As millennials hit their early parenting years, and Gen Z enters the workforce, corporate policies that promote work/life balance are a must-have for attracting and retaining top talent. In fact, in a recent survey, 73% of organizations now offer some type of work-from-home policy, so if you still require the 9-5 in-office slog – you’re in the minority.

However, work-from-home policies are more than just a perk for employees. Hiring remote workers expands your talent pool from local to global – all while saving on real estate, housekeeping, energy, and other in-office expenses.

But paying lip service to a work-from-home policy, without providing the tools to support it, is a recipe for misunderstandings, reduced productivity, and employee dissatisfaction. Here are the top 5 things to consider when hiring remote workers or implementing a work-from-home policy.

Put it in writing

For the early stage startup, it’s tempting to want to use an “unspoken honor system” for working from home. Take it when you need it – and don’t abuse it. However, clearly defined guidelines for work from home days benefit both the employer and the employee.

Employees feel less guilty using this flexibility perk if they are confident they are doing so within the expectations of their management team. For management, a written policy gives them a reference point for if and when they do feel the policy is being abused – and a standard protocol for handling it!

Measure productivity

Tools to measure productivity can give off a “Big Brother” vibe, but don’t be afraid to test them out with your team – you might be surprised how they are received. Measuring productivity provides remote employees with the accountability of an office setting, all from the comfort of their homes, co-working spaces, or coffee shops.  For their in-office counterparts, they provide reassurance that their remote colleagues are just as much in the game as they are.

Apps such as Timely or Time Doctor are perfect for tracking project hours. For teams that measure their productivity in tasks accomplished, rather than time spent, apps such as iDoneThis help track achievement as the key metric.

Provide the right equipment

When on-boarding a new remote or semi-remote employee, ensuring that they are fully equipped with the right tools to get their job done is imperative. For your average task worker, this may just be issuing your standard company laptop and providing a VPN connection – easy peasy!

However, for compute-intensive tasks in industries such as Oil & Gas and Media & Entertainment, consider additional IT requirements such as high-performance display protocols to display remote applications in pixel-perfect detail. Also if your user never plans to work locally on their machine and will only use it as an access point for hosted resources, consider alternatives to an expensive Windows or macOS laptop, such as Chromebooks or thin clients.

Manage Security Risks

Speaking of VPNs, check your corporate security compliance policies before allowing VPN connections into your internal data center. A more secure (and compliant) option may be to tunnel traffic through a security gateway, such as the Leostream Gateway. The Leostream Gateway provides anywhere access to external users via a client-based display protocol or an in-browser HTML5 connection. It can also help manage rogue user connections and connections to resources managed in isolated cloud networks.

Provide Effective Access

Ultimately, all of these careful considerations aren’t much help without effective user access. Many employees require remote access to more than just one type of IT asset, but sending your users far and wide to a variety of login portals, all which require their own access credentials, creates confusion and is just asking for insecure login practices – such as re-using passwords.

The Leostream Connection Broker provides your users with a single login for all of their desktops and applications. Leostream intelligently offers users with the correct type of access based on factors such as AD group membership, login location, or even time-of-day. And for your IT team, Leostream offers a single-pane-of-glass interface to manage and track users and assets across multiple hosting platforms.

For more information on Leostream, contact [email protected].