What's your remote work policy? 5 examples and best practices

Angela Lin
Angela is a Data Science and English major at UC Berkeley who juggles interests in machine learning with short fiction. Outside of writing blog posts, she can be found painting Bay Area views or trying new recipes.

Introduction to Remote Work Policies

In the past few years, we’ve seen a huge shift in the way people approach remote work. After the pandemic transported companies from in-office to at home, all of the benefits and challenges that come from working remotely have come to light.  

As remote work continues to be relevant in 2023, there is always a need for policies that help ensure remote workers are supported, engaged, and productive. Remote work policies answer the “how” of what employees should expect when working from home. How does communication work? How are remote employees supported? How does the team build culture? 

Statistics on Remote Work

Remote work is not a passing trend. After the pandemic, many companies have pivoted to being remote-first or hybrid for the long term. And employees preferences have evolved too: many are prioritizing remote work when it comes to deciding between job opportunities. Here are some recent statistics about the state of remote work: 

Why Remote Work Matters to Teams

Sometimes the best teammates are living on the other side of the country, or even the globe. Chris Lauren, VP of Product at Domino, talks about how he believes in “the power of hiring the right people for the job no matter where they are.” 

For employees, remote work gives them greater flexibility and independence. A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Studies found that remote work saved an extra hour every day for commuters. Remote work also allows teams to collaborate regardless of their time zone or geographic location, giving people the chance to continue working when traveling. 

For Olha Makarova, a Data Scientist at Lyft, their remote work policy has allowed her to move to a safe place during the Ukrainian war without worrying about losing work. The support of the company has made a huge impact on her and the whole Ukranian office.

Challenges of Implementing Remote Work Policies

While remote work offers unique opportunities for companies and employees, it also comes with its own set of challenges. 

In Owl Lab’s State of Remote Work Report, they found that 41% of remote workers find it hard to fit into the company's culture when working remotely. Ensuring that people feel connected to their teammates and the company is one of the biggest challenges of a remote workplace. This means that companies have to put in extra effort into building a strong culture.

Another challenge is making remote collaboration work. Without the regular interactions that come from sharing a physical office space, people have to be more proactive about communication. Additionally, in Buffer’s remote work study, 74% of surveyed companies said they operate in multiple time zones. This means teams often have to rely on asynchronous communication channels. 

Lastly, there’s the issue of blurred boundaries between work and life. Although recent remote work surveys point to how remote work can reduce stress and increase overall happiness, there’s also discussions about how working at home can make it difficult to separate work from personal life. This can lead to longer hours and potential burnout. 

Strategies for Overcoming Remote Work Challenges

Despite the challenges, many companies are doing remote work successfully. There are several strategies that companies can use to overcome the obstacles that come with remote work. 

Prioritize strong communication skills

Suresh Khanna is the co-founder of Pieces, a remote-first company that has employees around the globe. Success on their team requires great communication and also clear documentation. Having regular and open communication also contributes to a better workplace culture where people can talk about whatever they need. 

Give employees the resources and tech they need

Christy Simpson, a Recruiter at Motus, shares how Motus’ WorkAnywhere policy has impacted her life. WorkAnywhere provides everything their employees need to work successfully from any location, giving Christy the freedom to travel all over the country. 

Promote a healthy work-life balance

The culture at Zilliz is fast and hardworking but that doesn’t mean people have to give up work-life balance. Gabriel Fett, Director of Talent Acquisition, talks about how they understand that people have lives outside of work and give employees autonomy over their schedules. An accepting and flexible work policy that also includes vacations and time off is key to both attracting and retaining talent. 

Team-first mentality  

Having good energy and culture is especially important on a Sales team, so what does that look like remote? Chloe Hauser and Nick Edwards talk about their team-first mentality which means that everyone has your back. When everyone is open to helping others on the team, it prevents people from feeling isolated or invisible – a common concern for remote employees. 

Get creative with team events 

Building a remote company culture might look a little different from an in-person one, but that doesn’t mean it has to be any less fun. In our conversation, Jennifer Baron, Head of Demand Generation and Growth at Socotra, talks about her experience hosting virtual events like cooking classes and a murder mystery night.

Final Takeaway for Managing Remote Teams

For many companies, remote work is here to stay. Remote work policies are becoming increasingly important for teams to attract and hire the best talent, regardless of where they are. By building out a clear and supportive policy, companies can overcome the common challenges that people face when transitioning from in-office work. 

After speaking to different people from a variety of companies, we’ve landed at these top remote work best practices: strong communication, taking ownership, providing resources, having a team-first mentality, and hosting creative team events. The specifics may look different depending on your team, but these best practices can serve as a starting point or framework for your remote policy. 

Make hiring more human, with Puck

At Puck, our mission is to make hiring more human. We believe that people and their stories should be at the center of your employer brand strategy. Ask us how we can help you find your people below.

Book a Demo

Hear from our customers