What Do Employees Want in A Remote Work Environment?

Over the last 10 years, there has been a significant upsurge in the number of employers and employees switching to work in a remote environment. This rise has been attributed to the ever-growing global market, the advent of new technologies, an increase in the number of young people at the workplace, etc. There are now technologies that have been designed to accommodate and engage people virtually. Young people, millennials, who want to do things conveniently, quickly, perfectly, are taking over the workspace. As telecommuting or remote working are changing the narrative of a work environment, employers need to find ways in which they can help in supporting remote workers.

To achieve this, a deep knowledge of what employees want in remote office work is very important. For instance, some employees will consider a corner in their room as an ideal workspace while some can only work under the trees at a reservation garden. No matter the environment, companies need to provide what will make the workers increase productivity, adhere to work from home policy guidelines, comply with the company’s ethics and culture, etc. This guide will assist you in knowing what your employees want, and how you satisfy their wants in your best capacity.

Who Is A Remote Worker?

Several surveys, research, and studies have provided that many employees now prefer to work from home. Right before the advent of covid-19, remote working had started growing into becoming the standard of engagement at the workplace. Millennials are taking over the workspace, and it is important to note that this generation of humans is very open to using creativity, flexibility, and innovative approaches in carrying out tasks. They want to continually feel motivated and inspired while at their work. Thus, employers are charged with the responsibility of supervising remote employees and also support them remotely. However, who is an ideal remote worker?

A remote worker is an individual who has been hired as an employee of an organization but has decided to work outside the proximity of the organization’s office space. This set of workers are common among freelancers, millennials, talents in the HR and tech industries, journalists, etc. Work from home employees or remote staff has the option to enjoy flexible work hours, few days in conventional offices, etc. These workers prefer to work at places where they can easily get inspired, motivated, and produce excellent results. Unlike the office, employees, remote workers get to decide on the nature, components, location, and scope of the workplace they plan on working in. These employees get to use great technological platforms and devices for communication, collaboration, project management, and execution, etc. Even though the flexibility and luxury of telecommuting are quite much and fair, remote work is not for everybody. In fact, according to a report by BambooHR, it was said that as of 2016, 79% of workers still think the office is the best place for them to achieve productivity. However, that does not mean this set of employees are not also interested in remote working.

What Is an Ideal Work Environment?

Every place has its ideal properties or characteristics. For instance, an ideal wildlife reserve will be cool, will have a variety of wildlife, beautiful trees, a cool breeze, etc. Every organization, industry, or business has its standard, ethic, atmosphere, etc. Interestingly, a work environment is determined by the category and location of the work(s) you engage in. Most remote workers today stay outside of the office arena because they believe that they might find it difficult to deliver results and enhance productivity. Thus, employees prefer to work in an ideal environment that will inspire, motivate and energize them. This environment is not just about location but it includes the working structures, conditions, available tools and devices, governing policies and guidelines, etc. An ideal workplace must breed creativity and quality. These characteristics help in attracting and retaining talents. The environment must also be valuable such that the structure and conditions allow the give-and-take approach to attract talents. In summary, an ideal work environment provides employees with the flexibility, motivation, resources, and inspiration to deliver excellent and timely results, improve productivity and promote work ethics and culture.

Remote Work Productivity

Every business or organization today is looking forward to growth, expansion, and impact in whatever they are advancing, selling, or promoting. Thus, employers seek workers that will help them achieve these objectives. In a bid to making this possible, they tend to provide their workers with the best working condition and environment. The performance, efficiency, and productivity of the employees depend on what the company is offering them. While some employees believe the company’s workspace will bring the best out of them, others prefer to engage in remote working.

As flexible and interesting as telecommuting might be, it is not for everyone. It is catastrophic for employees who are not fit to work remotely to engage in it, and vice versa for office workers. When workers translate from working in the office to remote working, some tend to exhibit the same level of productivity they could reach while working in their offices. Situations like this result in workers slacking off their works, feel disconnected from others, stagnate or stunt the company’s growth and employee’s development, etc. All in all, the success and failure of remote work are not 100% guaranteed, it all depends on the employee’s work environment and employer’s provisions.

It is important to note at this point that a work from home manager or worker’s productivity doesn’t have to go down or suffer because of the nature of work they do. In most cases, remote office managers that leverage transparency, accountability, flexibility, diligence, collaboration, and improved communication can pull off outstanding productivity. There are several ways in which remote work productivity can be measured and ensured, among them are:

  • Conduct standard remote management training for your workforce regularly.
  • Rules at work for employees must be regularly communicated.
  • Match your remote employees with supporting teams for connectedness and collaboration.
  • Ensure the availability and usage of important tech tools like teleconferencing tools, project management tools, data sharing tools, etc
  • Enable the use of real-time collaboration tools and try automating your works
  • Companies should organize physical gatherings in form of hangouts, seminars, workshops, meetings, etc.
  • Create a consistent check-in framework to enhance communication and support.
  • Employers should celebrate and recognize the success of their online workers or remote teams.

Remote Work Culture

Productivity is the result of a good work environment, excellent remote working policies, and a good work culture. Before remote workers can successfully produce excellent results and improve productivity, they need to replicate, build and maintain the company’s work culture. Since they are still employees of the organization, they are expected to adhere to the organization’s goal, mission, and vision. Remote work culture is not about the activities or location of the remote workspace, it is about the mindset of the workers and their attitude towards work. Remote work can only work out when the employer and the employee play their part to work at it.

To build and maintain an excellent remote work culture, employers and employees must take note of the following points:

  • Apart from companies or organizations where activities are cloud-based or they are far away from their employees, having a centralized local workspace is important.
  • Remote workers should be given some mandatory office days within a particular time.
  • Regularly update your employees of any slight change in work schedule, assignment, ethic, or policy.
  • Ensure the presence of energetic and enthusiastic talents in your remote team.
  • Keep the workplace spirit alive via innovative and creative ideas.
  • Organize regular in-person meetings and events to increase face time
  • Assign work from home supervisors and mentors in guiding and supporting employees remotely
  • Incorporate frameworks that will breed creativity and innovation, thus making the remote workspace an ideal work that everyone loves.

Work from Home Policy Guidelines

A work from home (WFH) policy is a documented list of agreements between employers and employees who will be working remotely. The remote working policy helps employees to be productive even while working from a comfortable environment and staying safe. To help your employees perform better, the following tips will help guide your work from home policy:

  1. Employees should be aware of the eligibility requirements for working from home. The conditions and processes for such should be properly stated.
  2. The required number of working hours should be spelled out to prevent employees from working overtime.
  3. Appropriate communication channels should be established to pass information swiftly.
  4. Employees can stay up to date with work events by adding communicated meeting hours and event schedules to their calendars.
  5. IT support is extremely crucial to help support your employees when they have issues with technology /internet connection. The availability of the IT team should be properly communicated.
  6. To establish security standards, employees should be encouraged to make use of encryption software to protect themselves from security hazards.
  7. Employees should be encouraged to provide regular feedback to encourage company and employee growth.
  8. A means of measuring employee productivity should be put in place to measure growth.
  9. The required equipment for work, e.g. Computers, routers, etc, should be stated. If the company or employee will be providing any of these, it should be stated.

How to Support Remote Workers?

Working from home could be isolating and cause employees to work for long hours, leading to burnout. Supporting your remote workers will create a sense of value, importance, inclusion and foster productivity. Here are tips on how to support your remote workers.

  1. Constant and transparent communication is important. Virtual meetings and training create a sense of inclusion for your employees.
  2. Provision of support for employee’s emotional well-being and physical health can be done via various virtual activities to encourage social connection. Company merch and encouraging notes can be sent.
  3. Encourage your employees to create boundaries between working hours and personal time to avoid feeling overwhelmed.
  4. They can also be encouraged to take breaks in between and let their other team members be aware of their unavailability.
  5. Help your employees stay productive by setting realistic goals to help them keep track of their work while staying motivated.
  6. Checking in regularly on your employees will help identify problems that are affecting their well-being. It will also aid the provision of swift and efficient solutions.

These tips will help your remote workers maintain a healthy balance between virtual work and personal life.

How to Work Remotely from Home

Working from home requires an ideal work environment. To create this, employees should consider the following tips:

  1. Keeping up with your morning routine will help set your day and keep your goals in place.
  2. Commute time can be converted into other activities such as exercise, reading, journaling, and whatever keeps you productive.
  3. Maintain your regular work hours to draw a definite line between your time and work time.
  4. Stay healthy by eating nutritious meals and avoiding sugars or foods with empty calories. It is very easy to snack in your personal space but it should be done in moderation to avoid other health challenges.
  5. To create a sense of work environment, you can set up your workspace with the necessary gadgets and equipment.
  6. Sitting for long hours can be curbed by taking a five-minute break within each hour, and long breaks in between as it suits you. Walking around in between these hours will help refresh your mind and foster your well-being.

Remote Working Tips

Since remote work is fast becoming the standard of many businesses today, we must address ways in which we can design it to give the best result. When remote working is carried out properly, and both the employer and the employees play their roles rightly, there is a high possibility of talent attraction and retention. A good remote working policy will positively boost employees’ morale and will enhance flexibility and trust in the organization.

Since big companies like Twitter, VMware, Facebook, Amazon, etc have decided to adopt and offer remote working options to their workers, most companies will follow suit. For a successful telecommuting, the following tips will help an organization in getting good remote working outputs.

  1. Employers must be clear on their expectations and objectives
  2. There should be accessible and easy-flow communication channels between the workers and the employer.
  3. Remote work environment must be conducive and suitable for the work from home team.
  4. Employers should learn to trust their employees in delivering quality jobs while employees must trust their employer in securing their jobs
  5. Remote working tools for collaboration, communication, document sharing, management, etc should be readily available for the staffs
  6. Remote team, manager, and the employer should breed communication or overcommunication since information regarding work, updates, policies, etc need to flow regularly
  7. Flexibility, transparency, and accountability must be a virtue every party must hold onto.
  8. To attain productivity, employees must learn to take breaks and create time for self-care when needed.
  9. Employees must be regularly recognized and celebrated for their achievements and successes
  10. A proper agreement and documentation must be done before a worker starts working remotely to avoid misclassification or fortification of benefits.

How WeHireGlobally Helps

At WeHireGlobally, we help organizations in engaging and retaining their talents working onsite or remotely. We have excellent professionals that are versed with what employees want in a remote workplace. Our services are focused on mitigating risks and ensuring 100% compliance. With us, you are assured of attracting and retaining quality employees globally.

FAQ What Do Employees Want in A Remote Work Environment?

  • What are the benefits of remote working?

    The benefits of remote working including flexibility, stress reduction, and enhancement of productivity. It also helps workers pay attention to their health, thus minimizing the spread of illnesses. It encourages constant communication and works engagement, fostering work relationships between employers and employees.

  • What are the common work from home challenges?

    Although remote working is great, it also has its challenges. Common telecommuting challenges include loneliness, distractions, missing deadlines, lack of zeal, low productivity, absence of enabling tools, etc.

  • How can I avoid the misclassification of my remote workers?

    Before an employee begins remote duties, they must enter into a written and legal agreement with their employer, such that the agreement will start all binding terms of service and ensure the security of the employee’s job.

  • Hannah Kohl
    Hannah Kohl. Head of Customer Success. Has extensive experience in the HR and IT industries. Helped 100+ international clients to achieve their global goals.

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