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Remote Expert Blog

The Remote Expert blog - online business, work from home and remote work tips and trends

Remote Future Summit 2019

I have been busy at the Remote Expert HQ pre-recording my keynote speech for the Remote Future Summit on parental leave policies for remote companies.

The Summit is going to take place on 15 – 17 May and promises to be jam packed full of remote work goodness! 

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50 Shades of Remote Work

Remote work is not an “all or nothing” proposition. There are many shades of remote work.

There is the employee who checks their email from a smart phone in a café. That person is working remotely. The team member who works from home every Friday because they are more productive that way, also works remotely.  Then there is the digital nomad who works for an organisation from another time zone and country.  That person is also remote.  As is the person who logs on from home when their child is sick or they need to get more work done of an evening.

 As soon as you permit an employee or contractor to work outside of the office in any way, you need policies, procedures and documentation in place to protect you. Without that framework of protection, you leave yourself open to miscommunication, litigation and risk. 

To add some colour to this article I take a tongue in cheek look at remote work through the lens of the 50 Shades of Grey (50 Shades) book series by E.L James.  Grab a cup of tea, settle on down and see where you fit in to the 50 shades comparison.

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Emma Heuston-Levack
Why Employers Need to Care about Remote Work

contributed by Tara Vasdani, Canadian Lawyer

Employer’s need to care about remote work. Unless organisations address the remote work elephant in the room, they face the prospect of failing to keep up with the evolution of the modern workforce.

This week sees the Remote Work Summit, put on by Grow Remote, April 16-18, 2019. The Summit has crowds from across the globe joining in to listen to speakers from companies like Shopify, Workplaceless, and Distribute Consulting (which is the remote work guru herself - Laurel Farrer).

Today on the blog we unpack why employers need to take a second look at remote work culture.

A cultural shift

The workplace has experienced a sharp cultural shift over the last couple of decades. In a short period of time, remote work has changed.

Gone is the focus of remote work as an employee “perk”. Now, remote work is a valuable productivity tool that allows access to a large talent pool.

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Who should own the remote work equipment?

You may ask WHY all this stuff is required?

The short answer is to protect both parties but in particular to avoid the employer being sued when a data breach occurs and confidential client information is stolen because an employee or contractor has not updated their anti-virus software or followed correct company procedure in sharing information.

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Is the way of the future a visual contract?

A visual contract is a way of creating a binding legal contract without really complex words and legal jargon. Rather, it contains pictures, words and flow charts.

Why? Consider that many of the people who read contracts are not lawyers. in fact, they may not be well educated, or English could be their second language.

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There has never been a better time to go remote

Are you on the fence about hiring a remote team member or an entire remote team?

A 2018 survey by Zug pointed to:

  • at least 70% of our global workforce surveyed working remotely at least once per week; and

  • 53% working at least 3 days a week remotely.

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5 reasons your organisation needs to hire remote employees

As the marketplace becomes more competitive with disruption and technology, it can be difficult to thrive in business using traditional methods.That being said, why be traditional?  Why not think outside the box and look at the way you do things. 

Do you need a large office with your employees sitting in front of you?  Or can you downsize to a serviced office or room in a co working space and grow your business in a smarter way? Hiring a fully or partial remote team is a way to achieve this.  Below I unpack 5 reasons you can’t ignore remote work for your business.

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5 important legal issues for organisations hiring remote workers

There are real benefits for organisations who hire remote (or distributed) teams and permit existing employees to work from home.  Productivity, cheaper rental or real estate costs and a unique culture of employee engagement and happier employees are only some of the benefits. I can vouch for this personally, having worked from home in a Partner equivalent role with newlaw firm LegalVision for a number of years.

However, as great as working from home is, the lawyer in me is lurking below the surface fretting about the risks to employers of work from home arrangements. But the good news is that with the right arrangements in place, the risks can be managed and your organisation can get on with the real work that makes your organisation great. 

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Why you need a work from home policy for your remote workers

 I cannot advocate more strongly for employers to hire a remote team or permit their existing employees to work remotely, at least part of the time.  There are numerous productivity and employee engagement benefits to working from home.  However, you need a work from home policy before you hire a remote worker or permit your existing employees to work from home.

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