When a company offers its employees the option for working remotely, building a great company culture is imperative. It’s also critical for a business to ensure that its payroll procedures and company policies are in compliance with all relevant states. These are six tips to help a business build .
1. Make a policy for remote work.
A company must make a great telework policy if it allows team members to be working remotely, even if workers also come into the company building for meetings or as part of their regular working schedule. To make a great telework policy for its remote workers, a company should address these elements:
- How employees deliver their work to managers and team members
- How and when employees are meeting, including the technology remote workers use to connect remotely
- How employees ask and answer questions for the team if they’re working remotely
- What general schedules and expected hours employees who are working remotely keep
- What technology and tools employees use for the business when working remotely, including how these items will be tracked by the company and employees
2. Ensure the company meets all HR compliance requirements.
A business with people working remotely must meet HR and compliance requirements for the location of its company headquarters and the location of all its workers. This could mean the company must provide workers with different training, reimbursements, and even different requirements for the way the business pays its workers. A best practice for a business with these concerns is to consider working with an HR services provider like MP. MP’s HR services team can assist a business in learning what HR and compliance requirements it must meet and how to make sure its policies for employees, its handbook, and its communication with employees can best be optimized towards this goal. As a best practice, a business should also audit where its remote employees live and are working from, so there are no surprises.
3. Ensure the company and remote employees are paying all relevant payroll taxes.
A business and its virtual workers are responsible for payroll taxes in the location where they’re working. Even if the virtual workers are working for a business located in another state, there will be payroll tax responsibilities for the employer and its people. (Note this is true even if an employee has moved and there was no communication about it with the company.) A best practice for ensuring compliance is to work with a program like MP’s HR and payroll services to do an audit and make a plan to help the company reach payroll compliance for every location its people work in (remote or not).
4. Use HR software for better team communication and collaboration.
Employers will create the best culture for its remote people if it uses HR software for improved collaboration and communication. MP offers HR software that assists a company in connecting its people, whether they work in a remote or a hybrid and remote environment. When there is great communication between people who work remote, the quality of their work always improves. Better communication is also key to creating the best company culture for remote and in-person people. In today’s job market, the best tool for employee retention is an optimized company culture, where people are supported, have great communication, and feel accepted and appreciated by the people they work with. Businesses with strong employee retention will have the advantage of more productive people, they’ll lose less time to the hiring training process, and they’ll retain people with good institutional knowledge.
5. Check in more frequently with remote employees to build better connections and culture.
It’s a best practice for building strong company culture to check in frequently with people, especially remote employees. Checking in more frequently, especially with remote workers, helps to emphasize the connection between people and their employer. One of the best ways to check in, improve company culture, and make remote employees feel good, is to simply make time for small talk at the beginning and end of meetings. Just a few minutes of good communication that’s not about work will make everyone feel a strong sense of support and connection with their employers and coworkers, no matter how remote they are.
6. Create and model strong boundaries for remote workers.
To create the best company culture, employers should ensure their remote employees feel as refreshed and motivated as possible. Burnout is an insidious problem that can destroy company culture and make it difficult for remote workers to turn in their best performance. Employers can help via the development, communication, and modeling of strong boundaries for remote workers. A best practice is to share a communication with workers about expected hours and schedules for remote workers. Managers should then take these hours into account with communication, and avoid making requests, asking questions, etc. after hours. Managers should save communication and work expectations for during work hours. They should also help remote workers feel more comfortable unplugging by signing off publicly and ceasing all communication themselves with employees, clients, etc.
Employers, here are 5 tips for managing remote workers.
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