The Future of Remote Work

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By Dr. Sabrina Brandon Ricks, SBR Workplace Leadership Services

According to a recent poll conducted on college students, approximately 50% would like to work remotely upon graduating from college.  Being mindful that the majority of college students represent Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2010), this means the workplace will need to be prepared for the desire for remote work. The candidates will as well need to be prepared for what to expect in the workplace.  Here are tips for both the employer and job candidates:

Preparing to Hire a Remote Worker

  • Policies and procedures – There should be clear and concise expectations provided to all new hires in writing, as well as verbally in orientation. If your organization requires tracking of work such as calls, emails, or otherwise, these requirements should be made clear to employees and signed as acknowledgement of receipt and understanding.  If a due process will ensure when policies are broken, that process should be made clear and evident as well.
  • Resources – Is your organization prepared to provide laptops, desktops, phones, and/or tablets to employees to do their job remotely? This will be imperative as it relates to confidential information and the return of equipment once an employee no longer works for the company.  If there are any other supplies the employee will need in order to complete job tasks, your office will need to be prepared to provide those as well (i.e., any supplies needed in order to complete the tasks assigned to the employee).

Preparing a Job Candidate for a Remote Position

  • Self-discipline – You have to be prepared to do the right thing even when no one is watching or there to tell you what to do. You will have to start work, end work, take breaks, attend meetings, submit work, and more as though your supervisor is in the room reminding you to do so.  You must be responsible, reliable, dependable, and accountable for all work you are tasked with completing.  There will not be anyone hovering over you to tell you to get work done, but it must be done!  Deadlines were made for a reason.
  • Comfort with virtual meetings – Are you comfortable with all of your home equipment, such as using the company computer, microphone, webcam, etc.? Do you have strong wi-fi connectivity in your home and /or remote workspace to support the work you will need to do for the job?  You want to find an area in your home where you can appear professional when on-screen and webcam for meetings.  You also want to ensure you can properly use technology, especially if there is a mishap while you are working on something.  You may want to ensure you have close access to the employer IT department contact information.

Incorporating these pointers from both angles will create a more pleasant and productive workspace for employers and employees alike.  Remote work options are here to stay and the assurance that quality work is still being performed is imperative to the success of the organizations that choose to offer it.  Many Generation Z workers may be coming to your organization with no previous experience in the workforce at all. Be prepared to explain all details and expectations thoroughly and be welcoming in order to increase motivation and satisfaction levels with the job.

Contact SBR Workplace Leadership Services for additional training topics related to how to best prepare for Generation Z workers and how to ensure your company is the most productive when offering remote work options. Contact SBR if you need a consultant to design customized sessions for you regarding other topics.  The future of our workforce is constantly evolving and being prepared is the best way to remain relevant and successful through the changes.



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