With the pandemic still affecting daily life – and some staffers finding they favor working at home – many companies are looking to enhance their remote work policy.
And it’s not just for the duration of the pandemic. In fact, more than half (54%) of CFOs plan to make remote work a permanent option, per a recent PwC survey. And Harvard Business School predicts almost one in five people will continue to work from home long after the pandemic’s passed.
In turn, companies know they must develop more detailed, long-term remote work policies. And as CFO, you likely have a large hand in the process. So, you’ll want to see that those policies are a good fit for your finance department.
Whether your remote work policy is being shared companywide or is specifically for Finance, be sure to heed these tips in crafting it:
1. Be flexible
When it comes to remote work, every company was in a different position prior to the pandemic. Some companies need to start from scratch with a remote work policy; others must enhance an existing policy. Either way, recognize that this won’t be a one-and-done effort. Your policy will probably need to change over time.
Where should you begin when everything’s in flux? Try surveying your staff to find out their pain points. What have been their biggest struggles with transitioning home? What process steps don’t translate well? After, you’ll know which remote work policies need to be clarified, updated or added. Bonus: With this info, you may be able to fix some process inefficiencies, too.
2. Involve others
You know policies usually work best when the people following them have a hand in developing them. So, gather staffers with different roles and perspectives to brainstorm and bounce your policy ideas off of.
It can also help to have a focus group review the remote work policy before it’s finalized. That way, you can get out in front of common gripes and revise the policy one last time before distributing it to everyone.
3. Communicate early and often
When changes can affect the entire way staffers work, they want to know as much as possible, as early as possible. This is one case where you definitely want to avoid the element of surprise!
Make sure you’re upfront that changes are coming. And when the remote work policy’s ready, don’t just send it and be done with it. Explain how changes will impact them strategically and operationally. Ask if there are questions. And use all relevant channels – chat, email, video, etc. – to communicate across lines, so everyone understands if and how they must react to changes.
4. Be fair and consistent
Remote work is certainly becoming more common, but it can still pose challenges for certain departments, companies, industries, etc. Truth is, some roles and tasks inherently lend themselves to remote work, while others don’t.
It’s OK for CFOs to decide on things that can be done remotely and things that must be done on-site. The key is to show a legitimate business reason for doing so and enforce the rules consistently with your staff.