Flevy Blog is an online business magazine covering Business Strategies, Business Theories, & Business Stories.

Transitioning to a Permanent Remote Work Business Model

Editor's Note: Take a look at our featured best practice, Effective Communication with Virtual Teams (23-slide PowerPoint presentation). The number of people working remotely has been increasing progressively across the globe. An employee benefits report narrates that around 60% companies in the US offer telecommuting opportunities. According to Upwork, freelancers and contractors have increased by 81% from 2014 to 2017. [read more]

* * * *

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses around the globe. Regardless of industry or market, everyone has felt the pain of adapting to the new normal.

Many companies have shifted to a remote work model as a result of lockdowns and physical distancing requirements. Now, many companies are evaluating the possibility of making that shift permanent. However, this shouldn’t be a hasty decision — there are many factors to consider regarding company culture and employee communications.

Here are some crucial considerations and processes to evaluate when transitioning to a permanent remote work model.

Define the Why

The first step of shifting to a permanent remote work model is identifying why this is the best decision for the company. For many organizations, the decision is two-fold: money and uncertainty about the duration of the pandemic.

Identifying the “why” behind this decision is an important step in creating a continuity plan and streamlining communications. While companies consider their new future plans and how the next few years could potentially look, this decision should be a key factor because defining the why leads to outlining the what, and the how.

Research the Challenges and Opportunities

When deciding whether to shift to a permanent remote or work-from-home business model, businesses are tasked with challenging their assumptions. While the assumption may be lower overhead costs and continuity through uncertain times, it’s integral to ensure the business isn’t pivoting into oblivion.

Research the potential pitfalls of making a permanent change. This could include anything from productivity challenges to inadequate resources to support employees in a work-from-home environment.

Consider the fact that if your business is already operating remotely, you have months of primary research to review. Factor in what has, and has not worked during your temporary shift to remote work. Then, use that data to outline potential challenges.

Empower Employees to Share Feedback

A common mistake among businesses that shift permanently to remote work is the failure to get employee buy-in. Many companies have decided to make a permanent change and communicated the decision without asking for employee feedback. This lack of respect can disrupt employee morale and exacerbate any struggles and mental health issues they were experiencing throughout the pandemic.

Allow every employee to safely and candidly share their experience. This data collection could include virtual meetings and interviews or private surveys. Ask them what they need from the business to make this work. Otherwise, your company could face high levels of turnover once the hiring freeze ends.

Audit and Adapt Your Processes and Tools

Take a deep dive into the tools and processes that your company used before the pandemic. Additionally, consider what you’ve put in place since shifting to a temporary remote environment. When collecting feedback, be sure to ask employees what gaps they’ve experienced in the available tools.

Shifting to a permanently remote structure means adapting to life without a home base. Not having shared equipment means finding ways to send fax online or mark-up documents without printing. It means being unable to quickly stop by someone’s desk to ask about the status of a project.

Shifting to a permanently remote environment means getting into the minutiae of what a workday looked like before, and adapting it to suit the new normal.

Focus on Effective Communication

Ineffective communication has long been the downfall of would-be successful businesses. Without face-to-face interaction or a tangible location, communication can become even more challenging.

Prioritize effective communication by providing the right tools and outlining policies to succeed in a remote work business environment. Help employees manage expectations and consider reframing how communication takes place.

For example, some companies are eradicating email from their organization and encouraging employees to share information via public channels in messenger apps. The logic behind this progressive decision is that no one mistakenly gets out of the loop or drops any proverbial balls on projects. As employees traditionally waste up to a quarter of the workweek on email, this is an effective way to promote productivity.

Shift to a Results-Oriented Model

The traditional nine-to-five workday no longer makes sense. Working from home means the commute is shorter, but the responsibilities are higher. Many employees are juggling work with remote learning and sharing their space with housemates or family members.

Rather than pushing for set office hours, consider making the shift to a more results-oriented business model. Focus on tasks that need to be completed and have set check-in times, rather than dictating traditional office hours.

The core components to making this significant business change include prioritizing employee support, streamlining communication, and updating policies and tools. These pillars lay the groundwork for a successful transition.

26-slide PowerPoint presentation
To quote, Richard Branson, a British business and philanthropist, "One day, offices will be a thing of the past." While organizations still need to travel to reach their physical offices, the rapid changes in the world is requiring businesses to form Virtual Teams. A Virtual Team refers to a [read more]

Do You Want to Implement Business Best Practices?

You can download in-depth presentations on Remote Work and 100s of management topics from the FlevyPro Library. FlevyPro is trusted and utilized by 1000s of management consultants and corporate executives.

For even more best practices available on Flevy, have a look at our top 100 lists:

These best practices are of the same as those leveraged by top-tier management consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, and Accenture. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by utilizing these best practice frameworks, templates, and tools. Most were developed by seasoned executives and consultants with over 20+ years of experience.

Readers of This Article Are Interested in These Resources

Excel workbook
The purpose of this tool (spreadsheet) is to review, audit, assess and improve all teleworking aspects of companies, organizations and remote workers. This spreadsheet contains 3 parts. The first part contains a summary of the questionnaires included in the second part. The second part [read more]

Excel workbook
20-slide PowerPoint presentation

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

Complimentary Business Training Guides

Many companies develop robust strategies, but struggle with operationalizing their strategies into implementable steps. This presentation from flevy introduces 12 powerful business frameworks spanning both Strategy Development and Strategy Execution. [Learn more]

  This 48-page whitepaper, authored by consultancy Envisioning, provides the frameworks, tools, and insights needed to manage serious Change—under the backdrop of the business lifecycle. These lifecycle stages are each marked by distinct attributes, challenges, and behaviors. [Learn more]

We've developed a very comprehensive collection of Strategy & Transformation PowerPoint templates for you to use in your own business presentations, spanning topics from Growth Strategy to Brand Development to Innovation to Customer Experience to Strategic Management. [Learn more]

  We have compiled a collection of 10 Lean Six Sigma templates (Excel) and Operational Excellence guides (PowerPoint) by a multitude of LSS experts. These tools cover topics including 8 Disciplines (8D), 5 Why's, 7 Wastes, Value Stream Mapping (VSM), and DMAIC. [Learn more]
Recent Articles by Corporate Function






The Flevy Business Blog (https://flevy.com/blog) is a leading source of information on business strategies, business theories, and business stories. Most of our articles are authored by management consultants and industry executives with over 20 years of experience.

Flevy (https://flevy.com) is the marketplace for business best practices, such as management frameworks, presentation templates, and financial models. Our best practice documents are of the same caliber as those produced by top-tier consulting firms (like McKinsey, Bain, Accenture, BCG, and Deloitte) and used by Fortune 100 organizations. Learn more about Flevy here.

Flevy Marketplace: Top 100
· Strategy & Transformation
· Digital Transformation
· Operational Excellence
· Organization & Change
· Financial Models
· Consulting Frameworks
· PowerPoint Templates
FlevyPro (Subscription Service)
KPI Library
Streams (Functional Bundles)
Flevy Executive Learning (FEL)
PowerPoint Services

FREE Resources

About Flevy
Management Topics
Marcus (AI-Powered Consultant)
Partner Program
LinkedIn Influencer Marketing
FAQ / Terms / Privacy / Blog
Contact Us: support@flevy.com

Acquisition Strategy
Artificial Intelligence
Balanced Scorecard
Best Practices
Big Data
Breakout Strategy
Business Continuity Planning
Business Plan Financial Model
Business Transformation
Change Management
Communications Strategy
Company Financial Model
Competitive Advantage
Competitive Analysis
Consulting Frameworks
Continuous Improvement
Core Competencies
Corporate Culture
Cost Reduction Assessment
Customer Experience

Strategy, Transformation, & Innovation
Digital Transformation
Operational Excellence and LSS
Organization, Change, & HR
Management Consulting

Customer Journey
Customer Service
Cyber Security
Data Privacy
Decision Making
Digital Marketing Strategy
Digital Transformation
Digital Transformation Strategy
Due Diligence
Employee Engagement
Employee Training
Enterprise Architecture
Growth Strategy
HR Strategy
Hoshin Kanri
ISO 27001
Information Technology
Innovation Management
Integrated Financial Model
Key Performance Indicators

Business Strategy Frameworks
Case Studies
Consulting Training Guides
COVID-19 Trend Data
Digital Transformation
Financial Advising Services (FAS)

Knowledge Management
Lean Manufacturing
M&A (Mergers & Acquisitions)
Market Research
Marketing Plan Development
Maturity Model
McKinsey PowerPoint
McKinsey Templates
Operational Excellence
Organizational Change
Organizational Design
Performance Management
Post-merger Integration
Pricing Strategy
Process Improvement
Process Maps
Procurement Strategy
Product Launch Strategy
Product Strategy
Project Management
Quality Management

Free Resources
KPI Library
Lean Management
Lean Six Sigma Training Guides
Marcus Insights
Operational Excellence

Real Estate
Remote Work
Risk Management
Robotic Process Automation
Service Design
Six Sigma Project
Social Media Strategy
Strategic Planning
Strategic Thinking
Strategy Development
Supply Chain Analysis
Target Operating Model
Team Management
Total Productive Maintenance
Value Chain Analysis
Value Creation
Value Stream Mapping
Visual Workplace
Workplace Safety

Product Strategy
Small Business Owner
Startup Resources
Strategic Planning
Strategic Planning Process
Value Innovation Strategy

© 2012-2024 Copyright. Flevy LLC. All Rights Reserved.