Create A Long-Term Remote Work Strategy With These 5 Powerful Tips

A long-term remote work strategy sets workers and the company up for success. | Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Remote work is here to stay and it’s time for companies to be proactive in creating an intentional remote work strategy. Rather than piece together a plan as issues arise, leaders should be preemptive about establishing their digital infrastructure, communication practices, and policies. PWC recently surveyed 133 US executives and discovered nearly one-third are approaching their remote work strategy as “going with the flow.”

Jon Hill, CEO and chairman of The Energists, exclaimed, companies who go with the flow and let a remote-work strategy form on its own will end up losing control over its remote work culture. As we’ve seen at the start of the pandemic, when schools had to shut down and shift to online learning, there was no system in place. As a result, time was wasted, there was confusion in expectations, and performance and productivity suffered. In order for employees to be set up for success, they need boundaries in place and a clear understanding of expectations. When those are unclear, engagement, trust, and unity decline.

Here are five ways companies can create a long-term remote work strategy.

Revisit Your Policies

First and foremost, companies should establish a Work From Home policy. As companies take advantage of a wider talent pool, it’s important to remember that each state and country has different employment laws. For example, workers in California have vastly different employment laws than those in Pennsylvania. Not having parameters about where employees can work can lead to consequences that put the company at risk. If there are no restrictions on where people can work, employees might take that as being able to work abroad while they travel.

Cybersecurity policies should also be considered since employees can work from public places and their homes where others have access to the network. This means providing training on cybersecurity best practices, consistently communicating cybersecurity policies, and investing in a framework such as NIST to protect company data and information from attacks, breaches, or threats.

Reimagine Your Company Culture

Companies have quickly learned that what worked in-office didn’t translate to the remote space. Instead of leadership assuming the responsibility of rebuilding the entire culture, they should involve their employees. They can do this by seeking employee feedback which will lead to gaining their buy-in. When employees are hands-on they’re more engaged and committed to the company’s success. It’s okay if some initiatives fall through while others flourish. Use those failures to expand on the successful initiatives and gain the feedback of employees to see what went wrong, what they would like to see,, and more.

Employers should also consider what their mental health initiatives look like. Companies such as Nike, Bumble, and Hootsuite are giving their workers a week off of work for their mental health. While this is a thoughtful gesture, mental health issues cannot be scheduled as everyone’s mental health looks different. Therefore, companies should cultivate a culture where employees feel empowered to take time off when they need to rather than feel as if they need to push through their struggles.

Some ways in which companies can address mental health are:

  • Establishing core working hours
  • Allowing remote work opportunities
  • Flexibility
  • Adopting more asynchronous communication rather than requiring immediate meetings that disrupt an employee’s flow
  • Empowering management to check in with their team members as a whole and individually to see where they can offer support
  • Seeking employee feedback through surveys, town halls, etc… to address concerns and use feedback to continue improving
  • Implementing a mental health platform such as Fringe that addresses mental health for a variety of situations
  • Actively promoting and encouraging employees to utilize their PTO

Many employees struggle to use their PTO because the cost of taking time off means the more stress they have to come back to upon their return. Thus, managers should ensure that employees don’t feel as if things will fall apart should they take time off. Managers can do this by making sure multiple people are trained on the same thing so they can serve as backups should someone be out.

Rethink Your Communication Practices

It’s crucial that employers have established communication tools where employees can interact with others. Wayne Connors, managing director of ACCL, asserted, “good communication is the crux of a virtual team’s success.” He recommended leaders “establish guidelines for urgent (synchronous) and non-urgent (asynchronous) communications so that everyone knows how to communicate using the right methods at the right time.” Simon Elkjær, chief marketing officer at avXperten, explained, “having the right communication channels, the right events, and a great approach helps keep your remote workforce motivated and your company united.”

This is done using tools such as:

  • Email
  • Collaborative documents (Google Docs)
  • Shared to-do lists and project management boards (Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc…)
  • Brief pre-recorded videos to screen-share (Loom)
  • Slack

Marcus Clarke, founder of, said, “it’s important to get everyone in sync with this so that people will know when to expect a response and when to follow up. This will also help them decide on what communication channel they should use based on when they would want to get a reply.” Furthermore, companies should focus on creating processes and policies that honor and encourage asynchronous communication and identify when to use either.

Redesign Your Perks And Benefits

Today’s employees want flexibility, core working hours, better benefits and a work-life balance. Creating a long-term remote work strategy means understanding what it is that employees want and redesigning the company’s perks and benefits to meet their needs.

Some perks and benefits to consider are:

  • Subsidizing their home internet bills to ensure they have enough bandwidth to do their job
  • Having a coffee and/or lunch stipend
  • Providing pet and child care benefits
  • Providing their home office setups such as a desk, chair, supplies and equipment
  • Registering for a co-working space such as WeWork
  • Hosting monthly virtual happy hours
  • Having annual in-person retreats
  • Prioritizing appreciation and recognition
  • Having a plan in place for workplace burnout and promoting mental health and wellness initiatives

Revamp Your Training

The age-old marketing rule is that someone needs to hear something seven times before it sinks in. The mistake most companies make is delivering a training once and never revisiting it again. To get the most out of training, companies need to commit to repeating the learnings and using snippets to communicate through various mediums. The reality is, not all employees learn or digest information the same way. For this reason, it’s important to deliver information in a variety of ways such as sharing bits through Slack, email, townhall events, trivia questions, and gamifying the learning process, to name a few.

Eden Cheng, cofounder of PeopleFinderFree, explained, gamifying employee learning establishes a culture of friendly competition while keeping employees engaged and excited about development.

Companies can gamify their training by:

  • Allowing learners to earn points for completing tasks and achieving certain scores
  • Incorporating a Hall of Fame through leaderboards to track who’s earning the most points and ranking the highest out of their peers
  • Rewarding the completion of courses with badges and/or physical awards like a trophy, small gifts, gift cards or points towards the company’s online store




Forbes senior journalist, workplace culture consultant, leadership coach, domestic violence advocate, workplace bully activist and Corgi mom!

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Heidi Lynne Kurter

Heidi Lynne Kurter

Forbes senior journalist, workplace culture consultant, leadership coach, domestic violence advocate, workplace bully activist and Corgi mom!

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