

This can be as simple as taking 5 minutes at the beginning of your weekly team meetings to share about your weekends or scheduling virtual team breaks together to get to know each other. Small steps like these go a long way towards creating a welcoming, inclusive, and positive hybrid team.

4. Recognize achievement.

People want to know that they matter—and this doesn’t change when they work outside the office. But working remotely can make it easy for employee contributions to go unnoticed. Don’t let that happen.

Make employee recognition an integral part of your remote work culture and engagement strategy. Show appreciation for achievements big and small, both publicly and privately, so your employees know their work is valued.

A positive remote work culture won’t happen overnight. Create a plan and work on cultivating a strong culture for the long run.

Engaging employees from afar will look different than some of your go-to in-office initiatives. However, there are overlapping strategies and many shared principles.

Just like your in-house employees, remote workers want to feel part of the company culture and team. They want to know their work is valued and that their contributions matter. And they want to see a future at the company that allows them to grow and develop.

Of course, meeting these needs and expectations can be tricky when you’re not all gathered in a shared office. Below are a few ideas for keeping your remote employees engaged from day one.

Remote work and employee engagement

Despite the many advantages and benefits of remote work, employee engagement isn’t a given. Engaging remote employees will require strategic efforts and ongoing evaluation.

In other words, it’s not enough to throw in virtual happy hours or remote perks. Real, lasting engagement goes deeper than that. It’s about knowing what your employees need and want and making sure your culture, processes, and policies support them.

12 employee engagement ideas for remote workers

Engaging remote employees isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You’ll need a multi-pronged strategy to meet your employees where they are and ensure they have the tools and support they need to stay engaged long-term.

Here are 12 engagement ideas for remote workers :

  • Stay connected through technology
  • Show appreciation and recognition for their contributions
  • Prioritize team building
  • Give employees the right tools and resources
  • Set clear expectations
  • Streamline communication processes
  • Ask for and give constructive feedback
  • Keep workers in the loop on company news and changes
  • Be flexible and empathetic
  • Implement a clear onboarding process
  • Hold regular team meetings
  • Check in for consistent one-on-ones

Building an engaged remote team is an ongoing process. Keep these tips in mind when crafting your strategy for engaging remote employees.

Surveys play a crucial role in understanding your remote employees’ needs, preferences, and unique challenges.

In addition to regular one-on-one meetings and team check-ins, pulse surveys help leaders “get a pulse” of their remote teams to see how things are going. They give people leaders valuable insight into what’s working and what’s not, and help identify gaps or opportunities in performance and engagement initiatives.

Pulse surveys are short, focused questionnaires, typically just 5-15 questions on a given topic. A remote work survey could focus on:

  • Remote work effectiveness
  • Remote work planning
  • Workplace reopening or return to work
  • Work-from-home lessons learned
  • Remote team culture
  • Remote team communication

Pick a focus for your survey and craft questions around that theme. Remote work survey questions might include:

  • I feel supported by my manager when working from home.
  • I feel connected to my team when working from home.
  • I feel informed about the organization’s goals and priorities when working from home.
  • Please explain your ideal work environment (hybrid, remote, at the office) and why.
  • My team has the tools and resources needed to support remote work.
  • I can effectively coach my team members when they work remotely.
  • To manage a remote team, what tools, resources, or training do you need to be effective?

Pulse surveys not only allow you to get feedback on a specific topic, but they also allow you to target specific groups or teams of employees so you can take strategic localized action.


Onboarding plays a fundamental role in engaging your remote employees and setting them up for long-term success with your company.

According to SHRM, employee turnover can be as high as 50% in the first 18 months of employment. That’s a huge cost for companies who have invested time and money to hire and train new recruits. But building a strong onboarding program can help reduce turnover and give remote employees the tools and support they need to do well—and want to stick around.

The next logical question, of course, is how do you onboard new employees when you’re remote? Here are few things to consider:

1. Prepare their set-up.

Since remote employees aren’t coming into your office, they won’t necessarily come equipped with all the tools they need to be successful. Before they even start work, make sure they have what they need to get started, such as Wi-Fi capacity, user logins, and access, conferencing tools. You might even include a stipend for workers to use to set up their own work-from-home office and desk station.

2. Convert onboarding materials for virtual learning.

This includes any organizational charts, company benefits packages, training manuals, contracts, employee handbooks, etc. Make sure they have permission to access these documents and walk through them with your employee so they understand how to find the information they need.

3. Make introductions.

During the first week, set up virtual introductory calls with team members and other leaders to help them get to know who they will be working with and start building those relationships from the beginning.

The main goal is to make sure your remote hires feel welcomed, supported, and included from day one. Don’t drop them in and let them sink or swim.

Give them the tools they need to succeed and regularly check-in and check up on them to see how they are adjusting, identify any challenges they may be facing, answer questions, and create opportunities for coaching and long-term development. These are the building blocks of engaged and productive employees no matter where they do their work.

One of the biggest fears and challenges for remote managers is how to lead their teams from afar . Keeping track of performance and building a strong team culture can feel daunting when you’re not all in an office together.

But ultimately, managing people remotely relies on many of the same leadership principles as in-house management.

People want to be trusted to do their work, they want to be recognized for their contributions and feel a sense of purpose in their work, and they want regular feedback so they can continue to grow and develop.

When leaders understand these core values and needs, they can better manage their teams no matter where they’re located.

4 tips for managing team dynamics while remote

Of course, the dynamics of a remote team are different from an in-house team. When people aren’t sharing an office space, they don’t have the same opportunities for connection, communication, or collaboration.

In other words, how, where, and when they work will look different from in-house employees (and maybe even from each other if they are on flexible schedules or different time zones).

That’s why remote managers need to pay special attention to managing and promoting positive remote team dynamics.

1. Prioritize clear and consistent communication.

We’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again. The number one way to effectively manage remote teams is to prioritize effective communication.

Make sure you have clear processes in place for how and when your team will communicate with each other. This will streamline your workflows, build trust, and ensure accountability across the board.

2. Build trust and connection.

People need to trust each other in order to do good work. Foster trust and connection through honest communication, feedback, and team-building exercises. Work with your team to establish clear expectations and boundaries so everyone is on the same page and can take ownership of their work.

3. Explore new ways to collaborate.

Collaboration traditionally looks like everyone in a room brainstorming and meeting together. With remote teams, collaborating must happen virtually. Experiment with different tools and strategies for collaboration.

Collaboration can happen in real-time with meeting tools like Zoom or Lucidspark, but it can also happen asynchronously—with team members contributing to the conversation at different times of the day or week and following up on the work later. Try different tools and channels to see what works for your specific team based on workflows, goals, preferences, and personalities.

4. Run effective meetings.

Meetings are your most expensive management tool. Make sure you’re getting value out of them by running effective virtual meetings —whether those are one-on-ones, group collaboration sessions, or team meetings.

Plan out regular meetings ahead of time on the calendar so everyone knows when they need to be available. Send out agendas so everyone is prepared. And choose and use your communication tools wisely—remember that sometimes simple is better, and not all shiny features are necessary for leading a productive, focused meeting.

4 remote work team building ideas

Don’t let physical distance create emotional distance between your team members. Take time to intentionally build connections among your employees and cultivate a cohesive, remote team.

Remote team building doesn’t have to be complicated either. Here are a few simple ways to get the ball rolling.

1. Get-to-know-you games.

People work better together when they know and trust one another. Break the ice and help your employees build stronger relationships with easy but fun get-to-know-you games that spark conversation like:

  • Match the fact to the person
  • Would you rather
  • 2 truths and a lie

Just remember to keep it PG.

2. Office trivia.

Collect facts and trivia about people on your team (and even the company in general) and see how well you each know your coworkers. This is a fun way to learn more about each other and build team spirit with some healthy, low-stakes competition.

3. Team retreats.

Annual team or company retreats are a great way to bring people together in person for some deeper team bonding. If your company can afford to, set aside a weekend for a casual retreat to strengthen team connections and company culture and make shared memories.

4. Virtual happy hours.

Sometimes work breaks and meetings are too stuffy for people to open up and connect more genuinely. Virtual happy hours are a fun way to wind down at the end of the day and enjoy more casual conversation and company. You can host them on Zoom and invite the team to make their own drinks at home—bonus if they share their favorite recipes!

No matter where your employees are, managers are tasked with helping them do their jobs successfully. But managing employee performance remotely can be daunting. Here are a few ways to keep performance on track.

1. Stay connected with regular one-on-one meetings.

One-on-ones are a crucial tool in the remote manager’s toolbox. When your team is remote, you don’t have the same opportunities to connect with your team organically—from popping over to their desk for a quick chat to catching up in the break room.

This means dedicated check-ins are even more critical to building trusted relationships with your remote employees and taking the pulse on their work performance.

Stay connected and involved with regularly scheduled one-on-one meetings —we recommend at least once a month, but for remote teams, more frequent check-ins can be especially beneficial. This not only allows you to monitor and support individual employees’ performance, but it also gives you a clearer picture of the entire team’s performance so nothing falls through the cracks.

2. Align hybrid and remote teams with strategic goals.

When your teams are distributed, it’s easy for the right hand to be ignorant of what the left hand is doing. Misalignment can lead to missed deadlines, unclear accountabilities, miscommunication, and lower quality customer service across the organization.

That’s why it’s important to align teams on strategic goals . When your teams are working together towards a shared purpose, this drives performance and accountability and makes it easier for leaders and their teams to prioritize their work and communicate from a place of unity.

3. Show employees your appreciation and support with recognition.

In the office or at home, employee recognition remains a key driver of employee engagement and performance. When employees are remote, it can be easy to feel disconnected or even invisible to the rest of the team or organization—especially if your workforce has a hybrid mix of in-office and at-home employees. That’s why it’s crucial to build employee recognition into your team culture.

There are several types of recognition:

  • Peer-to-peer recognition
  • Manager-to-employee recognition
  • Anonymous recognition
  • Private recognition
  • Public recognition

Incorporating all of them into your recognition strategy based on employee preferences will ensure you meet the needs of your team and recognize employees in the ways that are most meaningful to them. As you recognize your remote workers, you will build their confidence, motivation, and sense of purpose and direction resulting in better performance and stronger engagement.

4. Boost trust and encourage development with performance feedback.

Employees can’t improve if they don’t know what to work on. That’s why feedback is so important. Make sure feedback is:

  • Timely 
  • Constructive

Cultivate a feedback culture that goes both ways—top-down and bottom-up so that both employees and leaders have a chance to give and receive constructive input.

Ask for feedback during one-on-ones, team meetings, and through surveys to get insight on how your team members are feeling and identify ways you or the company can improve.

Regular, constructive feedback from managers, coaches, and peers can help remote employees understand what is expected, identify areas for improvement, and better align their efforts with the overall goals of the team and organization.

Professional development is a key driver of employee engagement—whether they’re in the office or remote. Professional development helps employees feel a greater sense of purpose and direction, increased motivation and sets employees up for successful long-term careers with your company.

But you can’t take professional development for granted. Developing your remote employees requires strategic planning, honest communication, and consistency.

Here are a few best practices to prioritize and optimize remote employee development :

  • Find out what your remote employees want and expect for their future and have honest conversations about how to help them achieve their goals.
  • Use one-on-ones to identify opportunities for growth, ensure they have the tools and resources they need to succeed and coach them on ways to improve.
  • Invest in virtual learning resources and programs for remote employees to access from anywhere. This can include a free digital library of resources, access to company subscriptions for online learning platforms, and regular virtual company training, webinars, and lunch n’ learns.
  • Consider building a remote mentorship program, pairing senior employees with newer or early-career team members. This will not only help employees progress in their careers but also build a strong connected culture among your teams and organization.

When employees aren’t sharing a workspace together, it takes extra effort to ensure teams feel connected and build a strong culture of trust.

Steps both large and small can add up to make a big difference—from holding regular virtual team meetings and communicating via video and Slack channels for personalities to shine through to implementing organization-wide policies that promote connection , inclusion, and wellbeing.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Employees who feel included and fairly treated are more likely to stick around and will have an easier time connecting with their coworkers. Luckily, remote work expands an organization’s opportunities to embrace diversity and inclusion because the talent pool is no longer limited to a specific location.

Instead, hiring managers can look outside the immediate area surrounding the office to recruit workers from a diverse range of locations, backgrounds, experiences, and identities—all of which can bring new perspectives, improve the culture of your organization, and create an inclusive environment for people to do their best work.

Additionally, remote work also makes it easier for people with disabilities or workers who need more flexible schedules (like caregivers), to pursue and succeed in full-time employment.

Understanding this, companies can build more inclusive and equitable remote work policies that attract and retain top talent from anywhere in the world. From opening up the interview process to remote video interviews to allowing flexible schedules for remote employees, remote-friendly policies can transform and empower your business to include and value employees no matter where they’re from or how and where they work.

Remote worker wellbeing.

Burnout is a real risk for both in-house and remote workers. Although remote workers tend to report having a better work-life balance as a result of greater flexibility (including time to visit the doctor), lack of a grueling commute, and more time to exercise and get outside, remote workers also tend to work more hours than their office counterparts and are less likely to take time off .

This means leaders need to be extra conscious of how their remote teams are doing and take proactive steps to promote employee wellbeing .

  • Setting a "no-emails-after-6PM" policy
  • Instituting a "no-work-on-weekends" policy to ensure employees get weekend breaks
  • Checking in regularly with employees to see how they’re doing and make sure they aren’t overworked
  • Educating yourself on the signs of burnout and looking for early warning signs on your team
  • Allowing greater schedule flexibility so workers can manage their time in a way that works best for them
  • Providing generous employee benefits including health and PTO so employees can prioritize their wellbeing

Building remote worker wellbeing into your policies and work culture will not only result in happier, healthier employees, but also reward you with a stronger culture, and a more productive and engaged workforce.

A bright, remote future

Whether full-time or hybrid, for many organizations remote work is here to stay. And as employees increasingly expect and demand flexibility and remote options, leaders will need to adapt to a new normal for managing remote teams.

Luckily, with the right technology and employee engagement solutions, managing remote workers can be just as rewarding—and productive—as managing an in-house team. Learn how to manage your remote teams and lead the way (remotely). Explore our solutions page for more information below.

Published May 27, 2021 | Written By Jocelyn Stange

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What Is Your Organization’s Long-Term Remote Work Strategy?

  • Erin E. Makarius,
  • Barbara Z. Larson,
  • Susan R. Vroman

business plan for working remotely

Ten questions to guide your approach.

Companies shifted quickly and unexpectedly to remote work in early 2020, but leaders planning for a post-pandemic future have an opportunity to take a more intentional, strategic approach to remote work.  Most likely this will involve revisiting a number of 1) company policies and 2) management practices.  The authors examine key emerging trends in these areas and suggest a number of questions leaders should ask themselves as they plan for their organization’s optimal mix of remote work.

Virtually all projections anticipate the post-pandemic workforce will be relatively more remote — that is, nearly all firms will experience an increase in remote work relative to their pre-pandemic baseline levels.

As pandemic restrictions ease, company leaders need to make decisions about how to achieve an optimal remote work strategy. Unlike the reactive shift that began abruptly in early 2020, the coming shift can be proactive and intentional . And yet, in a recent PWC survey of 133 US executives , nearly one-third described their approach to post-pandemic remote work as “going with the flow.”

Rather than simply shifting operations “back to normal,” we urge leaders to think about how they can leverage recent remote-work experiences to intentionally plan for a remote/hybrid workforce in the future. Leaders must think strategically about their remote work policies and practices going forward. And, whether you lead a company or a small team, now is the time to start planning.

Our research, executive education, and corporate advisory experience suggests that the key decisions leaders will face fall into two main categories: company policies and management practices. Below, we take a look at key emerging trends in each of these categories.

Company policies

A proactive implementation of remote work may require updating company policies to fit the needs of a dispersed workforce. As companies reconsider existing policies, they’ll need to address the following questions.

What’s the right mix of remote work for your organization?

Possible scenarios include a primarily remote, hybrid (with employees in the office part-time, typically two or three days per week), or a primarily in-office setting. To determine the optimal policy for your organization, leaders should factor in the following strategic considerations:

  • Nature of the work. Independent tasks — that do not rely heavily on collaboration or coordination with others — are ideal for remote work. Highly collaborative work can also be successful remotely, but requires more effort to manage . Obviously, some jobs simply cannot be performed remotely, but these may be fewer than you think. Companies continue to stretch the boundaries of remote work, with technologies like robotics and augmented reality being used to enable remote machine maintenance in manufacturing, and even some medical screenings and diagnosis functions .
  • Experience level of the workforce. New employees or those recently promoted typically benefit from an initial period of time in the office, both to build relationships and to gain the implicit knowledge that can be more easily absorbed in the office environment. If the workforce is primarily remote, synchronous virtual orientation sessions or on-site retreats may be beneficial.
  • Employee preferences. Individual choices should be taken into consideration given differences in personalities and preferences for remote work. Although some employees may indicate preferences now, those conversations should be revisited as work patterns and routines normalize.
  • Real estate costs and carbon footprint. Less may be more to position for sustainability or scalable growth.  

Are you ready to consider a work from anywhere (WFA) policy?

This would enable employees to live anywhere they wish (typically within a defined region, such as the United States, or the European Union), as long as they are able to productively perform their work for the company. Early research on WFA suggests that granting geographic flexibility enables employees to pursue bigger life goals related to “residential satisfaction,” and that this benefit may actually increase employee productivity relative to WFH conditions.

Strategic considerations for WFA include the potential for an increased talent pool, as well as competitive recruitment of highly sought-after employees. Company leadership also needs to decide how best to take advantage of asynchronous work in a WFA environment while managing challenges related to scheduling and task coordination. State-specific tax consequences are also likely to evolve depending on the number of employees and roles performed while working from home.

How can you maintain a strong company culture?

Company culture may need to be reinforced or refined as work transitions to more remote/hybrid models. Spreading knowledge of the norms, values, and assumptions important to the organization becomes more difficult with a distributed workforce. Recommendations for sustaining culture in a virtual environment include town halls and special lunches to build shared experiences, pulse check surveys to check whether shared values are coming across to employees, and intentional communications about programs and initiatives important to the organization.  

Which HR policies will need to be updated?

Companies considering fully remote or hybrid work may need to change a variety of human resource policies and practices:

  • Recruiting strategies may need to focus on new or different skills and competencies for potential candidates, such as self-motivation, initiative-taking, and effective virtual communications.
  • Compensation decisions, such as adjusting salaries for working from home and scaling pay relative to geographic offices, are important to consider. One survey indicated that around 44% of employees would be willing to reduce their pay by 10% to work remotely forever. Some companies such as Facebook and Twitter have announced they will adjust the pay of employees who choose to move away from their headquarters to areas with lower costs of living.
  • Benefit programs may be adapted to reflect the shift from traditional on-site perks to more remote options. For example, one of our corporate contacts has begun receiving a company-provided Peleton subscription as a substitute for a previous gym-membership benefit.

What kinds of new training will need to be offered?

Companies are increasingly realizing that training in the social and relational aspects of remote work is at least as important as training in technology and company policies. Results from a recent survey show that 64% of executives plan to invest in training leaders to manage a more virtual workforce. Our own research found that, prior to the pandemic, only 30% of companies trained employees in virtual work skills, and that training overwhelmingly focused on software technology and company policies.

We recommend that companies provide training on relational skills known to enhance remote work, including: establishing working norms, building trust, effective virtual communication patterns, and incorporating social elements into virtual work relationships. For example, training on bursty communications , where ideas are given and responses provided quickly, can be provided as these communication bursts have been shown to generate greater productivity and better remote team outcomes. In addition, training on managing hybrid teams will be valuable in maintaining equity between remote and on-site employees.

Management practices

In addition to company policy, organizations should consider adapting management practices and behaviors to a remote or hybrid work environment. Here are a few questions that managers should think about as part of the transition to a longer-term remote workforce:

How can you foster a healthy remote-work climate?

One of the most important aspects of managing a remote or hybrid workforce in the long run will be establishing an organizational climate that is encouraging and positive for remote workers. ( Organizational climate is different than organizational culture, and refers to the perceptions employees have about their work environment.)

One effective tool is a leader-supported declaration of organizational expectations related to remote work. For example, in the early days of the pandemic, IBM employees created a “work-from-home pledge” that specified company norms such as how to communicate and treat each other while working remotely. This grassroots initiative was ultimately supported by IBM’s CEO , which provided a strong signal to the rest of the organization about accepted remote-work norms. Similar leader-led supportive statements and behaviors can have significant impact on the remote-work climate that evolves post-pandemic.

How can you help employees manage competing work and life priorities?

In a remote or hybrid work environment, leaders have the opportunity to help employees enact models to effectively manage work and life. Sometimes this involves demonstrating that the goal may not be to find a perfect balance, but more of a work-life rhythm that works best for them.

Employees watch their managers for cues on how to do this . Boundary management research identifies several types of boundaries that leaders can help employees establish and maintain, including:

  • Physical/spatial (e.g., having a dedicated work space)
  • Temporal (e.g., finding the optimal time to work)
  • Relational/interpersonal boundaries (e.g., when is it okay for colleagues to reach out)
  • Cognitive (e.g., individual preferences for integrating or segmenting work)
  • Behavioral (e.g., faking a commute through a walk or stationary bike ride)

How can you create a sense of psychological safety?

Research has demonstrated that high-performing teams have a sense of psychological safety where employees feel they can speak up, ask for help, and offer ideas without being punished or ostracized. Psychological safety is valuable in the remote work environment and can be increased when managers:

  • Ask questions (such as checking in on employees to see how they are doing),
  • Show vulnerability (sharing experiences, such as when you accidentally used a cat filter on an important video call)
  • Invite participation from all team members (asking “What do you think? What’s your perception of this? What are we missing?)”
  • Encourage risk (letting employees try out new ideas, pitch new processes, etc)

How can you consciously engage employees?

Research indicates that even small amounts of high-quality social interactions , such as those demonstrating compassion or concern, can lower stress and improve well-being. Repeated occurences of these interactions throughout the day can provide a sense of belonging , mitigating the feelings of isolation often associated with remote work.

A study of remote colleagues indicated that a predictable communication cadence fosters productive and trusting working relationships. Managers can build cadence among employees by using meetings as opportunities for employees to connect socially and foster personalized relationships through sharing songs, photos, or fun facts.

In addition, leaders can establish practices for team collaboration. Building a shared mindset for dispersed and digital teams promotes a common identity and common understanding. This can be developed by setting team goals, providing a shared information context, and clarifying the purpose of the team, similar to team development in traditional office setting s. Events to proactively connect in-office and remote workers should be maintained as well going forward, such as virtual coffee chats and remote office hours.

How can you nurture employee trust and accountability?

After the Covid-19 crisis has passed, managers may need to find ways to re-establish trust among remote teams on a longer-term basis. Because it is more difficult to know and understand employee actions and motivations in remote work, establishing competence and interpersonal trust can be challenging.

Managers can invest in technology to set and update goals and objectives related to desired outcomes and generate feedback on those objectives. For example, General Electric (GE) replaced a performance management system with a coaching app called PD@GE  to provide real-time information and feedback to employees. Managers set up touch points throughout the year to build accountability and help employees develop professionally. Importantly, these types of technologies are not used to monitor employee presence, but to provide opportunities to share information and guide employees.

As we return to pre-pandemic workplaces, strategic decisions about whether or how to develop a remote and hybrid work come to the forefront. With intentional planning, organizations can proactively consider company policies and management practices to transform their remote workforce.  Now is the time to reflect on how much you and your employees have learned over the past year, and use your new knowledge and experience to create your own optimal workplace of the future.

business plan for working remotely

  • Erin E. Makarius is an associate professor of management at the University of Akron’s College of Business Administration.
  • Barbara Z. Larson is executive professor of management and director of partnerships at Northeastern’s D’Amore-McKim School of Business. Her research focuses on the personal and interpersonal skills that people need to work effectively in virtual environments, and she works with collaborators in both academia and industry to develop training methods and materials to enable more productive virtual work. Prior to her academic career, Professor Larson worked for 15 years in international finance and operations leadership, most recently as Director of International Finance at R.R. Donnelley.
  • Susan R. Vroman is a lecturer of management at Bentley University.  Her research interests include the impact leadership enactment has on organizational culture and employee engagement, with specific focus on supporting flexible work arrangements.  Prior to her academic career, Dr. Vroman worked for over 20 years as an organizational effectiveness and strategic human resource management executive and advisor. She continues this work in a consulting capacity.

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What to Include in a Remote Work Proposal

Show that you'll be a productive work-at-home employee

  • Queens College
  • Harvard University Extension School

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  • Wichita Technical Institute

In This Article

Jump to a Section

  • General Remote Work Proposal Tips
  • Describe Your Work Plan
  • List Any Extenuating Circumstances
  • Show How the Company Will Benefit
  • Outline Your Availability
  • Describe Your Home Office Setup
  • Be Clear About What You'll Need From the Employer
  • Include Additional Assurances and Strategies

A remote work proposal is a written request to work from home or some other virtual office location outside of the corporate location. Detailed remote work proposals can help convince your supervisor or employer to allow you to telecommute , at least part-time.

Write the work-from-home proposal from your employer's perspective and answer any questions or concerns about your not being physically at the office.

There are some things you should know before asking to work from home.

Remote Work Proposal Tips

Below are the questions you should answer in your remote work proposal. The idea is to answer what your supervisor will most likely be wondering when it comes to whether or not you should be given a work from home position.

What's Your Work Plan?

Give a description of the proposed work plan, with details on the length of the plan and the proposed trial period.

This is important because you want the proposal to be framed as a trial only. You're not suggesting an ultimatum or putting pressure on the company to make a decision right now. They can gauge your performance while you work from home and see if it'll ultimately be a benefit.

Here's an example:

I would like to explore the possibility of performing my duties as a web developer from my home office for three days a week. I propose that we can do a three-month trial telecommuting arrangement starting on March 1st and then evaluate continuing that work arrangement based on my productivity and quality of work.

Are There Any Extenuating Circumstances?

If you have pressing reasons why you need to work from home, go ahead and mention them, but if not, don't make them up.

Maybe you're pregnant but you want to keep getting your work done while at home with your baby. Or, maybe your wife or child just passed away — or you were recently injured and can barely walk — working from home would help ease the transition from homestay to going back to work.

Another reason could be that it's hard to deal with your co-workers. Maybe they're extremely distracting or unhelpful, and working from home would provide you that much-needed peace of mind. However, be sure to really consider whether this is worth mentioning because it could cause a rift between you and the other workers or even your boss.

How Will the Company Benefit?

An important question your employer will most definitely be wondering is how advantageous to the department and company your working from home will be. If it doesn't benefit them financially, it's probably a no-go.

State everything you can think of for how telecommuting will benefit the business. Here are some ideas that might apply to your situation:

  • Cost savings : They won't be buying your coffee, or taking you out to lunch, or ordering office supplies for your desk, or paying for your electricity and water usage, etc. The same is true for you: you won't have to pay for gas to get to work, or train/ Uber /bus fees.
  • Increased productivity : Many people who work from home explain that with fewer distractions and zero over-the-shoulder management, it's easier to get work done and stay on task for extended periods of time. Describe how you think your work will improve being away from the office.
  • Greater employee morale : It can be hard to be enthusiastic about your work when you're surrounded by downer employees and the typical office setting. Explain in your remote work proposal that being at home or in a more relaxed setting is exactly what you need to stay motivated and excited about your work.
  • Flexible schedule : Some people who work from home manage to arrange with their company that they'll work the hours they want so long as the work gets done on time. This type of schedule can be really helpful to the company because they can rely on you basically any time of day, or even on the weekends.

Reinforce that you have been a valuable staff member and that you believe you can maintain or even increase your productivity and work quality from home, where there are fewer interruptions than at the office. If your company already has a telecommuting policy, incorporate facts about it here.

How Will You Communicate With the Office?

Indicate whether your current schedule will stay the same or not and any effect it may have on workflow. For example, note if you'll be in the office on days when regular meetings tend to happen or if you'll be available for meetings on other days in person or via remote conferencing.

Assure your employer that you will remain available from home during regular business hours for keeping in touch with your supervisor, co-workers, and customers.

How Will Your Home Office Function?

Provide a description of your work address, location, and phone number(s), as well as your workspace. Emphasize the ways in which it ensures privacy, allows freedom from diversions, and enhances focus.

It might even be a good idea to set up your home office ahead of time, even if you're unsure whether your remote work proposal will be accepted so that you can get a feel for how it looks and feels. This will help you explain how it all works.

What Will You Need From Us?

Do you need equipment and other resources from the company? Outline your current setup and what the company might need to provide.

For example, your home office might be fully equipped with everything needed to perform your job efficiently and effectively: broadband internet access , a computer, a dedicated work phone number, and a webcam.

However, you might have to propose that you'll need to use the company's established VPN setup to connect to the office desktop and transfer files securely over the network.

Mention any hardware or software needed for your specific job duties. You probably don't need a desk or a computer chair, but if you have lots of items that need printed and taken into the office every few weeks, for example, you might ask about printer paper and ink. Or, if your work computer runs specific software that you'll need at home, you'll have to request that, too.

VPNs and other remote access software would be useful in this situation. Instead of requesting software copies for your home computer, you could explain that remote access programs let you use your work computer from home; no additional software licenses or installations needed.

Additional Assurances

Include any facts about your job that are suited particularly well to telecommuting and your strategies for staying productive and accountable.

For example, you might mention emailing weekly status reports and maintaining availability through instant messaging.

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