3 Considerations for Organizations Adopting Remote Work

Remote work isn’t anything new. Even though the recent pandemic made it more common, it’s already been done before. However, it has always been on a smaller scale and trends show that it’s only going to increase in the coming years. Some predictions state that by 2025, 22% of the American workforce will be working remotely.

If your organization is thinking about switching to remote work, it can be a great idea. However, have you researched how it will impact your operations and what preparatory steps you need to take? 

If not, this article is for you. We will be looking at three aspects that any organization thinking about remote work needs to keep in mind. Let’s dive in. 

1. Upholding Data Security Will Be Important

It’s no secret that remote work has been a hit among employees. In one survey, 98% of respondents said they would like to work remotely in some capacity for the rest of their careers. 

However, what does that mean for data security? With the GTA VI leaks triggering companies like Rockstar to review how secure remote work is, it’s clear that security concerns do have some legitimacy. 

When organizations overlook data security, the price that is paid makes everyone regret it. There are so many ways to ensure data isn’t compromised. As SentinelOne states, cloud access security brokers, or CASBs, are one great solution.

If that sounds like Greek to you, let’s simplify it a bit. A cloud access security broker is a security solution that interfaces between cloud service users and cloud-based applications. 

You could think of it as a bouncer at a nightclub entrance. It checks everyone’s ID to ensure only authorized guests enter, and once inside, it watches over them to prevent any misbehavior. This would be one strategy among many others that you could use to maintain data security. 

2. Making Contingency Plans Is Crucial

The thing about remote work is that it means your team is obviously geographically separated from each other. For many companies, this isn’t really a problem because, even in an office setting, most communication ends up happening via email. Any meetings that do occur can still be had over video conferencing. 

There are only a handful of fields or situations where having all hands on deck is critical. That said, there may be times when you actually need everyone urgently on site. What do you do in those moments? You may try to reach your team and find out they are halfway across the country or working from a beach in Bali.

Today, companies like Walmart are cracking down on remote work, but is that really necessary? It is possible to still offer remote work opportunities but still figure out ways to avoid any loss to the organization. 

Thus, contingency plans make a lot of sense. There are plenty of ways you can work this out. For instance, having guidelines that employees should inform you if they will be out of the state or country is a good idea. Similarly it’s also wise to have some employees always at hand. You could ensure a rotation so that every employee has works in a remote and a hybrid environment. 

3. Setting Clear Guidelines for Communication

One of the commonly cited reasons that organizations for not supporting remote work is communication issues. There is some truth to that. Turns out, managers aren’t all too happy when they organize a meeting only to be greeted by multiple black boxes. You have to request employees to keep their cameras on, which can be frustrating after a while. 

Similarly, there is often a lot of variation in terms of communication when it’s all done outside of phone calls. Some team members will get back to you instantly, others might take fifteen minutes, and others half an hour…it can certainly be messy. 

To ensure that communication failures don’t ruin remote work for everyone, you want to establish clear guidelines. This might start with setting explicit expectations regarding the use of communication tools. You could define acceptable response times for messages and create a framework for preferred communication channels based on urgency. 

In conclusion, organizations considering remote work have a number of factors to consider. For one, it’s clear that remote work is a hit among employees. There have been plenty of studies that show it has increased productivity rather than decreased it. At the same time, remote work requires management to be open to approaching supervision from new perspectives

With data security concerns, communication lapses, and more, it’s not fair to expect every company and organization to switch to remote work just yet. However, when you realize that virtually every employee favors remote work, it will be interesting to observe trends over the next few years.