According to the Global State of Remote Work, 40% of companies are hybrid, meaning they allow their employees to work in the office or remotely. Since more and more companies are allowing remote work, WFH is becoming a popular acronym. Let’s dive in and learn the meaning of WFH and why it’s important for people who work remotely.
WFH means an employee is working from their house, apartment, or place of residence, rather than working from the office. Many companies have a WFH policy, or remote work policy, that allows their employees to work from home either full-time or when it’s most convenient for them.
A remote work policy is an agreement that outlines when and how employees can work from locations other than the office. These policies can be temporary or permanent. Remote work policies describe who can work remotely, best practices to follow, and the legal rights of remote employees.
Work from home, telecommuting, remote work, or virtual work — what are the goods it offers?
The most common type where the employee spends most of his/her time working in the office and WFH is something they do only occasionally. Employees are given laptops, cell phones, and access to the corporate network to enable them to perform work and attend meetings outside of business hours.
Occasional work from home during business hours. Some companies allow their employees to WFH one day/week as a routine practice (NB: the best day for that is Wednesday). The employee typically has some sort of designated workspace in the home, although it often isn’t a full home office (perhaps just a desk in a guest room).
Most common with sales, consulting, and field service roles where primary job responsibilities are outside the company’s offices at a customer site. It doesn’t require the workspace assigned in the company offices. For those teleworkers that WFH primarily, they often have a dedicated “home office” space (a separate room in the home) that is equipped with all of the office furniture, supplies, and resources that one might find in a company office building.
These are the entire business functions that work from home full time. IT systems, business processes, and management practices are optimized for a distributed workforce. Meetings take place via conferencing systems instead of in conference rooms. Documents are shared electronically instead of printed. Workflows are enabled via IT systems instead of physical interaction.
Some companies are entirely virtual with no physical office at all, or maybe just a small space for company leaders to meet. Other companies leverage a virtual workforce setup for functions like customer service (answering phones and emails). In contrast, other functions like product development, finance, and administration work in traditional office settings.
Many employers understand the benefits of allowing employees to work from home. In some cases, your business might need to implement a remote work policy quickly and effectively. While the advantages of remote work are growing increasingly clear, many employers still aren’t prepared to support flexible work policies.
Wrong determination of how people will work remotely:
- Will a remote work increase the success of a certain role?
- How will remote work affect the culture and collaboration among your teams?
- What tools, resources, and strategies are a must-have to work effectively?
- Do the remote workers need additional training and resources?
- Who will manage a remote employee?
- Will remote work impact taxes or benefits for the company or employees in different states or countries?
Lacking tools for successful and secure work:
- Tool for communication with the rest of the team
- Tool for video conferencing and virtual meetings and brainstorms
- Tool that allows remote employees to be clearly seen and heard
- Separate technology or equipment to maintain an effective home workspace, e.g. a second monitor or printer
- Reimbursement for purchases of necessary equipment for the home offices
- Cybersecurity to ensure data privacy. While some employees might be able to operate using public Wi-Fi networks, others might need to stay at home or in a more secure co-working space to ensure data safety.
Lacking tools for successful and secure work:
- Manager 1:1
- Team all-hands meetings
- Client kick-off meetings
- Performance reviews
- Employee learning and development activities
- Clear documentation of what is expected and achieved
- Availability policies about when employees are expected to be online
- Collaboration and socializing.
Unlike a traditional office setting, it’s difficult to see what people are working on when remote. Good measurement will focus on what managers expect from their employees and how they will define success.
With 100% certainty, the performance must be tracked using project management software, e.g. Trello, Asana, Office 365, ClickUp, Asana, ProofHub, Workzone, Podio, Wrike, Meistertas.
Also, since every role is different, so measures of success are different for every team. Hence, results-oriented metrics can include the number of projects finished in a week as well as the number of hours worked.
In case you think that remote workers can manage their deadlines by themselves, do not rely on this. It is the duty of a supervisor either to set or improve clear deadlines and goals for employees. Clear communication reduces the chance of missed deadlines or work that isn’t up to par.
So, what’s the line on this?
- Be up-to-date. Remote work is a beneficial aspect of the 21st-century workplace. Enabling remote work ensures both the employees and the business reap the rewards.
- Be human. No matter what technologies you have at your disposal, human beings crave (virtual or live) face-to-face connections for brainstorming, planning, and having fun. Do not get left out of discussions.
- Be productive. Just because remote workers work more than 40 hours, it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re maximizing their productivity during that time. Find the metric that’s most useful to your work or team so priorities are clear.
- Be on time. Do not overwork, you are already on the job 24/7.
- Be positive. WFH employees enjoy higher company loyalty, job satisfaction, and morale because they are better positioned to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
- Be honest. Analyze work for its quality regularly. If things are starting to slip, it might be a sign that there are weaknesses in your remote work policy.