In March 2020, businesses all over the world sent their employees home with laptops and instructions to work remotely for a few weeks while the threat of COVID-19 passed. Nearly four years later, hundreds of thousands of people continue to work remotely, notwithstanding the imminent threat of COVID has faded into a day-to-day passing reference. A business decision made out of a critical need to maintain the health and safety of much of the world has facilitated the acceptance of a whole new way of working.
Reducing commute times, enabling workers to better balance home and work responsibilities and allowing organizations to expand their recruiting areas to attract candidates who aren’t with commuting distance of the office have all made workplaces more flexible and, in many cases, more efficient. While some organizations are mandating their employees back to the office, many others are exploring the ways that these kinds of flexible attitudes toward the “where” and “when” of work might benefit their operations.
The decision to enshrine (for now, at least) a hybrid or remote office is one that should carefully consider many elements. This checklist will prompt a thoughtful review of the questions that should be asked – and answered – when considering policies around remote and hybrid work.
- How could—and should—your organization improve remote working to attract and retain talent?
- Who takes ultimate responsibility for approving cross-border remote working in your organization?
- Have you asked your employees what they want—from work-from-anywhere (WFA) and related subjects—and how this dialogue could be better?
- What can you learn from those early movers, and how could the organization’s governance improve?
- How can WFA and cross-border remote working (CBRW) be a win-win and used to improve employee engagement and experience?
- Does the board-level philosophy to enable this new way of working need to change, and if so, how would you communicate this?
- What are the best tips to encourage innovation in a remote work setting?
- With respect to a WFA policy, where is your company today in terms of “encourage, tolerate, or stop” and where do you want to be tomorrow?
- Where is the sweet spot for your organization? For example, if it becomes more complex from a compliance (and management) perspective, is it worth it if it is more than three months?
- Is your remote working plan adaptable and evolvable, and are you using as many data sources and expert partners to ensure lasting value?
- Are you ready for a move away from command-and-control leadership?
- How might global mobility be affected by a worldwide financial crisis?
- What steps is your business taking to deliver a standout client (and employee) experience?
- How do you think WFA and CBRW policies will generally evolve by the decade’s end, and how will your organization measure up in 2030?