The elements of any remote work policy must be easy to understand for existing and new workers.
This guide will provide tips for remote work tools and procedures to easily transition to working globally and strengthen your current business capacity to work globally. By the time you are done reading this blog post, you can easily take the sections and use them as a remote work policy template for your company.
Remote Work Policy vs. Remote Work Strategy
Policy rules help you make better strategic decisions that turn into practical business actions.
Every work policy needs to be based on a business strategy.
In many ways, your remote work strategy will mimic conventional strategic tools. But in many ways, it will be completely different.
This difference is where most managers suffer from – it’s not easy to restructure your team if you don’t have the tools to do that.
In this blog post, you will gain insights for crafting your remote work policy based on your digital business strategy.
You’ll learn the importance of implementing clear and transparent work procedures and workflows.
Additionally, you will understand the role of supportive remote work tools for turning the policy rules into executable goals that will grow your business.
Productive Remote Work Policy Checklist
Here are the core sections you need to cover in your remote work policy:
- Recruiting Experts
- Role definition and Clarity
- 3 Must-have Roles of Every Team
- Focus, Motivation, and Common Goals on Remote Teams
- Remote Work Communication
- Time Management
- Tools for Remote Teams
- Delegation on Virtual Teams
- Agile Scrum Methodology
- Feedback Procedures
- Onboarding and Offboarding New Employees
- Self-Organization Hacks
- Performance Risks
Grab your business plan, your current performance results, and have your future business ideas in front of you. It will help you identify your weak points and why you fail. Use them to personalize your business’s remote work procedures and start working from home globally on a virtual team platform within days.
The Remote Work Policy Intro Section
Every policy needs an introduction. Explain why you work remotely. Say a word or two about the policy content. Clarify its purpose.
Let your remote team members know what they can expect in the following sections.
Promote your company culture, write result-oriented business goals, and provide information about strategic and framework documents you use even if you don’t work remotely. Attach your digital business strategy.
Any important briefs about legal stuff? They belong here.
Remote work requires people who will make it a reality. The easiest way to transform a stale workforce is to recruit experts from the global crowd. This section in the remote work policy must include rules about:
- Expert standards
- Recruitment rules
- Hiring procedure
- Expected job quality
- The perfect team setup
- Minimum hard and soft skills for joining your remote team
Bering concise and clear about expert evaluation and job expectations will substantially reduce risks and decrease stress levels on a high-performing team.
Make sure your policy clearly states this requirement is something you will not compromise.
Onboarding and Offboarding New Employees
A new expert who joins the team can immediately start working if you have an Onboarding a New Employee Checklist.
This checklist has a double use. If a person decides to leave your team, you can reverse-track its points for a painless separation.
Remember to attach the list to the policy and remove or limit access to shared knowledge bases if the collaboration is over.
Role Definition and Clarity
Working remotely assumes dealing with digital work and using remote work software. Communicating with people you don’t know in person is commonplace. You don’t have time for:
- Office intro meetings for each staff member personally
- Role fit checkups
- HR bureaucracy
- Skills and knowledge to evaluate expert work
- Role adaptability on a short notice
The only way to define clear roles in remote work is to make it a part of your policy.
The more elaborate you are with role definition and clarity, the easier it will be to perform work tasks.
Role clarity will impact project workflows. It is not called a workflow for anything: by defining clear roles, you eliminate bottlenecks that suck out your resources in vain.
Make sure your remote work policy document includes details about defining clear roles. Use this definition as a blueprint for every new member that onboard your virtual team.
Three Must-have Roles of Every Virtual Team
Lean, high-performing teams must have a clear architecture.
Once you know which experts fit the roles you’ve defined clearly, you need to link job skills and competencies with role accountability and responsibility.
Designing a remote team with a minimum of three roles will help you divide and measure responsibility and accountability. You need someone who sets the remote team rules, another person who drives the work forward, and a third person to implement methods and workflows about communicating and cooperating. Make the three-member team rule a part of your remote work policy.
Focus, Motivation, and Common Goals on Remote Teams
Lack of focus and unmotivated employees are common obstacles to high performing teams working remotely. If you’re unused to collaborating in a digital environment, your team will suffer from dissipated energy and unmet project milestones.
To avoid such challenges from preventing you move forward, base your virtual work police rules on:
- Digital leadership and management, including support, coaching, and mentoring in which you take an active role
- “Nip it in the bud” recruitment policies to pick up already motivated experts from the crowd
- Creating exciting common goals that can be tracked, measured, and celebrated transparently and together
Set an example by showing how to become a successful performer by implementing clear team organization and self-organization rules.
Self-Organization Hacks: Work-at-Home Tips
Write a separate section in your remote work policy for home office organization. Many people meet with remote work for the first time. They need all the help they can get. Provide a self-organization guide as part of every new contract.
Remote Work Policy about Effective Communication
Emphasize the importance of effective communication.
For most team members, this will mean communicating more often, especially in the beginning. Never assume that a message has been received. Always check understanding and clarity and, of course, provide remote work collaboration tools to help your team members communicate.
Collaboration Tools for Remote Teams
Remote work collaboration tools will help with project management, time management, communication, and sharing resources. That is why they deserve a dedicated session in your policy.
If you think about naming the apps such as Trello, Slack, Jira, Asana, or others you will use, you’ve nailed it. Don’t just state the tools you will be using: explain the process for every instrument, define access procedures, and ensure your employees have digested the workflows for completing project goals.
By now, you have policy sections about who (expert) will do what (job role) with whom (team role), why (goals), and in what way (workflows). Time is an essential resource for any project. You cannot allow being wasteful with time. How you manage your time is a critical productivity hack for successful remote teams.
Time management rules are critical for:
- Team organization
- Creating a time cooperation framework
Remote teams often complain about losing focus and missing team spirit because of time wasted on poor time management practices. Ensure you have policies about how team members manage their focused expert work and communication time.
Timeboxing is a time management technique that helps you organize self-time and others-time.
In standard team hierarchy, you usually know who will cover for an absent colleague. When a person quits, they give you notice – you have some leeway to find a replacement. On virtual teams, if you work freelance or part-time, you don’t always have that luxury. You have to be ready to act quickly.
If you know how to:
- Assign roles
- Delegate tasks
- Find replacements
You won’t have trouble creating a new block if one of these essential blocks goes missing. Delegation is further noteworthy as a risk and resource management tool and a key part of your digital leadership skills. Create delegation rules for your remote team and teach them as part of the remote work policy.
Unforeseen risks change the trajectory of digital projects. Remote work has disruption running in its veins. Rapidly changing technologies, global challenges, and the ensuing financial havoc don’t guarantee that your project goals remain permanent or even long-lasting.
Luckily, you can redesign your remote work policy to fit in the digital world by borrowing a proven method from software development teams. This method is called agile scrum, and it does not apply only to software ream teams. You can implement its principles of iteration, responsiveness, and feedback action in any remote work policy document.
Watch Video: How to Build Successful Agile Scrum Teams
Feedback is a crucial element of agile scrum and not less important for every other type of project methodology.
Once your expert team starts working on tasks by following the above remote team rules, they will create a product or service or a part of that product or service. They have to know how they performed given overall business goals, digital business strategy, and specific client requirements.
Rules for providing feedback are the missing links between work blocks that result in successful products or services. Capitalize on input by creating a feedback section in your remote work policy.
You cannot prevent risks from happening, but you can have an action plan to manage them. People who don’t stick to the rules or progress that cannot be measured are the risk factors with the highest impact on remote teams.
You can create trust and transparency on remote teams and thus minimize risks by defining KPIs for measurable progress that you can track. Working remotely can provide a solid base to have a joint success measuring platform. Instead of close monitoring your employees, you can let remote team software tools do the job for you.
Nothing yells: “This works!” as clearly as numbers you share on a screen.
Make sure you have agreed upon their use as performance indicators.
Bonus Hint for Quick Remote Work Policy Implementation
In the end, check if your final remote work policy draft addresses four of the most common problems on virtual teams:
- Missing results
- Low quality work
- High costs
- Unmeasurable progress
It should be clear from the document where your problems lie, how to reshape your business strategy to create a super-productive virtual team, and how to take corrective actions that result in better outcomes.
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