remote work


Remote work strategies for COVID-19 and beyond

How organizations are responding to the crisis and redefining the workplace

Many organizations developed a remote workforce nearly overnight due to COVID-19. Some workers now want it to stick around even after the pandemic ends. Turning temporary work-from-home orders into a permanent plan, though, demands more than good videoconferencing. You need a remote work strategy and the policies and operations to execute it.

Remote workforce considerations: Looking ahead

The idea of remote work becoming more commonplace was gaining steam before COVID-19. The pandemic has accelerated it, as former office workers have had to acclimate to making their home office (or their couch, bedroom, or back porch) their primary workplace.

According to a Gallup poll taken in the spring of 2020, 60 percent of workers who have been working from home during the pandemic want to continue working from home even after all business and school restrictions are lifted1. Employers are responding. 40 percent of respondents to a Deloitte Dbriefs poll3said they are developing a strategy to evaluate roles and teams fit for permanent remote work. A majority of those respondents said reasons other than COVID-19 are fueling their organization’s increased interest in remote work—from attracting talent to improving productivity. Nearly three-quarters of CFOs surveyed by Gartner plan to shift at least 5 percent of on-site workers to permanently remote positions, and nearly a quarter of CFOs plan to shift at least 20 percent2.

A workforce reimagined: 3 keys to your remote work plan

Making remote work the norm for a significant percentage of workers requires more than a good videoconferencing application and comfortable office chair. It requires a shift in the organizational mindset regarding the work being done, the roles and skills of your workforce, and how you define a workplace. It requires new guidelines that enable an organization to navigate through a wide and nuanced range of remote work scenarios. And it requires HR, tax, legal, and finance processes that responsibly track, compensate, and engage with a work-from-home workforce. Many organizations are considering implementing new remote work strategies but don’t know where to start. Let’s focus on three key areas for companies creating a remote work plan.

The right time for remote work planning

The COVID-19 global pandemic was a catalyst for the necessity for remote work in the short term. But with workers wanting more remote work options in the future, companies are considering the long-term benefits of a reimagined workforce with a thoughtful remote work program.

An effective remote work program will need thoughtful attention to strategy, policy, and operations to accelerate productivity and worker satisfaction. But remote work will likely look different at each organization, and not everyone will be able to address those three key elements in the same order. Some companies focus first on the policy and operations to make sure they know how they can do this before they are vocal about why.

The challenge ahead is to make remote work more than just an employee perk. If you want a remote work strategy to enable improved teaming, connection, and innovation tomorrow, your leaders need to come together today to develop the strategy, policy, and operations to foster it.


Megan Brenan, “U.S. Workers Discovering Affinity for Remote Work” Gallup, April 3, 2020

2 Justin Lavelle, “Gartner CFO Survey Reveals 74% Intend to Shift Some Employees to Remote Work Permanently” Gartner, April 3 2020

3 Deloitte Tax LLP, “The now and next of workforce strategies”, June 18, 2020” 

remote work
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