The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

Read everything your organization needs to know about remote work

Woman making a VoIP phone call in a cafe

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

Read everything your organization needs to know about remote work

Woman making a VoIP phone call in a cafe

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

Read everything your organization needs to know about remote work

Woman making a VoIP phone call in a cafe

The Ultimate Guide to Remote Work

Read everything your organization needs to know about remote work

Woman making a VoIP phone call in a cafe

While remote work isn’t a new concept, not all companies are created equal when it comes to their remote work policies. In this guide, we provide best practices for management teams implementing remote work policies for the first time, along with best practices for people working remotely.

What is remote work?

What is remote work?

What is remote work?

What is remote work?

Remote work means the flexibility to work from anywhere outside the traditional office setting, whether due to travel or distance to the local office, or by choice. Employees who work remotely might do so 100% of the time or part of the time. Some companies maintain a team of remote or distributed workers, while others call upon a mix of office workers and remote workers.

Why does remote work matter?

Today, more companies are incorporating flexible jobs and remote work into their businesses as a response to the increasing distributed workforce. It’s no wonder the concept of remote––or flexible––work is on the rise. According to Global Workplace Analytics, 40% more of U.S. employers offer flexible or remote work options today than they did five years ago. Research from the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy has found that employees become 13% more productive after working from home for an extended period of time.

It’s not just about the technology, it’s about the culture

Remote-work preferences are creating a new work paradigm where employers must provide flexible work options to attract top talent and also acknowledge how and when employees work best. That said, optimizing the performance of remote workers takes deliberate effort. At 8x8, we are huge proponents of practicing what we preach and have worked closely with our employees to create a positive and efficient remote work culture. The 8x8 platform has played a critical role in creating seamless communications and frictionless, high-quality collaboration experiences across voice, video, and messaging regardless of location. But the technology alone is not enough. To truly foster a culture of remote work, organizations need to pair technology with other key elements:

1) Culture/People: Openness, adaptability, and a non-hierarchical culture that values the work-life balance.

  • The right hires: self-starters who are likely to perform well outside of the traditional office environment.
  • A focus on performance and productivity versus attendance as the real measure of employee value.

2) Process/Policies: With the right framework in place, organizations can empower their remote workers. This includes:

  • Accommodating the communication preferences of different generations.
  • Implementing company-wide, virtual-work policies and security measures.
  • Developing standards for handling meetings and projects remotely and working with freelancers as part of the gig economy, such as by clarifying workstreams and responsibilities.

What are best practices for working remotely?

Below are more best practices for companies establishing a remote work policy:

What are best practices for working remotely?

Below are more best practices for companies establishing a remote work policy:

What are best practices for working remotely?

Below are more best practices for companies establishing a remote work policy:

What are best practices for working remotely?

Below are more best practices for companies establishing a remote work policy:

When you’re not in the office, there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure that you’re still a present member of your team who continues to add value along with guidelines that companies should follow to foster a successful remote work culture. Currently, 8x8’s customer success team holds morning meetings over video chat and our marketing team communicates through a group chat via our app. These are just two examples of how remote teams are making sure work gets done and staying in communication.

Communication is Key

Any remote work policy should have specific guidelines around communication so there are clear expectations between management and the workforce. Employees should be available by phone, email, or IM during business hours (as established for that employee, unless a different arrangement has been approved in advance by the manager). Your leadership team should collaborate to determine the best course of action for your business.

Create a schedule

Although there are certain roles that require specific timeframes for accessibility and collaboration, these should be limited to core hours and communicated upon offer and throughout employment. Managers should allow flexibility to the greatest extent possible to enable employees to take care of family and personal needs, while balancing the demands of the business. This requires managers to focus on employees’ results versus the location where they are working.

Determine Eligibility

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, it may be a seamless transition to remote work. However for some companies, there may need to be some thought put into the eligibility of remote work based on job roles and responsibilities critical for business operations.

Compensation and allowance

Different states and countries may have different laws and regulations when it comes to remote work. Employers should speak with their legal and human resources departments to understand the costs associated with remote working arrangements.

When you’re not in the office, there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure that you’re still a present member of your team who continues to add value along with guidelines that companies should follow to foster a successful remote work culture. Currently, 8x8’s customer success team holds morning meetings over video chat and our marketing team communicates through a group chat via our app. These are just two examples of how remote teams are making sure work gets done and staying in communication.

Communication is Key

Any remote work policy should have specific guidelines around communication so there are clear expectations between management and the workforce. Employees should be available by phone, email, or IM during business hours (as established for that employee, unless a different arrangement has been approved in advance by the manager). Your leadership team should collaborate to determine the best course of action for your business.

Create a schedule

Although there are certain roles that require specific timeframes for accessibility and collaboration, these should be limited to core hours and communicated upon offer and throughout employment. Managers should allow flexibility to the greatest extent possible to enable employees to take care of family and personal needs, while balancing the demands of the business. This requires managers to focus on employees’ results versus the location where they are working.

Determine Eligibility

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, it may be a seamless transition to remote work. However for some companies, there may need to be some thought put into the eligibility of remote work based on job roles and responsibilities critical for business operations.

Compensation and allowance

Different states and countries may have different laws and regulations when it comes to remote work. Employers should speak with their legal and human resources departments to understand the costs associated with remote working arrangements.

When you’re not in the office, there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure that you’re still a present member of your team who continues to add value along with guidelines that companies should follow to foster a successful remote work culture. Currently, 8x8’s customer success team holds morning meetings over video chat and our marketing team communicates through a group chat via our app. These are just two examples of how remote teams are making sure work gets done and staying in communication.

Communication is Key

Any remote work policy should have specific guidelines around communication so there are clear expectations between management and the workforce. Employees should be available by phone, email, or IM during business hours (as established for that employee, unless a different arrangement has been approved in advance by the manager). Your leadership team should collaborate to determine the best course of action for your business.

Create a schedule

Although there are certain roles that require specific timeframes for accessibility and collaboration, these should be limited to core hours and communicated upon offer and throughout employment. Managers should allow flexibility to the greatest extent possible to enable employees to take care of family and personal needs, while balancing the demands of the business. This requires managers to focus on employees’ results versus the location where they are working.

Determine Eligibility

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, it may be a seamless transition to remote work. However for some companies, there may need to be some thought put into the eligibility of remote work based on job roles and responsibilities critical for business operations.

Compensation and allowance

Different states and countries may have different laws and regulations when it comes to remote work. Employers should speak with their legal and human resources departments to understand the costs associated with remote working arrangements.

When you’re not in the office, there are some guidelines you should follow to ensure that you’re still a present member of your team who continues to add value along with guidelines that companies should follow to foster a successful remote work culture. Currently, 8x8’s customer success team holds morning meetings over video chat and our marketing team communicates through a group chat via our app. These are just two examples of how remote teams are making sure work gets done and staying in communication.

Communication is Key

Any remote work policy should have specific guidelines around communication so there are clear expectations between management and the workforce. Employees should be available by phone, email, or IM during business hours (as established for that employee, unless a different arrangement has been approved in advance by the manager). Your leadership team should collaborate to determine the best course of action for your business.

Create a schedule

Although there are certain roles that require specific timeframes for accessibility and collaboration, these should be limited to core hours and communicated upon offer and throughout employment. Managers should allow flexibility to the greatest extent possible to enable employees to take care of family and personal needs, while balancing the demands of the business. This requires managers to focus on employees’ results versus the location where they are working.

Determine Eligibility

Depending on your industry and the nature of your business, it may be a seamless transition to remote work. However for some companies, there may need to be some thought put into the eligibility of remote work based on job roles and responsibilities critical for business operations.

Compensation and allowance

Different states and countries may have different laws and regulations when it comes to remote work. Employers should speak with their legal and human resources departments to understand the costs associated with remote working arrangements.

Below are best practices for employees who are starting to work remotely:

Below are best practices for employees who are starting to work remotely:

Below are best practices for employees who are starting to work remotely:

Below are best practices for employees who are starting to work remotely:

Establish a workspace that feels comfortable

It goes without saying that even if you have the necessary equipment for a remote work setup, you need somewhere to put it. Find a place in your living space where you can comfortably settle for a few hours. Break up your time by taking a walk around the block, getting up to make lunch, or taking a meeting. Even in the tiniest apartment, you can re-organize your space (or even add a makeshift desk) to make yourself comfortable for the work week.

In video meetings, maintain eye contact with your camera, not your screen

When we video chat with people, it’s typical that we look at the images on our screen and speak directly back to the picture shown there. However, for a more personal approach during meetings, speak right into the camera built into the top of your laptop, desktop, or conference room setup so that it appears you’re making direct eye contact with meeting participants (or whoever is speaking). This really helps intensify a connection and shows you are both concentrating and fully immersed in the meeting itself.

Keep yourself on mute when not speaking

As a courtesy, it’s best to keep yourself on mute while you’re not speaking during a call or meeting. Especially if you’re remote, there might be anything from a dog barking in the background to people laughing next to you in the coffee shop. There is usually some feedback during video conference meetings anyways, as well as potential background noise that can be disruptive. For example, if you sit in an office with an open floor plan, the background noise of your office might be too disruptive for the call. By muting yourself, you allow the call to progress more smoothly and show respect to the host and other meeting participants.

For a virtual meeting, set a clear agenda

As the meeting host coordinating participation across different locations — even time zones— you want to make sure things run smoothly once your meeting begins. In advance of the call, set an agenda that you can share with other participants to set expectations. When the call starts, it always helps to introduce yourself as the meeting host, identify the participants on the call and their roles, and review the objective for the call. This can help participants get a visual sense of who is involved in the project, and what will be discussed, and prepare their talking points or questions for the meeting as well. During the call itself, follow meeting etiquette (when not speaking, mute yourself) and ensure other attendees are engaged. As a follow-up, share a summary of what was discussed and the resulting action items each team member should be working on.

What are the recommendations for home network requirements?

What are the recommendations for home network requirements?

What are the recommendations for home network requirements?

What are the recommendations for home network requirements?

One last consideration when setting up your remote workspace is ensuring that you have both a strong and reliable network connection. We suggest using a wired connection when possible. This way, your work day won’t be interrupted by spotty internet connectivity or poor audio quality, and your video conferencing meetings won’t cut out. If you are using wifi, consider reviewing recommendations from review sites to learn how to boost your signal. One way to guarantee strong connectivity is by using a VPN (virtual private network) connection. VPNs allow remote users to still gain access to their company network and, in turn, access files and resources that they wouldn’t be able to otherwise open. In addition, VPNs add another layer of security ensuring your company files, documents, and IP stays secure.