How businesses can gradually implement elements of remote work

Image by Mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

By Lizzie Stanley

Once a rarity, remote working is now an accepted part of modern business practice in many industries. Not only does it provide workers with better work-life balance, but it can allow companies to dip into a wider pool when it comes to hiring, suddenly making them a viable option for top talent who don’t want to relocate.

But going remote isn’t as simple as letting your employees take their laptops home every night. The infrastructure, company policies and expectations have to be discussed and agreed upon to smooth the transition and maintain productivity and quality. As such, plenty of companies choose to trial hybrid working (some days in the office, some remote) before committing fully to a no-office-required approach. This offers the chance to make improvements where needed.

In this post, we look at how companies can gradually introduce different elements of the remote working model.

Use project management software and cloud tools

One of the biggest challenges of a remote setup is collaboration. No one wants to duplicate work, but it can be hard to understand who is working on what tasks when you’re not in the same room. Project management workflows and apps can help remote teams stay on track and understand who is completing which tasks within a project.

They can even be connected to time tracking software to help everyone understand how long certain tasks take on average. In turn, this can help inform decisions around pricing for future projects, based on the amount of hours previous work has taken. However, it is important to communicate this intention with employees, to avoid them feeling like they’re being micromanaged.

Introduce flexible hours and hybrid working

A good way to trial remote working for your team is to start with flexible working hours. You may choose to set core hours where employees will need to be available, or let them decide their own hours based on their workload and diary. If you’re planning to allow staff to work anywhere in the world, it can also be helpful to get everyone used to the idea of asynchronous work, as this can be quite a contrast to being together in the office.

Additionally, you can introduce hybrid working, so that teams get used to collaborating across different platforms. You may start with each team deciding on set office days so they can be together, or allow everyone to individually choose their work from home days. Whatever you decide, it’s important to communicate this with other stakeholders.

Establish clear guidelines

Many employers have concerns about working from home from a productivity standpoint. Whilst it’s highly possible that employees will, in fact, be more productive away from a busy office environment, it can be reassuring to make sure that everyone understands what is expected of them. This should include working hours, computer security, communication processes and what to do in case of technical difficulties.

It’s also a good idea to outline boundaries when it comes to employee wellbeing. The downside of varied working hours and digital technologies is that it’s possible for employees to feel like they need to reply at all hours of the day. Unfortunately, this means they never truly switch off, and may result in burnout. Making it clear that you don’t expect immediate replies can help team members manage their work communications and help them to enjoy their work-life balance.


Lizzie Stanley firmly believes that remote work is a tool for increasing employee productivity and happiness, not reducing it. She aims to write posts that help businesses consider the benefits of this approach and employ the relevant measures to keep all parties happy.

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