Some of the best jobs I’ve had were the ones that had a remote work model factored in. Although I personally like being in the office so I can interact with my team in real time, I need to have remote work built in so I can take care of life stuff when it crops up. And on my current team right now, there are four people who work remotely exclusively, which really speaks to how we value their time and productivity. But because not all remote work models are designed identically, let’s take a look at some different ones so you can make the best choice for you and your team.
1. One Central Office with Occasional Work From Home Days
This is probably the most common remote work model, as many companies have a central office but still offer their employees the ability to work from home for a specific number of days per week, month or year.
It’s also my personal favourite, as I’m a big proponent of having my team see each other in person as much as possible to work and learn from each other in real time. But I love this model because it takes into account individuals’ needs, whether they live far, have to take care of appointments or family issues, or just give them better work-life balance.
With this model, the focus is on predominantly coming into the office and having a set number of days allocated for working from home. How that looks will vary by team and workplace. For example, two people on my team need to commute about 90 minutes in either direction, so they each rotate five days in the office and five days at home. Other team members find that one day per week works best for them, while others need only a day or two per month.
If you’re designing a remote work model centred around this approach, start small with one or two days a month. Listen to how your team responds to it and what their needs are, then either scale up or down as required.
2. One Central Office with Work From Anywhere Days
This model is really closely aligned to the previous one, but with one significant difference: employees can work from anywhere they want, as long as they have a stable internet connection. It doesn’t matter if they choose their couch, favourite coffee shop or a beach in Hawaii, as long as they have their laptop and a steady internet connection, they’re good.
One of the biggest benefits of this model is you’re not necessarily limited geographically. You can look for the best staff in the world—not in your locality—which obviously broadens the net for talent and insulates you a little from local staff being poached by other local companies.
Whether you choose to require your team to occasionally come to the office, such as for important stakeholder meetings, offer them a stipend to set up a home office, or even have a travel allowance—it’s all entirely up to what works for your company and circumstances.
This model can also significantly offset operating costs (i.e. not having to purchase laptops for employees, minimising office space, etc.), so remember to pitch that to company execs when suggesting a remote work model.
3. No Office with Completely Remote Work
This one could be the trickiest, but also the most profitable, alluring and advanced remote work model. In it, you forego an office space and have all your employees work remotely from wherever they are in the world. It also works best for companies just starting out, like downsizing to no office is more difficult than skipping it in the first place.
And with this remote work model, you’re completely unencumbered by geographical and timezone constraints. You can hire anyone in the world and really put the focus on getting the absolute best team assembled as you possibly can. You can also scale employee salaries based on the cost of living in their respective city. And if you use this model, you won’t have to worry about employees giving their notice because they’ve moved to a different city.
If you choose this model, you’ll have to make accountability, communication and team- and project-management your main priorities. You can do things like schedule regular video meetings once a week and use Tameday to keep all the work and messaging in one central location.
Related: Why Work Doesn’t Happen at Work
Whichever remote work model you choose will ultimately come down to three things: the size and nature of your company, the size of your team and the work they produce, and what your operating budget and costs are.
But no matter what the answer is to all criteria, there’s a model that fits your needs — especially when you incorporate Tameday into it. Remember that today’s employees really value work-life balance, and offering them remote work — in some aspect — is one of the top things that’ll attract the best and brightest minds.