Retaining Talent: How to Determine if Your Company is Ready for Remote Workers

Gina Curtis, SHRM-CP, aPHR, Executive Recruiting Manager, JMJ Phillip Group

It’s easy to say that we are currently in an era where work life balance plays a large influence on employee tenure in a company. Employees today look for positions that allow for flexibility and the ability to balance daily life demands. Companies that offer employees the option of working remotely promote loyalty and give high potential employees a reason to stick around.

Working remotely carries benefits for both parties. Due to the nature of working remotely, employees can work out of the comfort of their own homes and eliminate the need for long commutes. Without the added pressure of rushing home or bringing work home to complete, remote employees already have the resources to complete tasks after hours at their own pace.

In addition to not needing to commute, many employees working at home find that they work better in an atmosphere where they are not surrounded by coworkers and other distractions found in an office setting. Employees can make the decisions of finding an environment that allows them to thrive in during work hours and can change their surrounding based off of their needs.

Take the time to comprehend where your staff currently stands. Before allowing the thought of remote work it is important to consider the following:

  1. Is your staff performing well enough that you would trust them to do the same amount of work in a remote setting?
  2. Does the work that they do require them to be physically in the office?
  3. What are the communication processes like at your company?
  4. Does your staff report to management at the end of the day or is there another way that you can track daily performance?
  5. How does your team communicate on a daily basis? Is through email or does your team work using messaging systems such as Slack?
  6. Does your staff have the ability or resources to access company information virtually when needed? If it does not, how would this effect the timeline of getting projects completed?

If you find that your employee’s work can be done remotely through increased communication processes or that the position they hold already has the capabilities of working remotely, it could be an option for you to consider when looking to retain your employee.

As an employer that has remote employee, keep caution of the impact it has on company culture. Employees working at distance for long periods of time can experience difficultly with connecting with other members of the team or assimilating into company procedures. It is important as an employer to find ways to encounter these issues by scheduling events or team building exercises that will promote communication among staff.

Before allowing a full schedule of remote work, conduct a trial run with a day or two per week to see how your employee transitions. As long as the output of performance remains consistent or even better, improves during the remote trial, there should be no issues with allowing your employee to keep a remote schedule or fully transition into a nomadic employee.

About the Author: As Executive Trainer and Career Coach at Employment BOOST and Executive Recruiting Manager at JMJ Phillip Group, Gina works closely with outplacement recipients, innovating career consultations that leverage market insights from real-time executive search analytics. Gina leads coaching advancement and strategy and is experienced consulting diverse clientele to positive career outcomes. Gina holds a degree from Wayne State University, and is designated SHRM-CP and aPHR from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).